Sympathy Pains

Many of you have heard the myths about husbands of pregnant women having “sympathy pains.”  They gain weight, get sick to their stomachs, develop backaches, and generally complain more than they usually do so as to vainly attempt to suck up any extra attention that is being paid to their wives.  Medical journals have written about it for decades.  It's a strange transformation, males turning into females.  Pregnancy is not the only place this phenomenon is found.  My personal case study in my house finds that this also happens when I watch scary movies.  I chatter all through the film, and release many high-pitched screams like my kindergarten crush, Amy Clifton.

Today, I am here to raise another theory- one that turns these previous theories upside-down (literally).  I have confirmed this new phenomenon by randomly sampling a long-time best friend of mine, who is also an expectant dad.  I recognize that writing these words could cause me to lose a valuable part of my anatomy.  I also realize that I am setting myself up to receive countless e-mails from crazed mothers who find me insensitive and crass.  Still, I cannot help but report the truth.  I simply want to set expectations for my fellow man so he will know what to expect when SHE’S expecting.  So here goes.

Pregnant women turn into men.  They BECOME their husbands. 

“No way!” you say. 

Well brother, laugh because it’s funny, then cry because it’s true.  The evidence is overwhelming.  Allow me to report the findings from my own household. 


Pregnant Women and Husbands Hibernate...

atop soft, comfy furniture.  Gabby now loves to lay on the couch and sleep.  What once was my domain has now been relinquished to my wife.  She has remote controls and bags of Cool Ranch Doritos within arms-reach from the moment she steps foot in the house.  Average nap times exceed the duration of the Great Depression.  This would make me a little peeved had this not been my customary position for the first 3 years of our marriage.  I guess she’s entitled to it.


Pregnant Women and Husbands Require Frequent Feedings...

...or they become irritated and generally not fun to be with.  Much like a newborn baby or a tailgating Longhorn's fan, Gabby must eat something every hour.  If she misses a meal, a snack, a pre-snack appetizer or a post-snack dessert, bad things happen.  Headaches, grunting, and general irritability are sure to follow.  The irritability results in a spouse with a severely bruised ego.  When the obstetrician asked me if I had any questions about the pregnancy process, I said, "Yes.  For the past three months or so, I have continually been wrong.  This symptom only appears in my house while my wife is home.  Is there anything I can take for that?"

He responded by saying that the condition was chronic, and the symptoms would last a lifetime, or as long as I remained married.  There is no medication except Poker Night with the guys.  This provides temporary relief.  However, the longer (and later) you take this medication, the symptoms typically come back twice as strong the next day.

But anyhow... back to the eating contest that is happening at my house.  The other day, I was standing in the kitchen watching her make a light sack for herself.  It was a bean burrito with cheese and sour cream.  I know that this isn’t all that unusual.  However, when you take into account the fact that only one hour before she had eaten an entire meal, one’s jaw tends to drop.  As she spooned on the last bit of sour cream, she caught me watching out of the corner of her eye.  Apparently, my face wore the look of stone-cold fear, for she asked, “I know I’m eating a lot.  Are you scared?”  My response?  “A little.” 

Fellas, don’t ever say that.  I am still paying for that comment.  During the first trimester, I now know that if she wants something, ANYTHING, be it a burrito or a blanket, I give it to her immediately…

…covered in melted cheese.


Pregnant Women and Husbands Unbutton Their Pants...

in public places. You guys all know how it is.  You partake of a little too much Thanksgiving turkey and pie.  Next thing you know, you are unbuttoning the top button of your pants in front of people you hardly know.  It’s not a dirty thing.  It’s just a natural thing, kinda’ like the boobies in National Geographic.  Well, my wife has now adopted this habit.  Granted, her reasoning for unbuttoning the top button of her pants has less to do with gorging on sweet potatoes and more to do with the fact that there is a life growing inside her and pushing on her abdomen.  Still, it is a definite sympathetic action to bring her closer to the male species. 


To conclude my research, may I say that all indications point to the fact that I am glad I am not a girl.  Pregnancy messes with your body in strange ways.  You feel sick to your stomach, but only if you haven’t eaten.  You feel as tired as Rush Limbaugh after running the Boston Marathon.  Your body starts swelling up in strange places.  Foods taste different.  While I will be jealous when Gabby can feel the baby kicking, and I will never get to know the sensation, I admire any woman who can endure this nine month period.  Stay strong, ladies!

As I continue on this journey with my loving (and forgiving) wife, I welcome any comments from other expectant fathers.  I think I’m on to something here!  Could be the next Theory of Relativity or something.  Until next time!