A partner’s guide to being pregnant

What every man should know - or - Wake up and smell the coffee

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We all know it takes two to get pregnant and it’s something of an advantage to be a couple sharing pregnancy. If you’re committed to supporting your partner as she grows your child then here’s the Idiot’s Guide to what you should know about her pregnancy, tongue (placed loosely) in cheek of course…

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It’s been a hard day’s night 
It might be no bigger than a pea, but this princess is not exaggerating the exhaustion your child is causing in these early weeks. It’s no mean feat to go from a single cell to miniature wriggling human in 10 short weeks and if all I want to do besides work is sleep then yes, it is your turn to do the cleaning again. If you want the neighbour’s number for her ‘help’, it’s on the fridge. By the way, you’ll notice that it’s ‘your child’ and you better get used to that, because from here on in whenever it’s causing trouble it’ll be ‘your child’, it’s mine when it’s adorable and loving. Obviously.

Hey, good lookin’
Did you know that more women get morning sickness than don’t? Strangely enough in the early weeks I may be capable of dashing off to retch in the loo at the merest whiff of cooking and then be able to tuck in only minutes later. I might be sick all day, not be able to so much as look at some foods, just have mild nausea or be totally erratic with my sickness.

Whichever it is, cooking can be less than appealing for me at the moment so you might need to step up to the stove more often than you’d like. And whether it’s early pregnancy nausea or post-birth recovery that’s keeping me away from kitchen action we still need a balanced diet, so it’d be helpful if you could branch out from your one set-menu you like to dish up when it’s your turn to cook, particularly when this is beans on toast (you know who you are).

NB: Excessive consumption of take-out may bankrupt us and anyway, I’ve gone off pizza, so think again.

Cry me a river
I know it’s just the ten o’clock news, but there are babies starving in Somalia, children armed with guns in the Congo and earlier on Lassie got injured while trying to rescue kidnapped twins. Sometimes I don’t even need a reason to cry and you wouldn’t either if you had this amount of hormonal havoc running through your veins. And before you mock, I saw your eyes redden when Arnie melted himself at the end of Terminator 2, it’s emotional becoming a dad too.

I’m so dizzy
No really, my head is spinning. You ought to know from the start that when I forget where I parked the car, when I leave that important presentation in my other bag and when your mobile’s gone through the washer, it’s not me, it’s the pregnancy. It’s a scientific fact that women’s brains shrink during pregnancy and we cannot be held responsible for temporary lapses of memory, reason or multi-tasking malfunctions. I know. I read it on the BBC. Besides, if you did your own washing it would never have happened.

If you think I’m sexy
In the early months you might find these new curves of mine tantalisingly sexy and be longing to get your mitts on those two newly luscious lovelies up front. But they’re gearing up for a new job now and can bloody hurt, so ask first and do me a favour: save tuning the radio dial for the radio. Thank you.

I’m in the middle of a chain reaction
You might not want to know about every single gag reflex, every ache, every worrying twinge and number of middle-of-the-night trips to the loo but there’s some weird stuff happening to me right now and I have to tell somebody. Frankly you’re the only person who has no choice but to put up with me. Besides which, as you lie there night after night sleeping like the oddly proverbial baby, or sit sipping your chablis of an evening, some of us are busy making our baby and it’s only fair that we should get you involved whatever way we can. Just be glad that I’ve now found a new audience on ThinkBaby and you only have to hear the half of it.

And finally….

You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Apparently for some women pregnancy is the time of orgasms, multiple orgasms and sexual emotional intensity, largely thanks to increased blood flow to the clitoris – making it more sensitive. And helping you find it in the first place. But if our own sex life is more shattered than earth-shattering you’ll just have to bear with me for a while. It’s not that I’m not interested in making love to you, I’m just not interested in making love to you. It’s not you, it’s me, blah, blah.

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This is my pregnant prerogative. You however, should still find me incredibly irresistible even when I begin to resemble a python that’s swallowed an elephant, and I can no longer trim my toenails – or anything else down there. If you don’t, then come up with a decent excuse that doesn’t involve my pregnant body. I am Judge Preggers and that is the Law.

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