Thoughts on becoming a dad for the second time
Wendy (my gorgeous 7-week pregnant wife) has been suffering with morning sickness for 3 days solid. In the last couple of weeks her “morning” sickness has varied between morning nausea, semi-quelled by some crackers on waking, to an awful, all-day nausea that is slightly and temporarily lessened by eating plain carbs (like crackers, Marie biscuits and toast) but hangs around persistently and debilitatingly, even quashing Wendy’s usually upbeat personality.
I’ve read enough on the topic to understand that it’s generally accepted (amongst the ladies at least) that it must have been some insensitive male that coined the phrase “morning” sickness, as it definitely seems to have very little to do with the morning – other than it ‘s there without fail every morning! On good days it seems to pass by lunchtime, but a lot of days it’s still there at bedtime.
As a man, incapable of ever experiencing this dreaded pregnancy scourge, it would be easy to wax lyrical on the topic, quoting experts and playing down the awfulness of it. But I won’t.
What I will say is that I know Wendy. And I know me. And I know that when I get a cold, and when Wendy gets the same cold- then it always seems that it hits me worse. (This is the crux of the phenomenon known as “man-flu”!)
Now we’ll never really know if men truly suffer flu worse than women, or if us men are just big babies – but I will say that I really doubt I’d “suck up” morning sickness as well as my Wendy is.
Morning sickness is grim. Wendy and I are both foodies, and when I see Wendy put off by most of our favourite dishes, and defaulting to simple carbs (and no meat in sight please!), then I know this must be serious.
So what can we men do to help? The articles that I’ve read on the topic aren’t too helpful, suggesting “be supportive” (duh!) and “avoid frying onions” (!). Ginger also seems to be a universally agreed nausea remedy (ginger ale, fresh ginger, ginger biscuits, ginger anything!) and it does seem to help Wendy. I figure supportiveness is the main one to focus on here – so don’t complain about the lack of rump steak on the menu, bring her crackers to nibble on and a ginger ale to sip when she wakes up in the morning. And try to avoid introducing bad odours to her environment (you know what I mean…) as her sense of smell is in hyper-drive.
One of my female Twitter buddies tweeted that if men had to get morning sickness, then the world would stand still. I think she is right. Judging by my productivity levels when I have even a mild hangover, I would seriously NOT cope with morning sickness for any length of time (and a greasy breakfast definitely won’t help morning sickness either!)
So all props to the ladies who make babies happen. I’m behind you. And I would honestly like to share the burden. Not because I would handle it any better, but because I’d love to give Wendy a break.
This article was first published on http://www.mommymatters.co.za