Chris is driving me crazy. Â Freaking crazy. Â Like if he hadn’t knocked me up, I’d probably kill him right now. Â The thing is, its not all his fault. Â Its not actually his fault at all. Â For one thing, the things he is driving me crazy about are things we should be able to have adult conversations to discuss. Â But I can’t seem to function as an adult because my hormones are raging like a teenager. Â Conversations using non-four-letter words are hard for me to manage lately. Â The slightest remark from Chris can send me over the edge. Â The other night I was yelling so loudly at him that I knocked myself off of the step I was standing on. Â Danger! Â Anger!
The bigger issue is that I’m discovering Chris knows nothing about the birthing process. Â Absolutely nothing. Â But why should he? Â He’s never done any of this before. Â Throughout the entire process, he’s certainly been involved, but more from the sidelines. Â I read the baby books and then tell him what is going to happen. Â I go to the doctor and then tell him what they said. Â I pick out the baby equipment and then show him when it arrives. Â And I’m not complaining about any of this. Â To be honest, Chris would be miserable trying to figure some of this stuff out, and we would have started fighting long before now if he had been super involved. Â He’s been interested, supportive, and encouraging. Â Just from a certain distance.
I’m starting to think that has been a mistake. Â Maybe I should have nagged him to be involved a little more. Â Maybe I should have thrown baby books at him and filled his head with words like “epidural” and “swaddling.” Â Maybe I shouldn’t have let us drop out of our birthing class. Â Because as we get closer to the Great Arrival, it has become apparent that Chris knows absolutely nothing about the birthing process.
Why else would he have said to me in the middle of Target this past weekend that he doesn’t think he needs to stay with me at the hospital when I’m GIVING BIRTH TO OUR SON? Â Why else would he have declared that there is no need to stay at the hospital after I have the baby for more than a few hours and that I shouldn’t expect to just “lay around” at the hospital? Â Why else would he make stupid statements like this? Â He’s a smart guy. Â He’s a good husband. Â He’s got a big heart. Â He’s a decent human being. Â Why else would someone like Chris make absurd comments like this unless he genuinely just didn’t know any better?
The problem is that I’m so darn hormonal, I can’t seem to just have a normal conversation with him about the delivery and the hospital and things like that. Â My raging, inner lunatic is right at the surface and whenever Chris spouts off some kind of ignorant comment, I go into this blind rage and words fail me. Â Well, all words except those my Grandmother would not approve of.
So, how have we combatted this? Â We instant message. Â That’s right. Â I’ve resorted to instant messaging my husband about birthing details in an effort to save my marriage and his life. Â When you are typing to someone, its hard to get uncontrollably mad (well, you can get that mad, but they don’t really know it). Â Its been a great way for me to talk to him about these stupid comments. Â For example, I learned today that the reason Chris said he wasn’t going to be staying at the hospital is because he didn’t know that fathers stayed there. Â ”I didn’t know where I would sleep or where I would go,” he wrote during our online chat. Â Well, that makes a lot more sense. Â I can understand his reasoning now. Â So, I explained that they have cots and fold out beds for the dad. Â To which he responded, “Great!” Â Now, he could really have been cussing and pumping his fists in the air at the idea that he now was not off the hook. Â But for my purposes, all he said was “Great” and so things really were great.
I think having a baby for the first time is, obviously, hard on the mother. Â She’s dealing with the physical aspects of her body on top of working full-time, trying to pick pediatricians and daycares, working out insurance issues, figuring out how she’s going to handle maternity leave, etc. Â There’s just a lot of obvious issues for the mom to work through. Â But I think I have been so focused on that part, that I haven’t stopped to think about what Chris is going through. Â He’s trying to be supportive and encouraging. Â He’s doing more around the house and taking on responsibilities he’s never had before. Â Sure, I can see all of that. Â But what I haven’t noticed or thought much about is the emotional and mental toll this is all taking on him, too. Â I have at least been forced to confront all these things over the past nine months because it is physically a part of me. Â But for Chris, he’s just now getting down to the details and information that he’s going to need. Â I’m sure he feels rushed, overwhelmed, lost, and confused. Â But at the same time, he’s trying to stay strong so that I have someone to lean on. Â There are a lot of things that I know naturally just because I’m a woman that he doesn’t know about. Â Thanks to baby showers, OB/GYN appointments, A Baby Story, girlfriends, my mom, etc., I’ve been slightly and slowly exposed to the childbirth process my entire life. Â Chris has a lot of catching up to do.
The hardest part is trying to talk him through all this while keeping my temper and patience in check. Â But I’m going to start making more of an effort on that. Â Because this isn’t just MY birth experience. Â Its for Chris, too. Â I want him to be excited, not scared. Â I want him to look forward to talking to me about this, and not worried that I’m going to pop his head like a pimple when he tries to talk to me.
Tonight we have our hospital tour. Â I’m hoping this will help answer a lot of both our questions, and will make Chris feel more comfortable and give him more information so he’s Â not in the dark.
I’m also hoping they’ll take one look at me and admit me when I walk in the doors. Â Maybe some nice nurse will just take pity on me and my huge belly and say, “Here, honey. Â Let’s just get this over with, okay?” And that’s when I’ll finally relax and smile and say, “That sounds lovely. Â Could you please pick my husband up off the floor and tell us which room we will be in?”