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How can I support my pregnant partner?

(13 Posts)
Gregwar Sun 08-Jan-17 21:17:16

I've been reading "The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide" where I found out about this website. The reason I came here is because there was a section at the end where the mums had their say on the matter with a load of do's and don'ts, and to be honest, you all seem pretty great on the advice front.

I'm currently with a girl who is pregnant and yes, the baby is mine. I say "with" to take severity out of the bond between us, and even still, the word is to be used loosely.

Our (short-lived) relationship wasn't without it's problems. There's been a lot of ups and downs (way more ups if you ask me). But right now, in the early stages of her pregnancy, who knows what is going on between us.

This new found news has called for even more of a huge step-up in my maturity and I'm really looking to fit the role but the demise of mine and my "partner's" relationship I feel, is more than anything down to her losing faith in me. I'm really looking to help out and be there for her when I can but it's not easy.
She's the type of woman who doesn't ask for help when she needs it. She's quite stubborn like that. This isn't her first child so she's been here before, but this is my first, and I'll be the first to admit, I'm quite clueless (hence me reading this book).

To set the scene, she's weak, tired, emotional, and has a slight loss of appetite due to her violent morning sickness. She's lost so much weight in such a short space of time.

I'm finding it hard to support her because already I feel replaced by her best friend. So I need help from you fellow mums.
Beyond cooking for her girls, bathing them and dressing them and putting them to bed like I used to, doing house chores and etc, is there anything more I can do for her?
The book has helped a lot in telling me what she needs but any suggestions that you might have could be of value because they might not have been suggested to me yet.

Thanks a lot ladies.
I really appreciate it!

10Betty10 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:35:57

Hi,

Firstly, I think you are very brave for admitting you need help and support. Which I think shows that you will be a good dad actually.

From what you've said I get the impression that you guys aren't officially 'together', is that correct? If so, do you know if you guys will be trying to work through these issues or will you be living apart but with you still taking an active parenting role? (Sorry if I sound dense here and have totally read this wrong- I am pregnant and suffering from insomnia- the ultimate in brain fog!!)

10Betty10 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:37:30

Ps- how far along is she pregnancy wise?

user1479150521 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:37:53

Jeez well done for sticking your nose out and asking for advise not many guys would do that.
It's the little things that make a difference.
Try some of these -
• talk to her, ask her if she needs anything, ask her how she's feeling (even though you know) tell her you love her and appreciate her.
• give her a foot massage, this really helps with sleeping
• get her energy levels up by cooking healthy, nutritious meals (veg/fruit/salad)
• run her a bath, light some candles, and chat to her while she's relaxing (unless she just wants peace
• ask her if she wants to go for a short walk, she might not want to but it will make her feel great after.

Good luck! And remember the key thing is to talk to each other, be honest, and listen.

Gregwar Sun 08-Jan-17 21:46:16

Thank you people. You all seem so friendly here. I posted another query on another forum and got an influx of mostly negativity, condescension, and criticism.

10Betty10: she's only 8 weeks. She's a very stubborn character and not likely to let on to her true emotions but with everything that happened between in the early start of our relationship, I don't think it's impossible to rekindle that flame. Right now, we're not officially together no. But I will do anything to win back her heart. I've never loved a woman this much in my life and this is nothing to do with the fact that she's carrying my son. I know I'll be a great dad. She's told me, everyone's told me, and just the way I've looked after and loved on her daughters already, this isn't the issue. I want to be a great boyfriend though, and hopefully one day, a great husband.

user1479150521: Any forms of communication is almost out of the question. I've asked her what she needs and wants and she tells me nothing. She's eternally grateful for her friend because her friend just "does". She doesn't ask, she just offers. It makes me feel so inadequate.

10Betty10 Sun 08-Jan-17 22:00:57

I would ignore the previous negativity- have noticed it is very easy to criticise people from afar and say things that you would never dream of saying in real life on internet forums. You want help, not judgement!

Ok so at 8 weeks I was a total nasty piece of work to anyone around me, not gonna sugar coat it! Some of the things she is saying/doing may be as a direct result of being exhausted, sick to her bones, fed up and generally pissed off at the world. From what I can tell- that is totally normal and not necessarily a reflection of her true feelings towards you. It may be your relationship as a couple isn't to be, but that doesn't mean that she actually feels negatively towards you either/wants to shut you out from her pregnancy. Also, I personally found my (lovely and supportive, eager to help) partner irritating when he kept asking me if I wanted anything- however horrible and ungrateful that sounds! I spent a lot of time snapping back at him/chuntering to myself.

In terms of her friend, is she someone who she has been close with for years? It may just be that she is your baby momma's ( am unsure what to refer to her as!) support network/comfort zone if they are very close and understand each other instinctually/have been through the same so get that being 'in her face' is actually really frustrating when you feel like death.

The fact that you are helping out with the kids and housework already shows you want to help. By al means offer other things (popping to shop for cold cans of Sprite/lemonade was my crutch with my partner- could never refuse that one, soooo good when feeling shitty) but don't r act badly, hurt/offended if you get snapped back at. Just calmly continue to do something else/don't act bothered by it. Also don't give up offering just because of some bad reactions!

It's a bloody fine line my friend, but you'll figure it! The best thing you can do is to show you aren't going to my anywhere and will support her whatever by continuing what you are already doing.

Also, is she having problems dealing with the psychological side of pregnancy, or do you feel she is actually coping well asides from having horrid symptoms and generally feeling pants?

10Betty10 Sun 08-Jan-17 22:05:41

Ps. I would recommend never voicing your best friend hang ups to her/trying to let that one go. Sometimes women just need the company of other women. It is not a slur on you and is not a replacement/doesn't devalue your efforts either.

Blossomdeary Sun 08-Jan-17 22:08:42

How do you know it is a boy at 8 weeks?

Gregwar Sun 08-Jan-17 22:22:05

10Betty10, you are the silver lining of my oh so grey cloud. Thank you so much for your reassurance and perspective. I will do all that you have told me to.
Not reacting to her was the only solution that I could think of but I was starting to somewhat take everything personally. So far in the pregnancy I haven't done anything (due to the sequence of events in our relationship). We no longer even live together which has been a struggle for me. I miss waking up to her beautiful face. I miss the sound of her sleeping. I miss her voice and her laugh and her smile and her sarcasm and everything.
You don't understand how, your understanding has brought me so much peace.
I get severe anxiety and it affects my appetite and everything and because she's seen that side of me, I understand completely why she may have (despite her views towards me being influence by hormones) lost faith in me.

Blossomdeary: I know it's far too early to know the gender of the baby but there has been so many weird coincidences and signs between me and my BM (we'll refer to her as my baby mamma for now) that we're confident we're having a boy. We're even set on a name.

10Betty10 Sun 08-Jan-17 22:36:32

No problems- The not reacting negatively is the best possible thing you can do in my opinion (at the end of the day, what is it going to achieve anyway!)

I would however recommend maybe putting your romantic intentions on the back burner for a while- however much you love her- if you are meant to get back together it will happen naturally over time, now is not the time to push it or force it. Carry on as you are in terms of help and support, but take it from me (as a very stubborn and independent woman myself) overdoing the proclamations or love/adoration can be very off putting, especially when you are having a shitty time of it health wise!

Your anxiety issues will not put her off. There is nothing wrong or to lose faith in with showing your mental health issues. Anxiety is an illness, not a personality trait- you have not chosen to feel that way. How you choose to tackle this health issue is within your control, so it is important that you also take time to look after your own health here- whether that be through medication, counselling/CBT, group therapy, exercise/diet, or all of the above) That is something that you can do for you, her and your baby. (I hope this doesn't sound patronising- I have a lot of experience myself with mental health issues so I know how crappy, insecure and low they can make you feel)

haveacupoftea Sun 08-Jan-17 22:38:41

Ask her if she wants anything, if she says no, believe her. Don't pester her. Don't send her long texts full of flowery language, or make grand gestures and speeches to try and win her back. She's got this, she doesn't need someone faffing around making a drama out of it.

10Betty10 Sun 08-Jan-17 22:42:13

Haveacupoftea- exactly! Bang on!

Gregwar Mon 09-Jan-17 11:49:43

Thanks a lot ladies. I really appreciate it!

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