Around last night my beautiful and wonderfully pregnant wife tried to strike up a conversation with me while I was embroiled in some intense typing. It was basically a pregnancy snack request, but her approach was a little rough and somewhat out of the blue. The conversation went something like this:
"I'd like a candy bar and a back rub," she said to kick things off.
"A candy bar and a back rub?" I replied quizzically looking up from my laptop. She was laying on the floor doing some light yoga to stretch out her back at the time, and looked up at me with a grin that I just couldn't say no to.
"You're crazy. You know that don't you?" I replied with a smile. I turned my attention back to my screen in an attempt to finish my work before I set out to fetch a Three Musketeers.
"Why? I'm hungry," she said playfully.
"I'll go get you a candy bar," I admitted in a tone slightly frosted with defeat.
She shot back with "What, I can't get a back rub?" in a tone sharper than her initial request. I looked up a little disbelievingly.
"You're un-friggin-believable," I said, shaking my head and continuing to type.
As I neared the end of my work I realized that she hadn't said anything in a few minutes. A few minor sniffles perforated the silence of a commercial break on TV and quickly caught my attention.
"Are you crying?" I asked, somewhat disbelieving.
"No." And she wasn't. Not quite yet.
"What's wrong?" I pried.
As soon as she began to respond the waterworks let loose.
"I'm just really uncomfortable and I feel bad asking you to do all these things..."
She continued down her relatively short list of "why I'm crying" in a tone that sounded like an orgy of critically wounded geese, so I didn't pick up a lot of the finer points. I could tell those points didn't really matter. "My back hurts and I'm sorry that I’m hormonal" were the captions of her pregnancy-fueled, hormonally catalyzed mini-melt down.
I sat down next to her and told her that it was okay and I didn’t mind her requests at all, she just has to work with me a little sometimes. I said that I can only imagine all the changes that she’s going through and I’d do anything I could to help her. That made her cry more because she now felt worse that I was being understanding.
“How about I massage you with a candy bar?” She began to laugh. Laughter is a good way to diffuse a pregnant loon. So I rubbed her back for a little while and eased her back pain woes. The candy bar craving passed on its own at some point during the massage.
A few points of pregnancy wisdom I gleaned from this experience:
1. Don’t make a pregnant woman feel worse than she already does. It’s your job to keep quiet. Putting up with her craziness is the male analogy of experiencing hormones directly, it’s just something you have to go trough as part of pregnancy.
2. A pregnant woman may not even be aware she’s acting strange. If she isn’t, then don’t bring it to her attention. She may forget about what she did later on and only remember your reaction. I'm very lucky that my wife at least realizes when she's being irrational.
I'm very lucky that my wife at least realizes when she's being irrational.
3. If a pregnant woman wants food, she wants it five minutes ago.
4. Don’t expect an apology from a pregnant woman, and don’t ask for one. If you happen to get one, that’s icing. Just support her lunacy and cravings, and keep in mind that she’s going through a tough time.