PARENTS

Dad's Pregnancy Diary: Sympathy Pains

27/11/2013 12:24 | Updated 22 May 2015

Man holding woman's pregnant stomach in heart shapeRex Features

The second instalment of our new pregnancy diary - from the dad's point of view...

"One in the oven"; "up the duff"; "preggers"; "in the family way". There are so many silly phrases used for expecting a child.

But last week I found myself uttering perhaps the most misplaced sentence of all when announcing that my wife and were going to have a baby: "We're pregnant."

Erm, no, we're not. As far as my knackered, nauseous wife's current state of mind goes, SHE'S pregnant – and it is, frankly, my fault.

The euphoria of finding out she was "with child" has since dissipated to be replaced by a feeling that she's in a remake of that movie The Alien.

In fact, she wishes I could be pregnant too, so I could go round feeling like I was going to throw up all the time and be banned from drinking alcohol and nice cheese like her.

Actually, I've cut down on booze, but I haven't entirely stopped drinking in front of my wife. I'm cheekily tempted to say that if she's eating for two – perhaps I should be drinking for two. But I don't think she'd see the funny side.

Talking of things not going down well she's not actually eating for two, she's hardly eating for one, thanks to me being in charge of all the cooking. The list of things she doesn't want to eat includes onions, dried herbs, vinegar and sausages to name just a few.

And she turns her nose up at most of my concoctions especially as my quick pasta recipe repertoire is running out fast.

Which brings me back to the thorny issue of telling people that there's going to be a baby. Of course there's supposed to be this three month rule, when the threat of miscarriage decreases. But it's hard to observe.

And the thing that does give it all away, at least to other women, is my wife's food and drink choices. When she goes out and doesn't have a beer or glass of wine, then pokes her food as if there's something sinister hiding in it, they seem to immediately guess that she's pregnant and aren't afraid to ask.

Amazingly, however, at least two of my wife's friends guessed just from her walking into the room! Do women have some kind of sixth sense? After all, she's no bigger yet and didn't say a word.

Our cover was also blown by my two-year-old son who broadcast the fact that he was going to have a brother (does he know something we don't?) to the queue of parents and children waiting to get into nursery the other morning. Very embarrassing!

Perhaps we shouldn't have told him about the upcoming birth so soon. But telling him that "mummy had a baby in her tummy" was the only thing that has stunned our toddler into blissful silence for the last 12 months.

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When you do tell people that you're other half is expecting they'll often say, "Congratulations!", like you've won the lottery. This always seems strange to me. We feel very lucky of course, but congratulations seems to imply you've managed some sort of achievement too – when in fact, all you really did, was have unprotected sex.

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We've now had the first appointment with a midwife at the local hospital which caused much amusement. We were asked whether we would need an interpreter for the birth. Not unless, I was tempted to say, there was going to be a midwife who couldn't speak English in charge. Then we were asked if we had any social problems. Only, I thought, that we never get to go out together any more!

Eleven weeks in I'm still walking around in a state of excitement mixed with worry. Actually, I think I feel a bit sick. Perhaps I should tell my wife that I've just read about a study from the University of London that says men really do suffer sympathy symptoms during pregnancy – there's even a name for it – Couvade Syndrome.

Apparently, sometimes blokes' bellies can swell up which must surely explain my growing tum, rather than the fact that I'm finishing up my other half's uneaten dinner each night.

Mmm, perhaps "WE'RE pregnant!" after all.

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