March62013

Size does matter!

No matter what anyone tells you, size does matter … especially for a pregnant woman.

In the early stages there’s that wonderful, anticipatory element of slowly watching the belly get a little bit larger each week as it heads towards bumpdom. This is a time when she is embarking upon her pregnant journey, coming to terms with what is happening to her and excitedly awaiting the next new revelation….. ahhhh bliss (well except for the morning sickness - which sure as ovaries isn’t just the morning!).

But then, size does matter.

One day, she goes through her normal morning routine (stumble blearily out of bed, make way to the the bathroom, empty contents of stomach, have shower, dress and then … her shoes don’t fit!

She has come to the startling realisation thst her belly isn’t the only thing getting larger. Her feet now don’t fit her shoes, her hat doesn’t sit quite as comfortably, those jeans that she was just managing to still fit into are no longer an option.

Yes from here on out her fashion requirements have significantly changed. Gone are the wedges and high heels, tailored clothing,  and you can just flat out forget about those leather boots with the 6 inch heel.

As for the clothing, if it rides up - gone, if it won’t stretch - gone, if it aint large enough - its gone to the bottom of the drawers. Words like lycra, elastane and maternity have become the fashion catchcry.

Our next shoe shopping excursion involves us racing around trying to find the flattest, most comfortable sandal/jandal/shoe things she can find. A recent trip to a pacific island meant i had a number of sarongs when I returned and believe me they have become the homewear fashion of choice.

In fact with my wife wearing a combination of jandals and sarongs, and most of my evenings spent massaging said feet, nights at our place look like a holiday catalogue among a seas of cushions - minus the palm trees and rolling waves of course.

Speaking of cushions and size, thank the lord above we own a super king bed. 3/4 of our sleeping arrangements have me struggling against a veritable cushion/pillow fortress. I have to storm the gates to get close enough for a hug. 

Still, it’s all to keep our little ray of light (and our baby) as comfortable as possible so I can’t really complain …………much..

til next time

THE PREGNANT HUSBAND

January172013

Your baby is a … spaghetti squash?

So there’s numerous strange things and goings on that accompany pregnancy. People’s irresistable urge to stare at my wife’s belly (obviously resisting the desire to run up and rub it) is up there, but one of the strangest I’ve encountered to date is the why my unborn child’s development is categorised as a progression of fruit and vegetables.

From starting as a poppy seed through to eventually making it to large pumpkin status there seems to be a fashion of referring to my little one as if they were tiers of the ‘special ingredient’ section of Iron Chef America. 

If you haven’t come across this before, here’s the basic order:

poppy seed

sesame seed

lentil

blueberry

kidney bean

grape

kumquat

fig

lime

pea pod

lemon

apple

avocado

turnip

bell pepper

large tomato

large banana

large carrot

spaghetti squash (that’s us now)

large mango

ear of corn

large cucumber

cauliflower

small cabbage

butternut

large cabbage

four oranges

coconut

pineapple

melon

watermelon

and at birth … A Pumpkin!

Who knew? Here I was thinking I’m having a child. But no, I was wrong. My wife will give birth to a buffet.

Suddenly I’m more inclined to seek the services of Gordon Ramsay rather than a midwife. And as for appearance I’m now expecting to be father to a rotund green-topped orange-belly sphere that goes wonderfully with roast meat.

Oh well, that’s impending fatherhood for you.

THE PREGNANT HUSBAND

January42013

Getting FAT and CRAZY

Pregnancy, Things can get a little CRAZY

image

Pregnancy can be emotionally scary! When you’ve heard the phrase “Life is all swings and roundabouts” I think they might have been describing a pregnant women in her first trimester.

So as Marvin Gaye sang ‘WHATS GOING ON?’ here’s my thoughts.

Firstly, She’s UBER-HORMONAL!

Since conception she’s had an influx of extra hormones kicking in and this has an effect on her.  On the inside both physically and emotionally a lot is going on as her body goes into reproductive overdrive. Mixed levels of random feelings are fairly commonplace. Some women experience real extremes, thankfully my lovely lass hasn’t had those … yet! But there have been the weepy moments that for us blokes just don’t seem to have any circumstantial justification and you know what? This time we’re right! But what needs to be realised is that despite all logic telling US otherwise our partner is genuinely feeling what she’s feeling.  Our role is not to reason, but just be there for her.  From what I’ve researched this only affects some women for maybe the first 6-12 weeks (yes, remember that’s how we measure PregTime).

Secondly, she’s not FAT, she’s Pregnant!

During those first mood swing months all the usual insecurities about image become amplified. The physical changes on the inside of her belly push everything out. This is where phrases like ‘carry’ and ‘bump’ become used. Like she already didn’t have image concerns we’ve now described her stomach as something to be carried and compared her waistline to a judder bar.  Lots of thing contribute to the shape and size of a pregnant belly. Position of the baby, location of the placenta, walls of the uterus etc. My wife started ‘showing’ a lot earlier than expected .When we had our first scan we figured out why. The placenta is placed at the top and forward part of my wife’s abdomen. Some women have this lower, or at the back or – the list goes on. So I started getting a lot of Am I Fat? questions which more recently have turned into wailing laments in front of the mirror sounding something like “I’m FAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT, nothing fits MEEEEEEEEEEEE”.

At this time boys, you’d expect me to say tread carefully. She’ll be sensitive (see top paragraph above). But, I’m honest. I’ve always said quite honestly You’re not Fat, you’re Pregnant. Celebrate that. Call me sappy but I’m enjoying seeing my wife’s belly getting a little bigger each week – for me it’s that bit of validation that the magic is happening.  

Bottom line, Pregnancy is a stressful time, not just emotionally, but also physically for her. I reckon our job is to recognise that it’s a hell of a unique journey we are on and the best part we can play is to help that journey go smoother. Be the shoulder to cry on, the mate to laugh with, the shopping buddy - to find something that fits, y’know just BE THERE.

Anyway, that’s enough for now.

Till next time,

THE PREGNANT HUSBAND

January12013

And so it begins … (or is that began?)

I ARE A PREGNANT HUSBAND.

Why put it like that? Just to highlight the fact that:

1. All those things that used to hold such priority (like good grammar!) pale in significance to the fact that I am now one half of bringing a new life into the world.

and

2. I may not be carrying the child in my belly but as I’m learning, I am very much part of this ‘pregnancy’ thing.

So, for my first time as a pregnant husband after the first trimester I have learned a hell of a lot (which I’ll go into more specifically at another time) but for now here’s a quick series of thoughts:

Love goes into overdrive Or ‘I thought I loved my wife a lot, but watching her go through the process to be the mother of my child, it’s very lots’ (remember that grammar thing I discussed earlier?). 

Pregnancy for us men is like an out of body experience. To use a football analogy, I share in every moment that I can, but as it’s not happening inside MY body, it’s definitely a sideline POV. This is one game where you can’t call the plays. It’s more a case of read and react!

Be supportive, listen to her, best advice I can give to any expectant father to be. My wife and I have always had a very good communicative relationship so the little things like mood swings (yes those are real) and irrational and illogical thoughts are normalised because we talk and share.

Amazingly, everything becomes measured in weeks. Learning to run the calcs in your head as medical professionals discuss your pregnancy becomes second nature - you’ll really know you’ve got it when you start asking other soon-to-be-dads/mums how many weeks they are!

Speaking of measurements, I discovered the expected birth date is calculated from her first day of her last menstrual period, not the approximate date of conception. I didn’t know that. 

Nothing can prepare you for the the unbridled joy of seeing your first ultrasound scan or hearing your child’s heartbeat.

Pregnancy Wives Tales while entertaining (and at times unnerving), are really not worth listening to.Mostly the sweeping generalisations about the symptoms of pregnancy are just that, sweeping - some miss, some hit.

Morning sickness for my wife was not just in the morning! Thankfully for her this stopped around 13-14 weeks.

Bland tasteless food became her favourite thing to eat for the first couple months and my wife was the type to order Indian food as Indian Hot at restaurants.

Coffee became the devil! She couldn’t stand the stuff.

Her nose became like a beagle’s - sense of smell that is, not appearance. Heaven forbid if I let the toast burn.

'Baby brain' is REAL and at times hilarious to witness!

My wife’s joints and muscles ache in funny places - therefore I am becoming an expert shoulder, back and foot masseur.

Arrrgh, the snoring! Nobody prepared me for that little pregnancy side effect. My delicate flower snores like a freight train next to me.

Anyway I’ll add more as I think of it - believe me, I’m just getting started.

Till next time, Cheers

THE PREGNANT HUSBAND

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