In the movies, the female discovers she’s in the family way when she throws up at a fancy party or some such public spectacle. Real life I’m afraid, is not quite as dramatic.

There is no sudden dash to the bathroom one morning to upchuck the contents of one’s stomach, there is no sudden “Love, I missed my period so we’re preggers!” For one thing, there is no single woman whose period starts and ends on the exact same dates each month so you can pretty much rule that out. Periods, I have learnt, start and end on different dates depending on your woman’s cycle, changes in weight and diet, amount of physical activity and/or level of stress. Some people are just irregular.

What you do get is a mishmash of random occurrences. She might start to complain that her nipples are tender so she needs new bras because the old ones are tight. She might ask you to make chips to go with her coffee for breakfast. She could, while towelling herself dry after a shower, comment that her bodily hair has grown in length and quantity. She might start to complain that her feet are cold even though she’s wearing socks to bed. She will then complain in the middle of the night that her lower belly is on fire but the rest of her is cold to the touch. Her skin tone might start to lighten, which you will notice if like mine, your woman does not lather on the makeup like war paint.

She might start to prefer to lie on one side, usually her right-hand side. She will start falling asleep during episodes of Sons of Anarchy (a TV series about an outlaw violent motorcycle gang). She will sleep, sleep and sleep all Sunday. She will slowly become more absentminded. She will become super sensitive to sounds, like the two mosquitoes in the ensuite bathroom. She’ll want cheese and Fanta Strawberry at the supermarket. She might object to the smell of the silverfish or mukene that you’re preparing for the dogs’ food, which she didn’t mind before. She will probably cook less and less, woe unto you if you have no kitchen skills. She might suddenly decide that it’s too much trouble to leave the house in underwear because it’s too constricting. She will start to watch National Geographic specials on television about the birthing habits of elephants. She might not want you touching her in bed, except maybe to rub her lower back or wipe her down with a moist cloth in the middle of the night.

In my wife’s case, I knew something was up when she started passing me the bacon off her plate; such is her love for the breakfast meat. That is when I put my foot down and insisted on a pregnancy test (having already given myself a high five for scoring!).