However, I have a reasonably reasonable excuse for recent tardiness / tiredness / grumpiness. I have been busy manufacturing one of these:
Who knew? Well, I did, obviously. Mostly because I'm not one of those 17 year-olds you see on a cable channel who doesn't know they're pregnant until they're giving birth in the yoghurt aisle of Tesco. Also TheBloke (TM) knew, because there's a reasonable chance he might be the father. (But if the baby comes out black, I've already explained to him that it's because he grew up in Africa, and hasn't he ever heard of recessive genes? So we should be fine.)
So has pregnancy changed me? Undoubtedly:
- Massive norks
- Comedy tummy
- The invention of something called a snomit - half sneeze, half vomit.
The whole thing has left me feeling less earth mother, and more... vaguely resentful that men don't need to go through this. Now, whilst my work's maternity policy is generous, I'm 90% sure that if men had to have babies, the following would be mandated by the government:
- Leave to commence immediately on finding out you're pregnant
- Full pay for 5 years' mandatory leave, half pay for a further 5 years
- A £50,000 bonus for having gone through it.
I also think medical care would be different if men had babies. From what I've read, the best thing to hope for is a "natural" childbirth with no drugs at all. Because that's how nature intended it.
Bollocks to that. Nature intended you to die from a nasty toothache if it meant you couldn't eat, but because men get toothache too, we've since overcome that problem with Novocaine and pliers.
Imagine a man going to the hospital because he needs his leg amputated. The below is not far different from genuine conversations I've had about pain relief in labour:
Man: So yeah, I guess I'm going to have to have my leg amputated.
Doctor: That's right. Have you thought much about "natural amputation"?
Man: What do you mean?
Doctor: Well, we find drugs can have some nasty side effects. Anaesthesia might make you a bit sleepy, and that's not - you know - natural - so, we've thought of a few different options. How about HypnoAmputation?
Man: What's that?
Doctor: Basically instead of injecting you with pain-killing chemicals, we just talk to you a bit.
Man: Oh. I don't really think that's for me.
Doctor: No problem, no problem. Gas and air?
Man: Not sure that'll do either, honestly.
Doctor: Bouncing up and down on an inflatable ball? Whilst doing some deep breathing? We could even put some whale music on in the background?
Man: Nope - I was hoping for something more... pain-killy.
Doctor: Hmm... I've got it! How about you get in our amputation pool, where some luke-warm water will allow you to have a peaceful amputation without the need for nasty drugs.
So yes, the labour part terrifies me. It all seems so... farmyard. Also, the baby bit terrifies me too, but people say that's normal. We shall see.