Monday, July 18, 2011

"You hate me because I'm Pregnant"

            It was a morning like any other.  I lay in bed, wishing I was dead or that the clock said 8 instead of 5:45.  I could hear the shower running in our tiny apartment.  As my consciousness began to stretch its wings, I remembered that my wife was PREGNANT(!) and felt a little better.  The news was still kind of new.  We did not know the sex (well, I did, but more on that later), and so it was still kind of abstract, but exciting nonetheless.  Suddenly the green numbers on the clock were not quite so odious.  The sound of the shower and the fan (imagine an engine being run with no oil) became almost soothing.  I got up and made my morning cup of extremely strong tea.  I went back and sat in bed reading the headlines on my laptop and waiting for my dear, pregnant wife to get out of the shower.  When I heard the water cut off, I waited a few minutes and then got up again.  We passed in the hallway.  My wife with a  towel around her still flat belly.  Me in boxers with my hair in a kind of bald man’s mohawk.  She stopped right in front of me, looked me in the eye and said, “You hate me because I’m pregnant”.
            Now, my brain does not work too well in the early hours.  I regularly do and say things that I have no recollection of later.  But I was awake enough that I knew what to do.  I smiled, said good morning, and got in the shower.  Fifteen minutes later, I entered our bedroom to find a sobbing woman.  She was sorry.  She knew I didn’t hate her.  She didn’t know what was wrong.  I did.  She was pregnant.  And I had played a rather significant role in making it happen.
            You must understand that I was a few months in at this point.  In the week(s) following the (picture an angelic choir and soft beams of light) peeing of the stick.  And then the second peeing of the stick which assured us we would be pregnant, I might have been more apt to say something along the lines of, “Are you out of your mind…I love you.  We’re going to have a baby!”  Now, I had some experience, and I knew the most important thing you will ever know about your pregnant wife.  She was out of her mind.  Completely.  But it didn’t matter.  And trying to force rationality on a pregnant woman is like trying to teach a dog to read.  Only the dog will just get pissed and rip the book to shreds.  The woman might actually go for your eyeballs.
            Which is why I am writing this.  There are about 3 million books for pregnant women, and I know of two for fathers to be.  And, don’t get me wrong, I like Bill Cosby as much as the next guy…probably more (how many Cosby records do you have on vinyl?)…but the dude left some shit out.  Important shit.  When we send soldiers off to war, we prepare them…we do not give them a book full of charming anecdotes about boot camp.  So, I’m going to tell you the truth.  And you will be shocked.  But, goddamnit, there is no room for sugarcoating in this man’s army.

            Here is one very simple truth that I never heard one person utter before I starting calling my friends and telling them.  Imagine the worst, most confusing PMS your wife/girlfriend/etc has ever had.  Now multiply that times one hundred, throw in some vomit and hemorrhoids, and hold on tight.  I don’t want to give you the wrong idea. Pregnancy is an amazing thing.  So is margarine.  Looking at the realities does not diminish the beauty.  In fact, it enhances it.  You can gauge through your partner’s actions exactly what is going on inside that crazy, hormone-riddled brain of hers.  She hates you.  That’s all.

            OK, she doesn’t really hate you.  At least not all the time.  But I will close this introduction with this.  My wife is probably the nicest person I have ever known.  And I don’t necessarily consider that a pure compliment.  It has it’s downsides.  But it is true.  She is kind, generous, and thoughtful.  She is a much better person than myself.  But several days before the previous anecdote occurred, I came home to find her looking sheepish and guilty.  I asked what was wrong (oh yeah, don’t do that either) and she told me she had cussed out my shirt.  Now, I have had a grey oxford shirt forever.  She hates it.  I don’t even like it.  I bought it at the Salvation Army when I was poorer.  But it is my emergency reserve.  My laundry day shirt.  So, yeah, I screwed up and asked what happened.  Apparently my wife came across this shirt laying on the floor (that’s where I like to keep my shirts) and, in an apartment, empty except for our cat and herself, she kicked the shirt as hard as she could while screaming, “Fuck YOU!  Fuck YOU, you FUCKING shirt!”.
            Oh, once she told the story we had a good chuckle and then ordered pizza, but it is imperative that you know this.  You are going into battle.  Some of it will be chummy nights of shared stories and dreams.  Some of it will be pushups in the mud.  But if my sweet, amazing wife would so ruthlessly attack a shirt, think what she would do to me.  Think what your partner could do.  So, hide the shirts she doesn’t like.  Buy a bunch of plastic silverware, and get ready.  And read this blog.  Your very life may depend upon it.  This is reality.  This is pregnancy.  And there is a lot more to it than charming goddamn anecdotes from a pudding salesman.

Brought to you free from space, comments are much appreciated.  I know it's kind of a pain, but so is pregnancy.


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