calibrateBUMPS: Cait's Week 19-20
It's me again!
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who reached out after reading my post last week, family, friends, clients, everyone. This week was miles better.
I'd like to break from the regular posts this week in order to honour a very special group of people. I've actually had this blog post ready to go since about week 16 but wanted to wait for a milestone week to publish it, what better milestone to celebrate than the halfway mark!
I'd like to start off straight away by saying I'm aware this post is coming from a place of privilege and I fully acknowledge that what I'm about to talk about is not applicable to all women. I’d just like to remind you that these blog posts are my personal reflections and are a recount of my personal journey. I do not at all mean to generalise my experience to a wider population.
With that you’re probably all super confused/nervous/intrigued so we’ll just get straight to it.
We’re halfway through this incredible journey and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked “how are you feeling/doing?” Clients, friends, family, my husband, random people I meet for the first time who find out I'm pregnant, everyone! I get checked in on multiple times a day and the outpour of love and affection is honestly amazing. It makes the tough days much easier and it makes the easier days even better. I thank each and every one of you.
But, for many people, beside the strong, phenomenal, and oh so important pregnant woman is a supportive birth partner who often gets pushed into the periphery. Be they the husband, the boyfriend, the wife, the girlfriend, the best friend, a family member, anyone. A lot of people joke about it (them included!): “sorry, x you don’t matter so much right now”.
The truth is they matter more now than ever before.
At least for me, pregnancy would be an incredibly difficult (almost impossible) ordeal to go through completely alone. Especially on the days where I barely have the energy or desire to leave the sofa. While I acknowledge that many women around the world do have to unfortunately experience a lonely pregnancy, I would like to take the time today to give a huge shoutout to all the birthing partners who are trying their best to be as supportive as possible.
For me, right beside me is my phenomenal husband who I know is doing anything and everything in his power to make this journey as easy as possible. Meanwhile I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m doing everything in my power to make him as confused, emotionally drained, and frustrated as possible. It must be incredibly hard being the supporting partner, not being able to do anything to help by way of actually growing the human, and not being able to help take the physical load off.
And yes, while they don’t experience the long list of negatives associated with pregnancy. They also don’t get to experience the joys with pregnancy. The knowledge that inside you, you are creating a life. They don’t get to feel the life, the kicks and the tosses and the turns (as annoying as they can come to be, it’s still a phenomenal thing to be able to experience - not that I've felt them yet...Fudge isn't quite big enough). Instead they get to experience the tough end of pregnancy. On some days (read: 65% of the time which probably means it’s more like 85%) my husband gets absolutely battered by unpredictable mood swings and irrational outbursts.
I don’t know if as many people have checked in with him as often as they’ve checked in with me. I know I certainly haven’t. So I’d like to take this opportunity, halfway through this incredible journey, to say a huge public thank you to my incredibly supportive husband and to say a wider thank you to all the supportive birth partners out there.
I propose an exercise: when you talk to a pregnant couple, obviously ask how she is doing but also take the time to really ask how the partner is coping. You may find they could use a bit of support to!
To the birth partners, we haven’t forgotten you, we love you, and we need you now more than ever. After all, who else is going to go get me frozen grapes at 9pm? And what do you mean I ate them all already?!?