Yes, I really am sharing this photo of me. I realize I look a bit homeless. But this is really what happens in our home - I wear non-maternity shirts and make Alan deal with the full effect of my growing belly. Call it torture or brainwashing but sometimes we need a serious reminder that our lives are about to be taken over.
Being pregnant has been very humbling. I've learned to accept phrases such as "Wow, you're getting big!" to be a compliment (ok, no I haven't but at least I can move past it). And as far as I can tell, this whole pregnancy thing is a lot easier with the help of someone else - take putting on socks and shoes for example. Such a simple act when you aren't worried about squishing your belly but much more challenging when you're at a size where a normal t-shirt can no longer cover that belly (see above photo for a visual reminder).
I know there are women who go through pregnancy without a partner - this may be as a choice or as a necessity - but I'm not sure I could do this without Alan. Essentially, some of the very humbling, painful, and difficult aspects of pregnancy for me have been much easier knowing that I have him with me. Yes, the small things like getting off boots that seem to have magically gotten smaller or getting out of bed when my back is killing me are much easier with his assistance.
But the big things would seem so much bigger without Alan. The lump that I found in my breast and had to have biopsied was a nerve wracking process. Somehow Alan never worried. Even this week when Hurricane Sandy came through our area, my body decided to keep things interesting and throw in some Braxton Hicks contractions. Alan remained unfazed while I couldn't help but wonder if this baby was more ready than either of us.
I guess that's all to say that (1) I'm very thankful to have Alan as my partner in this; (2) pregnancy isn't simple (neither is having an infant but I haven't gotten to that part just yet); (3) I can see why having a partner or a very close network of family/friends certainly is helpful during this hormonal process. I couldn't do it alone and I'm so glad I don't have to. Huge public thank you to Alan and our family for their support and willingness to overlook some of my clothing choices.