Pregnant Days

Week 6: Pregnancy Farts + Trying To Hide Them

There was a time when I couldn’t locate herself in our house, especially on the weekends. She’d be pottering around somewhere doing something twee. In contrast my weekend roaming patterns are predictable, I lie on the couch and watch stuff that rots my brain.

I used to have to shout her name out to make me a cup of tea, but she always ignored me. When she eventually made it to the TV room, I would accuse her of neglecting me.

“Firstly, you’re a lazy git. Secondly I was cleaning the bathroom so I couldn’t hear you.” As long as we have lived in this house we’ve had the same weekend routine; I call out for a tea which is met with silence, then when our paths cross later that evening I would get the same excuse that she was polishing the lavatory.

It has taken 6 weeks of pregnancy to reveal to me that she never was cleaning the bathroom as she claimed to be. The truth is, she was quietly eating chocolate and drinking tea in the kitchen whilst I lay prostrate in another room. How do I know this? Because she now has farts so loud our dog winces. It’s like a trumpet call from her arse. The first time I heard her bottom burp I forced myself off the couch to investigate.

“Did that horrific noise just come out of your arse? Also where’s my cup of tea?”
“I have a build up of them by the weekend, I have to force them out… it’s so stressful in work trying to keep them in. Also make your own tea you lazy git.”
“A build up?”
“Yes! I’m bloated and full of gas. I’m just grateful that I’m a manager with my own office.”
“A hidden perk of climbing the career ladder I guess.”
“I’ve started to play white noise and fart out the window,” she frowned.
“Maybe you should review your diet.” Of course I meant to be helpful but her face told me that I was being as helpful as Twitter to international diplomatic relations.
“Listen Birdie and listen good. Ain’t nothing wrong with my diet,” she said as she placed a possessive hand over a mound of chocolate, “I’m pregnant now, which means I’ve no control over my body, get it?”
“Oh I see.”
“These farts ain’t your regular run of the mill farts.” Well that definitely was not up for debate.
“I gathered that.”
“They are pregnancy farts,” she said and for added emphasis she used her arms to create a pregnant circle coming out of her bottom.
“Pregnancy farts?”
“Yes… I guess it’s the baby’s farts combined with mine,” she ruminated.

I nodded and turned on the kettle. I decided to leave her questionable medical theory unchallenged. She let another round of flatulence rip. The dog barked and I tried to ignore her skirt billowing. She dunked her chocolate biscuit in her tea and kept reading her magazine, oblivious.

Pregnant Days

Week 5: Mistaken Pregnancy + Maternity Leave Risks à la Amazon

My laptop has died. It decided to commit suicide the day before my end of quarter presentation at EU HQ in London. Like a lot of people I hate my job. Like a lot of people I lack the gumption to leave it. People say, you’ve only got one life Birdie so follow your passion. Well fuck that philosophy for a game of cowboys. I have no passion. There, I’ve said it. It feels liberating to expect less from life.

The best thing about my job is that I am the only employee in Ireland. I work in a glorified cupboard. From a multinational point of view, they don’t really care about me… some don’t even know I exist which suits me just fine. I’m their token presence for tax avoidance purposes. But once a month I have to fly to the London office which I always dread. It’s tough to talk corporate. The day before I have to brush up on my arsenal of the following; pivot, iterate, empower, move the needle, our north star, lots of moving parts, scaleable, ecosystem, leverage, drill down, take offline, synergy, punt, low hanging fruit and awareness.

I’m part of the Ireland & UK team. Ireland has the Euro, the UK doesn’t. Ireland is in the EU, the UK… well they want to revive the good old days of the Empire. Interestingly the multinational still thinks Ireland is part of the UK… “but you guys are so close together and you both speak English!” Anyhow, I digress, let’s get back to the point of this blog, pregnancy!

Herself lent me her laptop to use for the presentation. I stood in front of my boss, the founder,  (who flew in from New York that morning) and my three colleagues. Essentially a room full of sycophants to the founder. Part of my report included an idea to create  a promotional video, “so that we can hit Q3 targets. The ROI will be a 12% increase in top of the funnel leads.” I completely made that number up but they nodded because we all secretly know that we make the numbers up to impress the founder.

“Wow Birdie, this all sounds super exciting,” gushed the founder.

“Absolutely,” said my boss, “we should roll it out nationwide.” His nation includes Ireland.

“Totally,” smiled the three backstabbers that were jealous of the attention I was getting.

“Do you have a sample video that you want to base the video on?” I didn’t but there was no way I was going to say that to the twenty-five year old founder.

“Sure!” I thought of a video and went to type it into YouTube. The room mumbled behind my back, it was a sound that was not positive. I looked up at the flat screen TV. Displayed above me was a list of recommended videos. “How to get pregnant.” “How to stay pregnant.” “Improving your fertility.” “Producing super sperm.” “Are your eggs fried?” A viewing history that revealed too much about herself. I decided to “power through” and ignore the commotion behind me. I played the video.

The video won them back to my greatness. After it ended it went straight into an audio called, “Implantation Support.” I furiously punched the stop button but it ignored me. A calm Irish man started speaking over wind instruments, “the strengths in you, your fertile body. Those fertile days grow as the days go by. Find the resources within you that move life forward.” I slammed the laptop shut which made everyone jump. The three backstabbers sniggered as they smelled a new advantage over me. The wheels in my boss’ head started to spin slowly, I could see his confusion. He muttered to himself, “but I thought she was a lesbian.

The founder was more brash, “so what’s the maternity leave like in the UK?”

“6 months,” shouted the three with glee.

“What?! Is that paid?” They shook their heads.

“Oh thank fuck!”

“But you will need to find a replacement,” added one of the three as she sneered at me.

“I’m not pregnant!” But no one believed me at this point. In that moment I could see the founder plot ways to get me out.

“Of course you’re not,” the founder smiled, “I’m just curious as to what the UK policies are. I need to chat to legal.”

It’s pathetic that pregnancy is seen as an expense. It’s even more pathetic that I will only get two weeks unpaid “paternity” leave, well that’s assuming I’m not made redundant before then. For me Iceland is where it’s at. Parents get 9 months to split between the both of them and they maintain 80% of their salary.

I’ve heard too many stories of women that return from maternity leave only to find that their responsibilities are diminished or worst still your colleagues conspired to shove you out like Amazon did to Elizabeth Willet, you can read more in this 2015 NY Times article. From the same article there’s this shocking quote, “Motherhood can also be a liability. Michelle Williamson, a 41-year-old parent of three who helped build Amazon’s restaurant supply business, said her boss, Shahrul Ladue, had told her that raising children would most likely prevent her from success at a higher level because of the long hours required. Mr. Ladue, who confirmed her account, said that Ms. Williamson had been directly competing with younger colleagues with fewer commitments, so he suggested she find a less demanding job at Amazon. (Both he and Ms. Williamson left the company.) He added that he usually worked 85 or more hours a week and rarely took a vacation.” Admittedly that is an extreme case but there are some truisms in there which I’m sure some readers can identify with.

Deciding to have a child can sometimes feel like being a closeted homosexual all over again. You can’t help your need to have a child but you know your status will change once that bump shows. Pregnancy is stressful enough without having to deal with that crap!


Pregnant Days

Week 4: Social media gurus sponsored by Spirit Dust™ that body-shame pregnant women

Herself has started retching every morning. She runs to the bathroom and dry heaves then follows it with a manic laugh.
“Why are you laughing?”
“I’ve no idea.”
“Do you want a cup of tea?”
“I’ll have my smoothie. Don’t forget to add the Spirit Dust™ that S sent!”

Her cousin Síle, a health food blogger and Instagrammer, is based in L.A. She re-branded herself S, “because Síle conjures up famine imagery and I wanted a rebirth. S symbolizes simplicity and purity.” It’s more accurate to say S stands for, “Síle from Sligo is full of Shite.” She’s the gobshite that sent her Spirit Dust™, yes you read right, Spirit Dust™ and yes it’s trademarked. It consists of crushed up “super-herbs and super-mushrooms” and a sprinkling of nonsense. You don’t want to know how much money goes into that smoothie… health food with unpronounceable names means extortionate prices.

Herself attributes 99% of the pregnancy to S’s smoothies, the 1% credit goes to the sperm. Pre-conception she subjected herself to a fertility smoothie. It’s a nasty green concoction that smells of aging hippies frolicking in manure.


S is an idiot Instagrammer with a ridiculous amount of followers. According to her online persona, she had an amazing pregnancy due to shoving kale in all her orifices. The baby tip-toed out of her vagina just in time for her vagina steaming session. She got her figure back the moment she stood up as she was sponsored by kale, Spirit Dust™ and external validation.

The truth is, the delusionist from Sligo was chomping on pain pills the minute labour struck. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, personally I’d like to be knocked out, then wake to a flute of champagne and a full-time nanny.

One of my many issues with S is that she’s a fraud. She pretended that she had a “natural” childbirth in the Pacific in Santa Monica. The Instagram shots are simultaneously cringe-worthy and hilarious. She’s in a cat cow yoga position. Her arse looks out to the sun-set. Warm orange rays drench her body whilst the waves gently lap at her nakedness. Her husband doesn’t know where to look so he gazes at his feet because he knows that the baby was born 3 weeks earlier. S’s pregnancy journey is sponsored by Spirit Dust™ and in order for S to make bank, she needed to pretend that she birthed her baby outside in nature whilst chanting life affirmations.

I’ve come to realise that when a woman is pregnant, society is allowed to body shame them albeit insidiously via social media. Everyone is entitled to an opinion on their changing shape. They’re either too fat or too thin. Charlatans like S keep the whole charade going. Just embrace your partner’s changing shape. Reinforce how hot they look and don’t buy Spirit Dust™.

Pregnant Days

Week 3: I’m Not A Lesbian Porn Star On The Run

I’ve been described as a lot of things in my life but I’ve never been compared to a porn star, I’ll get to that a little later in this post. But as this blog is primarily about parenthood and pregnancy I better give you a quick update on where we are at. We are now into week 3 of pregnancy. This is when food aversions happen. Herself, a Goddess of health and fitness, has now a hatred towards vegetables. It’s a bizarre state of affairs. She pushes her plate away in contempt if it is not full of chocolate.

“I can’t eat this muck,” she says as she squashes a pea violently whilst opening a Kitkat. I wrestle the bar from her hand.
“Would you ever get a grip! That baby will come out made of chocolate.”
“Ha bloodly ha,” she said without laughing whilst she swallowed the chocolate wafers.
“Well aren’t you very mature. Well at least this is good practise for when we have a toddler.”
“Well maybe this is comfort eating because I’m trying to cope with all the peverts your writing has brought into our lives!”
“That’s not true!” It is kinda true to be fair.
“Yes it is. Stop having notions that you’re some sort of lesbian MILF, OK?”
“Yeah I know you. You think you’re some lesbian sex God but we both know that the sexiest thing you possess is a pair of silver glitter lycra knickers that Mary in work gave you as a laugh for Kris Kindle in 2003.” She opened a second Kitkat and started chomping. “If anything,” she continued, “I’m the lesbian MILF – OK?”
“Are you jealous of the men with poor English that message me?”
“Ah! It’s my hormones OK?! Just don’t you ever dare make me peas again, got it?”
“Got it.”

I remember when you could experiment with a writing project, like this, and not have to use Twitter and Facebook because they weren’t even invented then. I feel lucky to have lived in a time pre-social media. I find the whole social media world tedious but the reality is the majority of people are on these sites. If I want readers to connect with my blog I should be on these sites even if I question their value especially when they think I’m a porn site.

Interestingly, when I set up a Facebook page and tried to create a personalised URL it told me that Irish Lesbian Mom violated their terms and conditions. For a moment I felt like a porn star. But then I assumed Facebook hates the word lesbian, not because it’s homophobic, it just hates it because it’s an ugly sounding word. No amount of good elocution can make that word sound welcoming. You will always sound like Gollum when you utter it.

Anyhow, it turns out Facebook did think I was a sexual deviant because before I even asked my friends to like the page I already had likes.
“Wow, this is amazing… I’m already getting likes and I haven’t posted anything,” I said to herself.
“You’re obviously on to something with this hun. You’re giving a voice to people,” she smiled and then kissed my cheek.

I felt smug. Then I studied the inaugural likes further. They were all from men based in India and Pakistan. Their pages had lax privacy controls and thus revealed that they liked a bit of woman on woman porn action. Not only does Facebook think the word combinations of Irish Lesbian and Mom mean lesbian MILF action so too do these men.

Before I continue, let’s get this clear, I’m not a porn star. My porn ability is the equivalent of a Lada’s car ability. But it didn’t stop there. Ever since I went live with this blog I’ve been getting a lot of messages from all over the world. The grammar is woeful but I think you’ll get the gist. Here are some tasters for you…

“im fully shaved, video chat me.” Well good for you but I’m not because we’re going into winter here in Ireland.

“male spandex fetish.” You’ve reached the wrong site love, maybe look at middle aged men on their cycling commute.

“I make the beast with two backs with friends. My favorite days go on on the seaside or in a park with a bonfire.” It appears this Othello fan thinks this is a dating site or a holiday rental site.

“Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver’s licenses, ID cards, stamps, VISAs and other products for a number of countries.” I’m not a porn star on the run.

Just to reiterate to all you porn fans out there this is not a porn site. I will not take off my clothes for a webcam at the request of strangers. I hate to disappoint you as I’m sure you’re very very frustrated. If, however, you’d like to read posts about my pregnant partner that loathes vegetables and has suddenly developed a very short temper then welcome!