Do I know what I'm letting myself in for?
To be honest, no. I have never done this before (not that I know of) but I am looking forward to it, very much.The thought of having a little mini-me running around is brilliant. We still have a while to go yet, but everyday the bump gets bigger and we have to consider more and more things to buy or read up on. I knew about the hormone imbalance that women go through during pregnancy, such as morning sickness for example but until you have experienced these hormonal outbursts first hand, you don't know the half of it! Oh - a little piece of advice - never, ever, refer to her pregnancy as an illness!
As hard as it looks
My girlfriend has been coping very well so far. She had continuous morning sickness, and let me tell you that the term 'Morning sickness' is not accurate. It's about as accurate as saying the Eiffel Tower is in Clacton-on-Sea. This sickness can be any time of the day. It also doesn't even mean you are physically sick, just feeling sick is enough. We are into week 17 now and I'm glad to say the Anytime Sickness has subsided. I'm glad of this, not only because she now feels better but because it means I have less jobs to do. Making two different kinds of dinner every evening was making me a little tired, as was doing the washing up and tidying up whilst my girlfriend sat on the sofa with her feet up (feeling sick). Of course I didn't mind doing all of the work, she is after all carrying my child and I can't moan at that one bit. Filling a dishwasher isn't as hard as it looks.
You say Butternut Squash?
One of the big changes my girlfriend (Helen) has gone through is that she no longer eats meat. Not so bad I hear you say, but when you consider she enjoyed carnivorous activities more than a Tyrannosaurus Rex, you can imagine my bewilderment when she turns her nose up at a slice of quality counter ham or a chicken jalfrezi curry. Whilst the drawbacks for me mean not eating as much of the red flesh as before, the flip side is that I now eat more vegetables than ever. It's not because I'm lazy, more of a fact that I am exploring with new recipes (thanks Jamie Oliver) that we can both eat. I have sampled more vegetables in the last few weeks than the whole 27 years of my life on this rock. Can you say "Butternut Squash"? I thought it was a drink until I found out it's shaped like a phallic love sculpture and is actually a hard solid (as one would expect from a phallic symbol) vegetable that tastes a bit like potato. At least it did to me when I used it in a Vegetable Jalfrezi. It's not just the exotic vegetation either, I've found out that cauliflower doesn't taste of flowers and a Swede is more than a descriptive term for a Scandinavian.
Rush in to grab it
Now what about the birth? How am I meant to deal with that one? Helen goes into labour at 3am and I have to find her hospital bag, which is pre prepared about 4 weeks before baby is due and left on the bed in the spare room. So when I rush in to grab it and find its not there, which inevitably it won't be, I turn into a wreck whilst running round the house looking in the cupboards for a bag full of breast pads and spare knickers amongst other items. I don't know what they are yet, I haven't compiled a list of what we need.
Travel through a ring
Now here is the scary bit. I have to drive her to the hospital. Fine and dandy, but what if your directional sense is comparable to that of a Lemming? The hospital is 15 minutes away and I have to travel through a ring road system to get there. I am dreading this moment because I know that one wrong turn will mean I have to go all the way around again or simply end up at a hospital in Leicester. So I will be doing test runs in the months leading up. I will take Helen with me so she can show me the way, then I will do it alone. I may even consider making a CD of Helen pretending to be in labour. At least then I can simulate a journey to the hospital as she screams at me and calls me a f!#$er. If I can do that and get there without being snapped by a speed camera, there is a good possibility that my baby will be born where it was supposed to be, not on the counter of some roadside truckers' cafe on the Birmingham New Road.*
God help that little one of mine.
* If I do actually travel on that road to get to the hospital, you can be sure it was a fluke of a guess and nothing more. Otherwise, I'll see you all in that cafe.