Do This With Your Partner Before Baby

babypicEDIT
Headed to a wedding at #29weeks

Hola from Orlando. I’m currently 30 weeks pregnant and we’re  in Orlando with our family in an effort to hide from Hurricane Irma. I’m feeling grateful my due date is two months away and praying for the health and safety of my family and friends.

Week 29 marked a turning point in my pregnancy. My heartburn got more fierce, and I started to experience pain in my pelvic region. I described it to my husband as feeling like someone punched me in the crotch and left me all bruised up. TMI? Consequently, I listened to my body and stopped going to my beloved dance cardio classes because it’s too much jumping and too high intensity for me to handle right now. Last week even prenatal yoga felt like too much, however, this week I was able to handle a barre class and I’ve started swimming which I should’ve done a long time ago because it’s so wonderful while pregnant.

In other news, we attended a birthing/parenting class at our synagogue which included an hour long session entitled: from partners to parents. An amazing clinical social worker by the name of Amy Small talked to us about the inevitable transition we’d be experiencing and I thought one exercise was particularly helpful. She had the spouses sit across from one another and instructed us to take turns telling our significant other the things we expect from them as a parent. Each person got three minutes to speak (no interruptions allowed), and when they were finished the other person had to repeat everything back to them and ask if they’d missed anything.

It sounds so simple, but it was honestly the first time David and I sat down, looked each other straight in the eye and said all the things we expected from one another as we embark on this new phase in our lives. I got to say things like “I want you to be extra patient with me when it comes to leaving the house because everything may take a bit longer now”, and “I want you to take over some of my household duties for the first couple of months”. Meanwhile, he told me he would like me to have a good sense of humor about parenting, including laughing at an epic diaper explosion or spill rather than freaking out over it.

I felt a sense of relief after this activity because it helped me see we were on the same page in our vision as parents and gave me a chance to say everything I wanted to say without being interrupted. My husband also isn’t a big talker, so this was a great opportunity for him to speak out and for me to listen. First time parents have so much on their minds it’s easy to forget to have conversations such as these when in fact they  should be a priority.

If you want to read more about my candid thoughts and fears regarding how having a baby may affect my relationship, check out my recent article in Women’s Health.

XOXO

Val

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