The Fortnightly Belly Show – Episode 5 (week 24)

Posted on December 7, 2009


Hello, I hope you are all well.

It’s been a pretty difficult fortnight for Michele and I. We are learning so much about pregnancy and all its side effects and mostly deal with it fine as all new parents-to-be do. Everything has been covered in pregnancy books and we’ve all taken it in our stride. Surprises were, are and will be aplenty but each day is a new day of discovery for us.

Sometimes though, nothing can prepare you for the pain brought about as a side effect of pregnancy, and as a husband and a father-to-be, you feel completely powerless as your wife withers in wretched pain.

More commonly associated with prolonged computer usage, Michele copped a heavy dose of carpal tunnel syndrome last week. The pain – which was a methodical, throbbing pulse that resonated throughout her left arm – was so bad Michele had to take three days off work. The pain kept her up for a few nights, and she pretty much resembled a pregnant zombie in the day.

On the first night it happened, work beckoned and I was away. To hear your wife sobbing and moaning in pain over the phone but having no control whatsoever is a pretty traumatic experience. Her cries of pain even kept Toby up all night. He knew something was wrong, and kept vigil over Michele in his best doggy way – pacing up and down the room. It’s probably his way of telling Michele he senses something’s not right, and he’s there for support. How completely noble of Toby.

I couldn’t control what happened to her as I couldn’t leave work and I didn’t know what to do. Worse, I didn’t even know why she was in pain.

“A throbbing pain in the wrist? How’s that anything to do with pregnancy?” I first thought. I’ve experienced various degrees of carpal tunnel over the years myself, but I’ve never had to take time off from work or break down physically. After witnessing my wife’s ordeal, I feel much tamer just witnessing pain and anguish as it’s presented to me in a raw, unadulterated format.

A trip to the doctor later, I have come to this conclusion on pregnancy – Expect Everything, Assume Everything. If carpal tunnel is a side effect, I’d wager in the coming months Michele would do worse as she’ll soon sprout wings on her back, her eyes would turn incandescent purple and she’ll be able to cartwheels on her opposable thumbs.

That, as she juggles seventeen apples in the air as she contorts her body to fit into a goldfish bowl and recites the Old Testament backwards.

Yes, I’m ready for all of that.