It’s not just a coincidence anymore.
I was at home in Seattle, four months pregnant and hobbling to the bathroom because my lower back was all cinched up and compressed and angry. My husband James, across the country on a business trip, texted me, I’m gimping around New York like an old man. He had briefly mentioned lower back pain before his trip, when my own back started acting up. I suppose the long plane ride didn’t help. Or maybe that didn’t matter. We suffer when our loved ones suffer, right? Many of the pains associated with pregnancy happen on the physical plane. So whose to say he wasn’t literally feeling my pain? After all, back problems are not normal for this man.
He has also gained weight and complained of having to pee often.
When I can’t sleep, I lay in bed patiently, sometimes for hours. Not tossing or turning as much as thinking. Writing things in my head (like this) and replaying the day, digesting my existence. When a certain three year-old wedges herself between us I have extra motivation to remain still, eye covers on and ear plugs in. James, also wearing ear plugs and eye covers, has no way of knowing whether I am awake or asleep. Yet my pregnancy insomnia keeps him from sleeping. Maybe not immediately, but after I am awake for a while, or awake for a few nights in a row, he’s awake too.
There’s a name for it. Couvade Syndrome aka sympathetic pregnancy. But I call it love.