We have now arrived in that reproductive purgatory known as month nine. Feet are swelling, moods are swinging, and our child has launched an all-out assault on my wife’s internal organs. Nesting has also reached a crescendo as I found my wife in the garage re-arranging my shop vac and crescent wrenches. Apparently our infant son will be spending large amounts of time there.
It appears that this nesting come bundled with extreme attention deficit disorder. This means that my wife is only interested in completing irrelevant tasks with unnecessary urgency. She will begin the task of laundry only to find herself with a label maker in one hand and a stack of alphabetized cookbooks in the other. On the plus side, if this trend continues all of our board games will be stacked in ascending order by original copyright date.
One of the biggest issues is getting my wife comfortable for bed. At the time of this writing, the accessories required for this task include: six regular pillows, two brands of lip balm, a Seinfeld DVD, a cup of ice water, a heating pad, an iPod touch, a white noise machine, and a body pillow the size of a miniature pony all placed in a very specific configuration depending on which side she wishes to face. Even this amount of pageantry offers only a brief respite until her tiny bladder necessitates that she extricates herself and begin the entire process from scratch.
These restless evenings are punctuated by weekly checkups whereby the doctor inspects for cervix dilation. For those that don’t know, this is a rather unpleasant process whereby a physician is in very real danger of losing their wristwatch. At some point during the visit a nurse will utter the phrase, “your urine looks good today” and you will be issued a baby formula swag bag.
Perhaps the most devastating aspect from a husband’s standpoint is the hormone-induced insecurities. These tend to escalate until you find yourself reassuring your mate that despite how they feel no one has mistaken them for a penguin shoplifting a country-ham. Such conversations become tricky because an ill-prepared spouse can quickly find themselves staring down the statement from which there is no return: “You are just saying that.”
Responding to such a declaration must be avoided at all costs because each and every logical response has an equally illogical retort that only moves you closer to pleading with her through a recently- slammed bathroom door. Let me lay out some common responses and how they are typically received by a pregnant woman’s ears:
What You Say (Option 1): “No I’m not just saying that! I really mean it!”
What She Thinks: “That Is exactly what someone who is lying would say!”
What You Say (Option 2): “I am not sure what you want me to say here. It seems as though nothing I can say would convince you of my sincerity.”
What She Thinks: “I cannot believe he is too slow-witted to lie without buying himself some time.”
What You Say (Option 3): “Honey, look in my eyes and know that you are the most beautiful woman in the world to me and pregnancy has bestowed a breathtaking ethereal glow upon you that leaves me cherishing the very day God brought you into my life.”
What She Thinks: “That is the most touching lie I have ever heard!”
My wife is gorgeous and pregnancy has done nothing to diminish that, but in order to avoid the aforementioned conversational mine-field, I have chosen to simply state my case here:
Honey, you are beautiful inside and out, and I am forever grateful that you allowed me to impregnate you despite your familiarity with my shortcomings. I cannot wait to begin the journey of raising our inevitably near-sighted offspring together in our moderately-sized home. You will be an amazing mother and I consider it a privilege to spend the better part of an hour tucking you into bed every night.