Women sometimes joke that men have it easy when it comes to pregnancy, and they’re right. We get to skip the morning sickness, stretch marks, and everything else and yet still end up with a brand new baby. Here’s the thing, though. As easy as we have it there is one thing that’s difficult – accepting that everything is out of our control. This might not be that big a deal to a guy whose wife has only had successful pregnancies, but to someone like me, it definitely is.
Ever since Heather told me she was pregnant I’ve had a nagging worry in the back of my head: Is this pregnancy going to be troubled like our pregnancies with Maddie and the last one, or is it going to end well like the one with Annie?
I try to push this thought from my head because there’s nothing I can do to control the situation. Heather, of course, can’t really control the situation either, but she can at least listen to her body and get an instinctual feeling of how things are going. Because of this – and my lack of control – I probably put too much stock into everything she says.
If she says: “I’m really tired with this pregnancy.”
I say: “Were you this tired with Annie’s pregnancy? Or is this a feeling more associated with the other pregnancies? If you had to guess, would you say this is a good thing or a bad thing?”
Sometimes I even pester Heather first thing in the morning. “How are you feeling today? Any change from yesterday? What’s your gut telling you? Things going okay? Any spotting?!”
Heather usually humors me and says that everything is fine, but other times she says, “Dude. You need to simmer down.” So I try to simmer down. But it’s hard when it’s all happening in someone else’s body.
As you can imagine I anxiously awaited the day of our first ultrasound, but when it came I suddenly felt apprehensive about going. As much as I’d longed for a concrete sign of where things were with the pregnancy, I was afraid of those first few moments after the ultrasound began.
You see, with Annie’s first ultrasound it was only a couple seconds before the doctor pointed at the screen and said, “There’s the heartbeat. Looks good!” But with both Maddie and our last pregnancy the seconds ominously ticked away as the doctor stared at the screen… searching and searching and searching. When the doctor at last spoke, the news, in both cases, was troublesome.
Apprehensive as I may have been, I nonetheless (of course) went with Heather to the doctor to get the big news. As the ultrasound began I told myself not to freak out if she took a long time to speak. If she stared at the screen… searching and searching and searching… it was important to remember it might not mean anything. I was lost in thought, trying to convince myself of this, when I heard:
“There’s the heartbeat. Looks good!”
We’ve got a long way to go, and we’re all too aware that a pregnancy can take a dramatic turn very quickly, but for now I’ll be clinging to the knowledge that this pregnancy’s ultrasound began as Annie’s did. With everything so out of my control, it’s the one thing I’ve got.