Pregnancy is a strange thing. I thought it would be like the movies where BAM! I’d feel instantly pregnant and I’d be urging my partner to make me abalone and gum leaf smoothies in the middle of the night and crying at petunias and crescent moons and things.
None of these things has happened; I am as brutish as ever, unmoved by double rainbows and The Notebook. But I have been intrigued by the following phenomena.
1.Beware the iguana
The list of things to avoid during pregnancy is long. Ham, soft cheeses, bloody meats, bloody marys… However, one item has surprised me. Iguanas. Yes! Iguanas. Specifically their turds, which can give you salmonella. For the baby’s launch date, I’ve arranged for an unhygenic iguana to roll a wheel of camembert into the delivery room. Stay tuned.
I did know that pregnancy makes your chest expand. This is a strange sensation for someone who is used to getting around like a concaved greyhound. What I didn’t realise is the startling metamorphis your nipples undergo. Once mine were modest, milky-latte coloured things. Coy, even. Now they’re so large and dark they could, via high-frequency radio waves, guide distressed ships to safety. I know the reason behind their Jekyll and Hyde transformation is so that babies can home in on them. But I fear that once they are unfurled, baby may actually be more inclined to call Crime Stoppers than latch on.
3.Speaking of nipples
So I may be jumping the gun by a few months talking about labour, but it pays to be prepared. I did know about some labour-inducing techniques – rogan josh for breakfast, walks round the block, driving on bumpy roads, star jumps, using a shoe horn, begging etc. But apparently the only proven technique is nipple tweaking and stimulation. For three hours. If you are available to help in early September, please email me your CV and relevant experience.
Mysterious pains seem to spring from all directions. First there was this nervey-pain in my arms. I’d be rubbing my forearms on any available surface for relief: steering wheels, fences, my colleagues, my partner’s ankle bone… A diagnosis came in: carpal tunnel syndrome. Not just for office workers who go too hard at the keyboard, carpal tunnel syndrome is a joy also reserved for pregnant women. Who knew? Then there’s the foot cramps that seem to surpass anything I’ve experienced after hours of tennis on asphalt. These pain comets come in hard, then, when you think you can take no more, they kick up 14 notches. Good practice, I suppose, for D day.
5.Does my peeing know no bounds?
It seems I spend the majority of my days weeing. Not short trickly ones either – long, luscious, noisy, I-cannot-believe-it’s-still-going-type pees. Horse-style. At the other end of the spectrum, pregnant ladies can also experience the most gill-greening constipation. Apparently. So I’ve heard. Ahem. *reaches for lentil juice *
6.The magic zipper line
I have developed a strange and magical line down the front of my belly (called linea nigra in fancy Latin). Apparently we all have it, but pregnancy brings it out. It’s like a faded zipper scar and impressively straight!
In preparation for the launch date, Dennis Wongbert (imaginary dog) is making a papier-mâché egg to crouch inside. At the very moment baby launches out of me, he will thrust both paws above his head for a double-pronged punch and burst out of the egg! A bit like how Monkey Magic was born.