Being pregnant is a wonderful thing to witness up close and personal.

Boy oh boy, you haven’t seen the wonders of the human body until you’ve witnessed a woman’s body adjust to being pregnant. One of the adjustments is that she starts to produce a lot of saliva, and I mean quite a lot. Like a tot glass full, every hour, on the hour. Obviously one cannot swallow all that saliva and even if one tried, it would hurt because of course one’s teeth hurt from all that throwing up you see. So of course, one must find a cup or mug and drain into it. And here is where as a man, you come into the picture. Someone has to empty the puke bucket regularly, scrub it out and present it for re-use immediately, the spittoon must similarly be replaced regularly and presented with a glass of fresh, cold water to aid in the washing out of one’s mouth; here’s a useful tip, if you swallow a bit of water prior to or even during a pause in the throwing up, it will immensely aid the act of throwing up. Less bile comes up you see.

The other thing you must become proficient at is reading facial tics, moans, whimpers, groans and stretches. One kind of bodily stretch might mean she wishes to have the pillow readjusted or have the blanket turned down, another might mean that you need to close the window to shut out the growling of the dogs in the garden. Also, you must, I cannot emphasise this enough, develop doglike hearing for the times when you’re in the kitchen doing the washing up (another unmentioned task, of many, that will fall to you) and she whispers your name from the bedroom because she feels a heave coming on and it helps when you rub her back as she throws up. That stuff in the movies where the guy holds the lady’s hair back as she upchucks into the bathroom sink, yep, been there, done that, won the t-shirt. At some point, I started to get all antsy because my baby is in pain and nothing I’m doing seems to be helping. That sensation of helplessness Is. Not. Nice.

All of that, and I do mean, all of that paled into insignificance the first day, about four days ago, when she reached for my hand and placed it to the side of her lower belly … and I felt a pulse … boy, was that an aha moment!