PMS Is Your Friend…A Pregnancy Guide
Lamaze: do I really need to do this?
Let me start by saying that during our first pregnancy, MRS and I attended an Over 30 Lamaze class which allowed us to meet a lot of new friends and realize that we were not the only couple in the world without tongue rings and lower back tattoos having kids. Other than that, from the male perspective, Lamaze was a total waste of time. This statement, of course, excludes you if you happen to be the OCD type that needs every morsel of information on every aspect of life in order to function.
If you are like me, a whisper closer to a go-with-the-flow mentality, you do not need Lamaze; but you need to take the class, regardless. From a CYA perspective, attending said class will be one of the endless and often confusing aspects of pregnancy-life that we men just have to endure. We do these things out of love, out of respect, and out of sheer uncompromised terror. Plus, if you happen to find yourself in a high-risk pregnancy, or dealing with unusual circumstances, youll be best served to be as informed as possible.
Man need not apply
If you find yourself in an according to Hoyle pregnancy, you need just one piece of advice. This gem was imparted to me at a party during pregnancy #1. Some veteran father of three that I met at a Christmas party pulled me away from a group Lamaze chat and said, Do you want the real scoop? Of course I said, yes. They dont need you. My dim gaze told him I needed further clarification. You are paying professional doctors and nurses good money to deliver your baby. Trust me, they dont need some fumbling, freaked-out, father-to-be getting in the way trying to get his wife to breath and count of ten and focus on a lucky charm across the delivery room. Your main duty is to not piss off your wife, and mentally prepare yourself for the metamorphosis that you are about to witnessif you can bear to look at it.
Exorcisms for Dummies
What a relief. The first couple Lamaze classes made my head spin. Every time my wife farted I thought it was premature labor and I found myself paging our obstetrician. The revelation, they dont need me, turned out to be dead-on since she really did not need me. And most of all it allowed me to focus on the real challenge: spending nine months with a pregnant woman. Or as I call it: spending nine months with the evil spirit that possessed my wife.
As those of you living with a pregnant woman are learning, and those of us who have survived it already know, pregnancy-life can be, if anything, unpredictable. Our beautiful cherubs, our snowflakes, our delicate life-vessels, can get downright nasty as they incubate our offspring. A select few women bask in pregnancys ever-warming glow, cherishing every cell replication, hoping only to decelerate the process to extend gestation to perhaps 18 months if it were possible. Even these whimsical creatures have the ability to turn on their impregnators as readily as Roys white tiger turned on him with ferocious haste and cold-blooded precision.
Unfortunately, the majority of our gals fall into the following general category: The Im fat, bloated, uncomfortable, sick of puking, dont care if you never get sex again, hormonally radioactive, dont call me crazy, I love you, I hate you, I love you, I hate you, what the crap is all this leaking, holy crap is my butt really this large, get me some iced cream, forget that get me my Tums, ah crap I have to barf again, have you finished repainting the nursery yet I asked you to do it seven minutes ago, I need another backrub, I never want anything to do with you againsubset.
When animals attack
Realize that even the first group of ladies, the Cherishers, could gnaw on your bones from the subtlest male transgression or misperceived cross look from the moronic Neanderthal sharing her beda la Montecore the tiger toward Mr. Horn. Fortunately, we men have legislation in force to prevent such brutality. Considering Group 1, The Cherishers, are capable of such lethal force, just imagine what atrocities Group 2, The Radioactives, are capable of delivering.
Maybe PMS isnt that bad
My darling bride, the creator of my two beautiful girls, the woman that I fully expect to grow old with, to my despair landed squarely in the middle of Group 2 for both pregnancies. Ladies and gentlemen, pay heed to these words. For I stared into the eyes and the soul of this creature and Im lucky to still be here to impart my wisdom. Were all familiar with the barely-perceivable mood swings some women may occasionally experience during menses (well, familiar at least with the urban myth associated with this monthly egg-drop since). Pregnancy can make you pine for those heavenly days. Trust me when I say that the volcanic instability that exists with the Group 2s will force you to redefine every ounce of your heterosexuality. Many a night during our pregnancies, I contemplated the advantages of life on the other team. Now granted, Ive never thought of other men in a romantic sense and that has remained constant throughout this process. But as any father knows, romance plays such an infinitesimal part of post-pregnancy life that the trade-off is rendered moot. That obstacle cleared, just imagine the inherited benefits of jumping ship: the doubled wardrobe, the built in golf partner, the death of chick-flicks, the complete and systematic removal of feminine issues and feminine products from the bathroom.
FFA Frightened Fathers Anonymous
OK. Maybe abandoning my career-long sexual preference is a radical move when I consider how time truly does heal all wounds. As MRS and I approach the two-year anniversary of her last pregnancy (well, at least her last pregnancy with me thanks to my Urologist and soldering iron), I have to admit that much of the anguish from those two nine-month torture sessions has faded. Granted, pregnancy was no cakewalk for her, what with the vomiting, the back pain, the breast pain, the enlarged rear that caused her so much angst, and the Mexican-jumping-bean hormones. But what about me? Where were my advocates? Where was my support group? What processes were in place to assuage my psyche from the months of fear and physical violence that befell me (OK, she only hit me once, but I did forget to tell the kid at Dairy Queen to leave the nuts off her sundae)?
The answers are simple. There are none. We are stranded souls shipwrecked on the Island of Turn the Other Cheek. And truth be told, its probably for the best. The fact is that pregnancy is hell on a womans body and mind. Men do not have the constitution to endure the process. So the least we could do is endure the one we love since our only other function in the process was the less-than-spectacular bedroom effort we made to initiate this crazy circus.
So todays moral: go to Lamaze. Acquiesce to all her needs. For after all, we do love them and they are growing our offspring. In between all the drama, youll have special, everlasting moments as you prepare for the new addition. And as I say about virtually every aspect of becoming a dad, the moments of bliss far outweigh the hours of agony.
Now those of you hiding from your pregnant partner, get off the computer and turn off the TV and go caress her hair and rub her back; just never drop your guard. Roy dropped his guard once and, well, you get the point.