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We’re pregnant! Are we pregnant?

The Dilemma of the Plural Pregnancy


Updated December 10, 2011

Couple Relaxing
Photo © Eriko Koga/Getty Images
We’re pregnant! How many time have you heard a mother-to-be or father-to-be utter these words? The answer is probably plenty of times. You hear it at work. You hear it at your social outings. Heck, you might hear it in your early pregnancy classes.

Now comes the big question: How does it make you feel to hear someone use the plural we when it comes to pregnancy? Don’t get your rose colored glasses in a fog just yet, you might not be alone if you don’t immediately warm to the idea.

You probably fall into one of three camps on the matter of “We’re pregnant!” or the plural pregnancy:

  • Isn’t that great!
    If you’re in this camp about plural pregnancy announcements, you probably understand that pregnancy is something, that while physically done by the mother alone, take team work. This team work is about mentally and emotionally preparing for the arrival of a new baby into the family. It can also be about the physical support that a new mom needs as she’s going through pregnancy. (Think someone to help do house work, while she’s throwing up in the bathroom.) Typically people in this camp are pregnant for the first time are or trying to conceive. (It’s not to say that it can’t be done or done right, it’s just to say that it’s really hard to feel like you’re a team when only one of you is sick or doesn’t want to eat. The opposite is also true, when you’re alone the one feeling the baby move, that’s a pretty special secret.)

  • Isn’t that awful?
    If you snort when someone makes this announcement, you’ve probably already had a baby or two. Perhaps you even once were in the first camp only to figure out that it really doesn’t work the way that you had originally thought it would work; the sharing of tasks, the sharing of emotional burden, the reading of pregnancy and childbirth books, the research about baby products, day care options and the like. Don’t considered yourself jaded quite yet, let’s call it realistic.

  • Who cares?
    If you rolled your eyes when you saw that this was my topic, then you’ve probably had way more than two kids and could care less how people feel about the language they use when referring to pregnancy. As long as it works for them – who cares? Right?

The funny thing is that while this statement can stir a lot of controversy, you don’t get nearly the same visceral reaction from statements like:

  • We’re having a baby!
  • We bought a house.
  • We have a dog.
  • We are cleaning the basement.

I’m not sure what the difference is here for these statements, because I’m positive that someone does more housework than another, even if the other party does more of something else. And we’ve all known someone who begs to get a dog, promising to clean up after the dog, only to forget that the dog is “theirs” after a few cold mornings. It’s all a trade off, right? So if “We’re pregnant!” is the oft heard statement, one that you never hear is “We’re giving birth!” Seriously, no man in his right mind steps up for that task, not because of the physical labor, but because he knows that moms owns this job out right. While this does not in anyway negate his part of the process, it’s a realistic look at how labor goes. So the next time someone cheerfully exclaims “We’re pregnant!” Smile. Nod your head and know that they’ll either figure it out for themselves or it works for them as a couple.

Readers Respond: How do you feel about some saying, "We're pregnant?"

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