When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I read a lot of blogs about how people refer to their pregnancy; whether they should say it is my pregnancy versus our pregnancy. The vast majority of the posts stated that the female should refer to it as her pregnancy and that the husband should do the same. By doing so, the authors of these posts felt that the woman was being empowered and taking ownership of the pregnancy. I however, adamantly disagreed.
This was not just my pregnancy.
After much thought, I decided that if I were to say that this experience is solely my own, I would be robbing my husband of the title of becoming a father before our son was even born. The moment we became pregnant, we both became parents. Yes, only my body physically changed during pregnancy, but, I did not create this wonderful gift on my own. Our children were created by two people and should be celebrated by both parents.
When we took our vows, we became one. Everything that is mine is his and everything that is his is mine. In order to practice our vows in daily life, we choose to celebrate every moment together, including one of our baby showers! We had a co-ed baby shower for our first child and it was such a wonderful experience. I found that it took the pressure off of me since I wasn’t the only guest of honor. By including him in every detail, I believe that he too was able to grow throughout each pregnancy.
Birth was a sacred shared experience.
As a result of having joint pregnancies, we chose to only have one another in the labor and delivery room for the birth of each of our children. My husband walked circles around the labor and delivery ward, held my hand through two epidurals, helped me to and from the bathroom and shower, and even snuck me in some chicken wings when I was hungry.
For some women, they prefer to have all of their family and friends right next to them during every milestone. My best friend, for example, had her husband and all of her immediate family with her during labor and chose to have her mother in the room for delivery. For her, having her immediate family in the room kept her relaxed and distracted through the contractions.
I, however, wanted to soak in every moment of my labor and birth with my husband. Whatever you choose, do what works for you!
The moment we became parents.
The best advice I can give to you is to watch your partner’s face during labor. He will cheer you on, give you hope when you are hopeless, and provide that burst of energy you need to bring your child into this world. As soon as your child is born, look at him. What I saw when I first looked at my husband was an indescribable amount of pride and joy. You know the type of smile that is so wide and so great that it makes your cheeks hurt? That is the exact smile he had each time. At that moment, with each birth, it made all the pain of pregnancy, labor, and birth virtually disappear.
However you choose to celebrate your pregnancy, you will have the support of your partner, friends, and family behind you. For my husband and I, experiencing pregnancy jointly (as much as possible) brought us even closer together!