I have a confession to make: it was me who announced our (or, er, Heather’s) pregnancy by saying “We’re pregnant!” Since this proved to be such a highly unpopular statement, I wanted to explain my thinking, misguided as it may be.
First, I should mention that I hadn’t planned on announcing the pregnancy this way, but found the words tumbling out of my mouth when giving the news to some friends. Heather smiled and nodded at time, but later, when our friends left, she playfully jabbed at my stomach and said, “We’re pregnant, aye?” That’s how our debate began, and how I drove Heather bonkers by refusing to admit that saying “we’re pregnant” isn’t the best way to announce things.
I’ve come around though. Reading all of the comments yesterday was very eye opening, and I suppose Heather’s original arguments were valid. Here’s the thing… I understand a man can’t literally get pregnant (though you wouldn’t know it by my expanding waist line). Being pregnant is something only a woman can do, and for nine months or so she goes through hell to bring a little person into the world. I am in awe of each and every woman who does this. How could you not be? They grew a human freaking being inside of them! This is a remarkable accomplishment that women deserve credit for, and when a man says “we’re pregnant,” even in a figurative sense meant to show togetherness by a couple, it diminishes this singularly female accomplishment.
But the reason that I said “we’re pregnant,” and the reason other men may say it too, I think, is because we are desperate to be part of this amazing experience. You see this reflected at every hospital where men, instead of relaxing in the waiting room with cigars and flasks, stand in the delivery room alongside our wives. As opposed to the men of the past, we are more involved in our partner’s pregnancy than ever before:
We may not experience the pain and discomfort of being pregnant, but we are there holding our partner’s hand and whispering encouragement when she doesn’t think she can continue.
We may not see our bodies change because of a pregnancy, but we are committed to loving our partner forever no matter how pregnancy changes her body.
We may not know what it is like to be so pregnant that it’s a struggle to do every day tasks, but we pick up the slack by running errands, doing laundry, cooking meals, etc.
Heather, after hearing these arguments, replied, “It’s true. You do all those things and I’m so appreciative to have a good guy, but…
YOU STILL AREN’T FREAKING PREGNANT!”
And you what? She’s right. Pregnancy is a women’s experience, and a woman’s alone. But before you roll your eyes too hard at me and other “we’re pregnant” guys, realize there are a lot of guys out there who, instead of saying “we’re pregnant,” say, “You’re pregnant, lady. Not me. I’m outta here!” Those are the real chumps. Here’s hoping that the next time you hear a man say “we’re pregnant” (it won’t be me, I promise!), you’ll let it slide and realize it’s coming from a good place.