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.
Jay- The Dude of the House says:
Since the guy is usually pretty involved in making the baby I think he deserves some of the credit for the pregnancy, despite the fact that he may not be doing the actual heavy lifting during the 9 months.
There you go. I was on your side al along, as my comment on the other post shows. There was still something missing in that comment, though. Something that was floating around in my head and I couldn’t find the words for. I just left it at that, since the other two points I made were enough reason for me to be in your camp. But you just described the missing bit:
Hearing my husband say ‘We’re pregnant’ (Or, well, ‘We zijn zwanger!’ since we are Dutch) made me feel like I didn’t have to do it alone. Yes, I was the only one PHYSICALLY pregnant, but he was there with me every step of the way…
Besides: he picked up all the chores AND taking care of our then two year old twins after working hours when I was told to take as much rest as possible at 26 weeks and even more so when it went downhill from there at 31 weeks. While also working nights at home to catch up on all the working hours he lost during the day. When our son was finally born at 36 weeks, he was as knackered as I was.
Yes, I was the one physically pregnant. I was the one carrying all the extra weight. I was the one having to push him OUT. But if it weren’t for my husband, their father, I would NOT have been able to rest as much as I did, and I am 100% sure that I would NOT have been able to keep our youngest in for as long as I did. He would have been born at 31 weeks, for sure, just like his brother and sister. Maybe even sooner. We managed that pregnancy TOGETHER, every single step of the way.
As for the first pregnancy though? Our twins? With no children at home yet and me working outside of the home, too, until literally a couple of hours before I suddenly gave birth? And with no knowledge yet of all the things that could go wrong (and the things that actually would)? Still blissfully naïf and pretty sure that pregnancy equalled live baby? I think I will have to change my mind and go with Heather on that one:
“We’re pregnant? Hell no! I’m carrying TWO babies, you’re carrying NONE!! Now go get me a drink*!”
* Water, folks. Don’t worry, just water… I don’t even drink alcohol when NOT pregnant…
I totally get where you’re coming from. And I think you’re perfectly right to say ‘our pregnancy’… Just not ‘we’re pregnant.’ I genuinely am only annoyed by the inaccuracy of the language, not the sentiment.
I agree with you, Mike. A man plays a serious roll in getting a woman pregnant, without him she couldn’t say “I’m pregnant!” If I heard a man telling someone “she’s pregnent.” Id almost be waitng for the replay “who’s is it” or “is it yours?” Lol its like announcing your friend is pregnant. I’m totally with you on the we are pregnent announcment If fact I think I’ve used the line “I’m pregnant. We’re having another one” before (when infact I’m having another one, bluh bluh bluh the mans only along for the ride)
I get it. My husband and I both said “we’re pregnant” when we announced it.
I just want to clarify that while I don’t like the “we’re pregnant” phrasing, I would never actually say anything or express anything except my joy for the couple. I only expressed my opinion on the matter because I was explicitly asked! I do get the excitement factor and goodness knows I would be much more judgey of the guy who isn’t interested in participating for the arrival of his child. But I do have a thing about the precise use of language! (obviously I am not as bothered by sentence fragments…)
Emily E says:
I have absolutely no problem with my husband saying “We’re pregnant.” So what if he doesn’t have to go through the physical process, it is still every bit as much his child as mine. And arguing over semantics annoys me.
I like “We’re pregnant” I think it’s sweet.
Me too! I don’t mind it all. In fact, Mike has made some very valid points. I think all these women who are making a big deal out of it are WAY more annoying than any man who says “We’re pregnant”. (Not you Heather, I love you.) :o)
Me too! As someone said it above, it made them feel like they were in the pregnancy together. So while men can’t LITERALLY be preggo, I didn’t mind when my husband said the same thing. Of course, Mike brings up a valid point: either saying “we’re pregnant” or “we’re expecting” are both worlds better than an absent father. So when given a choice, I say bring on the we’re pregnant!
I honestly didn’t comment on the other post because 1.) I didn’t know it was a thing and 2.) I didn’t want to choose the “wrong” side.
I always think of a couple as pregnant so saying, “We’re pregnant!” doesn’t sound odd to me. I would assume that everyone knows the boy is not literally pregnant, but that’s just me.
I have to say I agree with both of your & Heather’s points of view. The one thing you can both agree on – the one point NOT ONE PERSON WOULD OBJECT TO…is when that baby is born and placed into your loving arms….he or she is both “Your Baby” and at that point, nothing else matters.
Ehn, I have no issue with “We’re pregnant.” I may have used it. I can’t remember, that’s how little it phased me.
No, my husband wasn’t puking with me through 3 pregnancies. But he did grab many bowls to catch the puke and he held my hair back. He handled it admirably when he went out specifically to get some food that I just had to have and then puked all up.
He consented to “marital relations” with a fat, sweaty, pregnant wife. (He earned some significant points there).
He cleaned up the kitchen floor when my water broke all over it. (And he even, er, confirmed that it was amniotic fluid and that I hadn’t, in fact, peed my pants. I didn’t know, it was my first baby and it felt the same.) He spent hours pouring water over my stomach when in labour with our second (a girl) and caught our daughter when she emerged.
When our first and third babies – boys – were born (in respiratory distress) he followed them to special care and endured sleeping on a very uncomfortable chair to keep me company.
So, if he wants to say “we’re pregnant” I’m A-okay with that.
So glad you’ve come around!
Amy J says:
My husband can say it however he wants. He cleans the house, does the dishes and laundry, scoops the cat litter, nags me to eat, cooks the protein when I cannot bear to look at it, and just about anything else I happen to need or want. If he wants to say we’re pregnant, he has my full support. Sorry I did not comment on the original debate.
I didn’t comment on the other post, but I wanted to say that I don’t have anything against the sentiment of “We’re pregnant!” It’s just annoying to me. In the same way that I hate hearing the term “preggers” or “preggo”. I don’t have a concrete reason to dislike them, I just find it irritating! (For some reason, though, I don’t mind the term “baby bump” which I’ve heard irritates some people!)
I mean, if I my husband wants to announce by saying “We’re pregnant!” I’d probably ask him not to say that, just because I don’t like it, but if he wanted to announce simply by pointing to my abdomen and saying “Look what I did!” I’d be fine with it! And if someone else’s (woman or man) wanted to say “We’re pregnant!” I’d never indicate that I found it annoying.
I don’t know why certain phrases just kind of get on my nerves. That’s one of them, but the sentiment behind it? Yeah, you’re both contributing to the pregnancy.
Don’t feel badly, Mike. I was the one who always said my husband and I were pregnant or I would say We were due in September, things like that. My thinking on it was that my husband might not actually be physically pregnant, but he was physically running out at two in the morning because I had to have Taco Bell. He was the one who helped me learn how to give myself insulin shots and encourage me when I didn’t think I could take anything more. To me, my husband was just as pregnant as I was, only his weight gain wasn’t from the baby
To be fair, I realize men get just as excited about a new baby as a woman, but you can be just as excited by saying, “We’re going to have a baby!”. I don’t know why saying ‘We’re pregnant’ rubs me the wrong way, but it does. Besides, when I hear a pregnancy announcement or see a pregnant woman, I know that a partner was involved in some way.
Oh yes, so agree here! I would have punched my husband, who treated me SO WELL during the 8 months of my very sick pregnancy if he said “we” were pregnant, but if he said “we’re having a baby” that would have been fine.
I sided with Heather on ‘we’re having a baby’ and she’s the pregnant one! However Mike, I made sure my husband suffered with me….. I had my cravings, my heart burn (ringing up from work and demanding I take Rennies), my sciatica and wonderfully my labour pains for the first 4 hours (I didnt have any for the first 4 hours after the waters broke). It was very funny!!!! So even though I dont like the phrase ‘we’ really were pregnant!
Even though I sided with Heather, saying that I wasn’t too crazy about the “we’re pregnant” phrase, I would never ever say anything to anyone who used it! Of corse my first instinct would be to react at the news! I do like “we’re expecting” or “we’re having a baby!” but really, when it all comes down to it, it’s the point that you’re expecting that people will really focus on
Aw, Mike. “We’re pregnant” is cringeworthy but it’s adorable, too, because it suggests the supreme devotion and interest of the partner, I think we all know it’s coming from a good place. It’s just … really goofy and a little awkward. And downplays a little bit the role of the pregnant person (whose life is going to change as much as the supportive partner’s PLUS some crazy awful body stuff). But it’s all good, I don’t think anybody meant to rag on you, and more than anybody I’m for erring on the side of being supportive/nice/open about love and devotion, as opposed to playing it cool. You’re alright, don’t feel bad.
Sarah W. says:
I agree that “were expecting” is my choice- but I APPLAUD ANY MAN who announces it ANYWAY with excitement and includes himself on the process. That’s a beautiful thing. a PARTNER in all things.
I was in agreement with you on the last post, when I’d guessed it was you. I like that phrase.
Haha, Mike, you’re so awesome. Here’s hoping you two have a boy someday so you can train him in your dudely ways. The world would benefit from more menfolk of your sort.
I think it’s sweet of you to want to be a part of it so badly. Many women face being pregnant on their own where the man doesn’t want anything to do with the pregnancy or baby. I’m sure they would LOVE to have an awesome guy that will be an awesome father say ‘we’re pregnant with such pride.’
I love you saying, “We’re pregnant!” I love every thing about it.
The phrase has never bothered me, honestly. While I know that biologically men cannot get pregnant, a good partner should not be taken for granted. My husband definitely made my first pregnancy easier, and is doing a great job during this one as well. I wouldn’t want to do it without him!
boomerang Jane says:
I don’t have a problem with the saying at all. I took it to mean “my wife’s pregnant, we’re having a baby”. Here’s hoping the saying gets used by you again soon.
I like “we’re pregnant”. Physically my pregnancies are, of course, harder on me. Emotionally I think my husband takes the brunt of the pain. For him, he would rather be able to take that physical pain from me and it hurts him deeply to see me suffer. So, while physically I do all the work, it is pretty safe to say that it takes a huge toll on my hubby too and he deserves to say “we’re pregnant.”
sweet….you get a pass
I can’t believe anyone would dog a father-to-be for saying “we are pregnant”. Yea, the woman is the carrier and the deliverer, but in an era when women demand more participation from their spouses, it seems like using language that actively encourages that involvement before diapers are changed and bottles fed is a great way to reinforce that partnership. When I went into preterm labor, my husband picked up all the slack, finished the nursery without me and kept our life going so that I could stay pregnant with the twins as long and as stress free as possible. His support, actions and encouragement went a long way in helping our unborn babies in ways that I couldn’t have done. And his dedication didn’t end there. I think there are a lot of women who want to split everything 50/50 but want all of the credit too.