20 Things I’ve learnt about pregnancy

I am an educated man and my friends tell me I’m intelligent, yet pregnancy and children have thrown up so many unexpected twists and turns I’m left wondering a) all why people go through this, and b) why aren’t we taught what will happen during and after gestation?

So, to educate and warn you, I present just some of my observations so far. Let’s start with pregnancy.

  1. It’s quite common for a pregnant woman to have a blocked nostril. Which can mean chainsaw-level snoring. However, it must be at a certain pitch that only men can hear because the woman will deny that she snores.
  2. When they’re ‘older’ the babies don’t just kick – they move from side to side. This creates bizarre effect on the stomach that inevitably invokes images from the movie Aliens.
  3. When experiencing kicking you can very easily delude yourself into thinking they’re having a strange conversation with you.
  4. The statistics on problems with pregnancy is the stuff of truly horrific nightmares and will make you paranoid. Do not every read them or do any research, ignorance is sometimes bliss.
  5. Everyone will offer advice. Don’t follow blindly – some will be good, some will be bad, some will be from the Dark Ages. Take what you need.
  6. “Tummy time” (something I’d never heard of) is NOT the same as “Hammer Time”.
  7. You will be sucked into conversations about your children’s education years and years before they’ll ever set foot in a school. Or are even born.
  8. Women really do glow during early pregnancy. They also go through a stage of near-bliss for a few weeks. Enjoy this period while you can. Later hormones will reduce this ecstatic period to a distant and unlikely memory.
  9. Nearly everyone will want to know the names before they’re born.
  10. Absolutely everyone will ask about the gender before birth. Some people will actually get upset if you tell them you’ve decided you’d rather be surprised. they will justify this aggressive position with talk of presents and clothes needing to be pink or blue. You can either a) point out that yellow, green and black are gender neutral, or b) tell them that reinforcing the stereotypes of pink and blue is a stupid tradition that helps no-one. Neither of these options will make any difference to the crazy people.
  11. People are genuinely happy when they discover you’re expecting. We’re talking huge smile, dispelling of any anger, rainbows and fairy-dust happy. It’s very heart-warming and further proof most people are good deep down.
  12. In weeks 24-30 or so the tummy will start to harden like a turtle shell.
  13. Comments about Mutant Ninja Turtles do not go down well in weeks 24-30.
  14. Not only do feet and ankles swell up but hands and fingers as well. You have to remove rings before too long or they may need to be cut off.
  15. Pregnancy cravings are real. Not all of them are weird. but a lot of them are…
  16. The first time you hear your babies’ heartbeats during scans you will feel tears well up in your eyes.
  17. Ask two doctors the same question and you will get two different answers. It seems baby doctors don’t talk to each other much.
  18. You will start talking funny ‘baby talk’ voices at her stomach even before they’re born. I think this must be a genetic imperative.
  19. You hear stories of pregnancy affecting memory. They are all understated. The pregnant woman is like a goldfish or a Queensland schoolkid. Sometimes they will even forget halfway through a sentence that they were talking and begin repeating the very same sentence. Having them say the same thing five times in half an hour will be entertaining – at first.
  20. Similarly, women are supposed to be prone to mood swings during pregnancy. Something I’ve not experienced. At all. Ever. Please don’t kill me if you read this honey.

And if you dare think you’ve learnt something, then the kids come along and your levels of bewilderment and amazement go through the roof!

TO BE CONTINUED IN “Things I’ve learned about having kids” aka “What the hell?!? Why didn’t someone tell me…?

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