Pregnancy is a wild ride. Your body goes through numerous physical changes such as breast growth, weight gain, morning sickness, and hormonal swings and having a supportive partner can make the experience more comfortable — or a nightmare. Learn from this expecting mom whose husband isn’t too sympathetic to her condition.
“My husband and I are expecting our first child and we are both really excited,” a woman wrote on Reddit‘s AITA forum this week. “Despite the excitement, I am really struggling: episodes of depression, morning sickness, tired but crazy insomnia, and altogether just not feeling like myself. I do the best I can with it (still working 12-hour shifts in healthcare, cleaning, cooking, etc).”
Sounds familiar to anyone who has ever grown a human being, right? But here’s where the post goes off the rails: “My husband is a very supportive partner mostly BUUUTTTT I had a mood swing where he said something small that hurt my feelings causing me to cry. It usually wouldn’t make me cry so I said ‘I’m sorry I’m crying these hormones are insane’ and my husband stated, ‘Pregnancy hormones aren’t real, and pregnant women use them as an excuse to act crazy,'”
Wait now, what?
Instead of tossing out the whole man, OP wants to ask a professional to educate her partner on pregnancy. “I have explained it to him, sent articles to him, and tried to have honest conversations about how I’m feeling with him but he has made it clear this is an opinion he stands by,” she wrote. “We have an appointment today and I want to ask my doctor to explain it to him hoping that hearing it from a male obgyn might give him some clarity. However, I don’t want to make him upset or cause more problems (we are military so it could open up some problems for him…).”
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with the “myth” of pregnancy hormones.
For starters, pregnant bodies flood with various hormones starting at the earliest stages of conception. Progesterone, estrogen, oxytocin, and cortisol are released in higher quantities than normal and continue to rise as the pregnancy progresses. These hormones are important not only to help the fetus grow and develop but also to help mother and baby bond after birth. However, the toll they take on a pregnant person’s emotions is well known — to most of us.
Although not all men understand the intricacies of pregnancy, it doesn’t take much effort to be a supportive partner. And Reddit agreed.
“‘Pregnancy hormones aren’t real’ falls into the same category as ‘Why don’t you just hold in your period until you reach a bathroom’ and ‘Women pee out of their vagina,'” one person commented.
Someone else added, “….Please take this with a pinch of sarcasm…instead of taking him to [a doctor] to have them explain hormones, take him to a relationship therapist and have them explain why it [is] attitudes like his that cause divorces…You must feel so hurt and completely unheard, especially when you are coping with the rollercoaster of hormones and the emotions of being a parent.”
One commenter with a military background even offered to help the OP find on-base help to navigate her situation. “OP, if you are genuinely worried that your husband is going to react so badly that it will negatively impact his military career or yours, you need to talk to someone NOW,” the person wrote. “That is not normal, and I say that as someone who has lived under the strictest military restrictions on personnel behaviors and mental and physical health” offering the OP his or her contact info.
This situation isn’t terribly abnormal, however our hearts go out to the OP. We hope that, with the help of her physician, her husband understands how his support is crucial to a healthy pregnancy and family.
Childbirth is nothing like in the movies, as these beautiful photos show.