Let’s get this straight: I love my children, I love my husband and I would, in a different lifetime, pop as many offspring as I can possibly afford and have time to bring up. But that doesn’t mean I enjoy the 40 weeks of mutation; putting up with the erratic, unexplained cravings, the urge to punch anyone enjoying their drinks and sushi a little too much in front of me and the physical metamorphosis from a petite size two to an uncategorized size whatever-fits.
I simply don’t do pregnant well.
I believe I am not alone with these feelings. While most of my friends thrive and bloom during pregnancy like sweet, ripe mangoes in the sun, there are those like me who turn misshapen in the heat, threatening to burst sour, acidic juices at the skins should you even touch us. This is the time when a little tenderness and consideration from the other half would go a long way in making the journey that much more bearable.
But hey, who are we kidding right? We are talking about men here, after all. For all the times he would consciously make an effort to pretend he understands what you are going through, there would be those moments when he would make you feel like clubbing him over the head with the fetal heartbeat monitor.
We have been weaned on a lifetime of picture-perfect pregnancy ideal, thanks to soft-focus advertising campaigns and marketing spiels. And while being pregnant is a beautiful and miraculous journey, it can also be lonely, frightening and frustrating . Here are five gems from my journey that I hope would make you (fellow pregnant mummies) feel a little bit better that you are not alone, and that it is alright to feel frustrated, impatient and non-maternal during pregnancy.
You see, what we go through — even putting up with the annoying, insensitive husband — will all pass when we hear our baby’s first cry and hold her in our arms. In that instant, all is forgiven. Although perhaps, not forgotten… just yet.
Husbands, Five Things You Should Never Say to Your Pregnant Wife:
1. Do not use terms like “nice breast”, “hot” and make admiring, salivating expressions like “oooh”, “wow” while watching the television unless you are commenting about the chicken in the latest fried chicken advertisement.
Husbands, we are right next to you, feeling like a slab of gammon ham at the moment, so we would greatly appreciate if you could refrain from openly admiring the sexy, lithe creature in the movie that probably paid a small fortune to get that sexy, lithe body that your wife once had — naturally, too — before she decided to sacrifice all that to give you a bloodline.
2. Do not make jokes about our appetite because unbeknown to you, we cannot control our urges to feed… and feed and feed and feed.
Make no mistake about it, we are a slave to the growing human inside of us. We feed so it can feed and grow into the little people that will most probably bear uncanny resemblance to you, right down to the way you make thoughtless remarks to your wife, they will probably do so to their mother. But being the giving, more superior human being that we are, we still eat our way through the nine months so you will get a chance to hold a mini-you in your arms at the end of our journey.
3. When we make self-deprecating jokes and remarks about ourselves, do not add insult to our self-inflicted injury. More often than not, we are calling out for some reassuring words that despite our changed appearance, you still find us attractive.
For example, when the wife says, “ Did you see the photos from the shoot yesterday? I looked like an overgrown sow!” Do not reply, “Hey, I have the tougher job here. I have to look at you, you know.” It might be a joke to you but that hurts.
Wives, in this instance, please, just clobber him on the head with whatever you can lay your hands on at the moment. Shoes are good too.
4. When we tell you that we are having a checkup with the gynaecologist , do not ask us, “do you need me there?”
No, we do not NEED you there. Heck, technically we do not even NEED you around when we give birth to the baby, you know. Come to think of it, we can probably bring up the kid alone! You get my drift. There is nothing we need you to be there for but it would be good if you take a vested interest in the entire process of growing this little creature you have a part in creating. Nothing makes a pregnant woman feel more depressed than having to always solo her routine checkups, buy the baby items on her own, build her own nursery and choose the baby’s name all by herself.
5. Do not make thoughtless comments about our changing body when you catch us buck naked.
We did not ask for those orange peel skins on our once flawless thighs. We did not ask for our breasts to now resemble discoloured gourds with areolas the size of a compact disc. We did not ask for that third nipple to spring out of our flesh and we just as hell did not ask for trotters where sexy gams once used to be.
There you go, my mummies-to-be. Shove this article in his face or better still share this with him online, he won’t miss it — am pretty sure. He’s probably staring at some tech, sports or motor website right now; in his gaming zone, catching up on his Daily Mail gossips, or checking out Facebook pictures of other un-pregnant girls. Yes, that is the man we married, and would probably do it all over again, foot in mouth syndrome or otherwise.