Eat, Sleep, Drink, Vomit, Crack It. Rinse And Repeat.

Posted on September 21, 2009

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Hello everybody. I hope you are all well.

Michele is well and truly into her second trimester this month. 14 weeks and one day, to be precise.

This morning, she roused me from my wonderful sleep at 6AM with her Nokia alarm and said to me:

“Babe, could you iron my uniform for me?”

Silence.

Now when a man doesn’t answer his wife’s demands, it either means No, No or No. It’s just a man’s way of saying ‘No’. ‘No’, I don’t want to do it. ‘No’, it’s annoying when you ask me at odd times of the day and ‘No’ I won’t take the rubbish out either.

Rice crackers, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies...it's a pantry, not a bedside table!

Rice crackers, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies...it's a pantry, not a bedside table!

Truth is Michele hates ironing, and I won’t turn to ironing any sooner than watching Australian Football, but hey if your pregnant wife wants something, she had better get it or she’ll crack it. As many married men would say, a happy wife is a happy life!

Since the joyful discovery of our impending parenthood, Michele and I have learnt to cope with physical and emotional changes that seem to plague all new parents. So many new feelings, hopes, fears and questions.

Is that going to be safe to eat? Would she be getting enough nutrients? How are we going to cope with our finances next year? You look ill, are you ill? Do you want to rest? Have you taken your folic acid? You just threw up again, have you taken more fluids?

Then there’s the changes in our lifestyle.

Apart from a belly that’s already beginning to show, Michele doesn’t look any bigger at all. Still my same, sexy babe :O However I find myself having to slow my walking pace to a crawl to accommodate her. With an additional six kilogrammes of weight and a little bubba sucking her life force out of her, Michele’s often out of breath and gets tired easily. And until we get ourselves a car (we’re probably the only Aussie family without a car, ever.), we’re resigned to travelling by foot or public transport. And that means more walking.

Sandeep and I have also learnt to deal with Michele’s routine rounds of vomit. It’s never scheduled, it just happens. One moment the three of us are chatting in the kitchen, the next she runs to the toilet to vomit. I used to wince and find it off-putting, but now I just walk up to Michele and offer to clean her up. Vomit is never nice to look at, but it’s interesting to see how quickly (or slowly) Michele processes her food.

I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I think about the term ‘morning sickness’. The person who coined that must have been a funny chap. Or thinks he’s funny. It’s a never ending 24 hour cycle of vomit. If Michele needs to go, it could be 3PM after a siesta or 10PM before a light snack. She just goes.

In fact Michele has nicely christened our neighbours’ nature strip with her vomit many times over on her way home from the train station. I’m just glad she’s able to hold it in the train. How embarrassing it would be for her to vomit every evening on the way home! People who learn to recognise her and keep their distance!

Michele and I have have also seen a lighter side of her sudden cravings for food at odd hours of the day. 4AM kitchen raids are fairly common, and she has learnt to put snacks in her bedside table. There’s enough food in there to satisfy a growing adolescent. All throughout our dating years I like teasing Michele about over-eating (especially cakes and sweets after dinner) but I now find myself encouraging her to eat as much as possible. Michele finds it a good reason to pig out as well, claiming she’s not the hungry one because ‘the baby is!’.

Righto.

I’ve also found it a big challenge to keep my emotions under check as Michele has become strangely moody and blow hot and cold when I least expect it. Once, I got a little annoyed at her request and told her off. Usually that means the house goes silent for thirty minutes before I walk up to apologize for my behaviour. On that day however, Michele took umbrage to it, got very upset and burst into tears. I was shocked. I ended up apologizing to her again (what’s new?) and took a lot out of her to talk to me. I promised myself never to upset her again.

Now it’s ‘yes’ to everything she demands. Even if it means going getting out of bed to iron her uniform.

Sometimes, it’s not just me. Michele’s capable of unloading her emotions without my beck and call. She’ll come home, find the house ‘in a mess’ and just crack it. Or some strange, oddball reason to make me feel really small.

“Why’s the house so dirty? Why’s the cushion on the floor? Why is there a plate in the sink? Arghhh I’m so tired!”

‘Okay baby’, I just smile meekly and offer my assistance. There’s no reason to upset the balance of things. Our little kiddo’s obviously had a bad day at work and coupled with Michele’s long hours at work, emotions can become a little hairy.

I think pregnancy is all about learning how to forgive and accommodate. At least that’s how I see it from the husband’s point of view. Most times there’s really nothing I can do about it and as much as I’d love to solve it (as most men like to do) it’s simply beyond my control. Michele’s experiencing feelings she’s never felt before, and I’m just there to make her feel better or simply make it easier for her. It’s mostly highs and sometimes low, but we find it strangely comforting knowing that it’s all for one strange little fella who has parked itself in Michele’s belly.

Sometimes, when I feel like it’s all a little crazy, I just look at Michele’s ultrasound and stare at the baby. I wonder how it looks, what it’s thinking and how it’ll see me as a Daddy. I reckon I’ll be a cool Daddy, but I don’t know if I’ll be a good Daddy. I guess that comes with experience and copping the crap with a smile.

But that’s no different from having a pregnant wife, no?

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