Monday, December 19, 2011

Couvade syndrome: Sympathy or Psycho?

Back in July and August, yours truly was wracked with sickness. Morning sickness, mostly.

Nasty nausea, dizziness, fatigue on top of a stubborn upper respiratory tract infection left me pretty whipped. Compound the everyday rain, cool temps and subsequent humidity (read mold), and you have one pretty miserable pregnant lady.

Hubby was great through all of this. He shouldered everything - from the household responsibilities to my weird moods and meal requests. Handled it all with a smile. Nary a complaint. But then it started.

"I'm not feeling so good. Feeling a little dizzy..."

"I'm so tired...think I need a nap..."

"That upset my stomach last night, better not eat that..."

And then he said it, "I think I can feel your pregnancy symptoms."


"In Mexico sometimes the man can feel the pregnancy symptoms too and I think that's what I have."

Needless to say, I was not so sympathetic. "Honey, I am certain you are NOT feeling my pregnancy symptoms."

"But I am! Look, I even found the name of it..." (points to an article about couvade syndrome). "See, it's a real condition!"

Rolling my eyes and skimming the text, I was sure to point out psychosomatic in the article.

"Know what that means? That means it's all in your head!" I said, thumping my index finger against the right temple.

Silence. A sly smile before starting out a "But I-".

I wasn't having it. Telling a pregnant wife that you feel what she feels when she is in the throes of morning sickness, wacky hormones, and brutal bronchitis - all of which she can take next to no medications for, will win zero sympathy points.

No doubt, my dear husband may have felt something, but not what I felt. Lay down if you're tired. Take a Tums if your tummy hurts. That's normal. It's not pregnancy.

Hubby's "condition" has since been a good source of smiles.

I recommended he begin taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements immediately. Cut out the caffeine and raw milk. Better start looking for Men's maternity clothes. And next time we visit the doctor we'll ask him to keep the transducer warm so he can do his ultrasound.

He's taken the teasing well.

We'll see if he starts having contractions in a couple months.