WARNING: It could be miserable to live with a pregnant woman. Yes, she loves you. Yes, she is ecstatic that you are the father of her child. Yes, she is amazed at the miracle of life. Yes, she wants to be nice--but it's so HARD to be while feeling like passing out and/or throwing up 97% of the day and night.
So, gentlemen, be prepared to face a woman who seems like nothing you expected or thought you knew. Get some grace to deal with this lady. And perhaps your love will help her out of the nightmare.
Here is a sample of the type of thing you may have to deal with:
HE: I'm gonna start dinner.
SHE: I need something now. I'm just gonna make a little PB&J. [looking white and grey in the face]
HE: I'll get it. You just rest.
SHE: Ok, but be sure that you toast the bread first. But not so toasted the bread turns brown, just enough to make it warm and perfect to melt the peanut butter.
He: I got it.
[Bumbling in the kitchen, HE presents a half PB&J and goes back to preparing dinner.]
SHE: Thanks. [opens the sandwich, fails to control facial muscles that reveal disappointment]
SHE: [realizing it's pointless to say "nothing"] It's just that... there's only one dollop of peanut butter and a bit of jelly in the very middle. So, the first middle bite is sandwichy, but the rest is ...*crust* essentially. ...I just make them differently.
HE: Sorry. [takes the sandwich and "corrects" it.]
[Always having trouble remembering things -- before pregnant brain -- SHE has forgotten the wrinkle-free shirts in the dryer, found them hours later all wrinkled, put a wet wash cloth in and restarted the dryer. x4. Finding it to be ridiculous to try a fifth time, she resigns herself to a few hours of ironing. HE comes home at the close of business to find HER ironing the last shirt.]
HE: Hey! How are you? Thanks for ironing. You know, if you just get those shirts out of the dryer while they are still hot, you don't have to iron them.
SHE: [shooting eyeball arrows] Thanks.
HE: I'm just trying to be helpful.
SHE: I know. [more eyeball arrows]
WHY!?! Why couldn't she just say, "You know what? The funny thing is, I've tried that. Four times between yesterday and today. And I just kept forgetting. So I decided to iron.”
Why couldn't she have said upon receipt of the sandwich, "Thank you." And been really grateful that he's the kind to make her a sandwich.
These moments are the perfect groundwork for sainthood. We’ve all heard the saying that goes something like “It’s not the trials that make you; it’s what you choose to do with those trials (aka sufferings).”
And it’s true. You see, in the above scenario, the question isn’t: Isn’t she acting like a B?
The question is: Will she recognize it?
I found this article so helpful. While I could drag every excuse my brain can imagine into the argument about why I’m so cantankerous, I should just recognize it. And see it for what it is: these moments reveal my weakness and imperfection. In the above scenarios, it’s easy to spot pride and ingratitude.
And to pour salt into the wounds of pride and ingratitude, he responds with love. ugh. Having someone love you when you clearly don’t deserve it is humbling. But that’s it: Nobody deserves love. And when my actions and words in the above scenes are assessed on the love-ometer, I have to “realize that what [I] once thought was love, was only an imperfect affection. [And am] now beginning to understand [of] what true love consists.”
True love reaches outward to the other. Even when dealing with a headache or nausea or toothache or mourning or thorns pierced into a head and nails driven through extremities, love bears the pain with patience, in hope that the other will receive Love instead of pain.
And the more I think about this, the more allegorical parallels I find for us and Love. I hope all of this doesn’t seem overly dramatic to you or seem to be drawn to an extreme conclusion. While almost half the world deals with morning sickness and gets through it, I found/find it really difficult. It may seem like no biggie. “Oh, she doesn’t feel well.” But please don’t trivialize it. It is not a biggie, it’s big. Big like an sumo wrestler sitting in my lap. And whatever suffering a person encounters, it’s big and crushing. And in that state of suffering, it seems unfathomable that someone (St. Faustina) would pray to be able to drink the whole bitter cup of suffering. How does that happen?
Baby steps. Step one: Pray it up. Step two: Swim in Scripture. Step three: The next time suffering presents itself, conscientiously bear the pain -- whatever that looks like -- so that another experiences Love.