Pregnant Days

Week 17: She’s Giving Birth to Baby Jesus

It’s Christmas day! Happy Christmas to you all! Today is the day that Christ was born to a virgin. This leads me to today’s next big revelation… What does Mary, mammy of Jesus, and herself have in common? Immaculate conception. The similarities don’t just end there. Mary’s fella was a carpenter, I took a night course in woodwork last month in Ringsend. That’s beyond coincidence, it’s providence. This brings me to the following hypothesis: our baby is the second coming of Jesus.

I broke the exciting news to herself this morning.
“What would you love more than anything for Christmas?”
“To have my old vagina back. I’m so grossed out by the amount of discharge that’s exiting it.” It’s true, it’s like a pump station on steroids but there’s no way I would ever agree with her on this new body trait.
“Try again”
“To not be in negative equity,”
she started on to her second box of breakfast chocolates.
“Well you’re in luck! I’ve found a way to make us loads of mullah for 2018.”
“Go on,” she was half listening whilst opening up a selection box.
“So religion is the best way to make mad cash.”
“Uh huh.”
“Basically, we’re going to write a bestseller then tour the world because you’re carrying baby Jesus.” She flipped the chocolate menu card over and started studying it.
“My sister is expecting us at 11am, we’ve to open up the presents with the kids.”
“Did you hear what I said?”
“Yeah and you’re mental, I’m not carrying Jesus. I’m carrying something that hasn’t allowed me to shit for 48 hours and has me secreting stuff that looks like slime.”
“Trust me on this one babe, you’re carrying Jesus.”
“You haven’t slept in 24 hours and you just lost your job so you’re panicking.” She’s right, she’s always right.

The US multinational company that I worked for decided to close down the Dublin office. They realised they can hire cheaper people somewhere elsewhere, globalisation baby. Now we’ve a little one on the way and I’m unemployed. Who the fuck lays off someone two weeks before Christmas? A dastardly corporation that thinks Ireland is part of the UK, that’s who.

Whilst it was terrifying to be sans job it was also very liberating up until yesterday. Now the fear has started to kick in hence the money making opportunity of herself having Jesus in her belly… She’ll come round to it, especially when the bank calls for the next mortgage payment.

Pregnant Days

Week 16: Gaviscon addiction + the free Super-Valu & Lidl baby bag dash

It’s a common sight to see people chug back bottles of water or soft drinks as they drive. What’s not so common is to see someone slugging back a bottle of gaviscon but that’s how herself now rolls. The car is stocked with several emergency bottles of the pink stuff just in case she runs out of petrol and suddenly finds herself in a remote field with no sign of life, at least she will have her heartburn relief.

The heartburn started in earnest about a week ago.
“I feel like I’ve just swallowed a shovel of hot coals,” gasped herself as she sat bolt upright in bed. Her sister recommended gaviscon and now there is always a bottle of it by her side. Her sister also recommended that she get a free baby gift bag from Lidl and SuperValu. For those of you that aren’t from Ireland, that basically means a pregnant woman can get a complimentary assortment of baby stuff, like nappies, from a local supermarket.

The word free has the same effect on herself as viagra does to a penis… it makes her get up very quickly in a state of giddy excitement. She put the phone down, leap to her feet and was already wrestling her coat on. The car keys jangled in her hand as she started to fasten her coat but gave up when it struggled to close over her bump.

“They’re free Birdie!”
“What’s free?”

“Baby stuff,” she started to walk towards the door.
“Come on, I need you to come with me.” I groaned quiet enough that she could not hear me. I wanted to spend my Saturday on the couch not in the car.
“How long will we be?”
“Just a hour, I promise, we’re just going to Lidl and then SuperValu.”

Five hours later we were still on the road. We had driven to every SuperValu and Lidl in Dublin… every store. The car was full of nappies, wet wipes, and many other baby things. Herself was on a freebie high.
“Please can we go home now.”
“Maybe we should go to Kildare,” she swallowed back the last of her bottle of gaviscon and threw it into the back seat. She then reached over me, opened the glove box and pulled out another bottle of gaviscon. She opened it and took a mouthful as she toyed with the sat nav.  She had now gone full scale freebie mania.
“No! We are not going to Kildare, we are going home!”
“But they’re free!” She obviously was not factoring in the refuel on her free quest.
“You’re only supposed to have one, you’re not supposed to have more.”
“Says who?”
“Says common decency.”
“Oh fuck common decency! We never get anything free in this country!” And that really was the crux of it. Regular Irish people don’t get anything free and when they do they panic that someone will take it away so they get greedy and horde. I nodded and we kept driving.

Pregnant Days

Week 16: Her breasts have gotten huge

Herself has held out as long as she could. Yesterday she succumbed to wearing a maternity bra. It’s amazing how big her breasts have got and also how quickly it has happened. It’s odd seeing your partner change like that. It’s even more bizarre when she can’t see it. She is in utter denial that her boobs have grown.

“Jaysus, did your boobs just expand overnight?” I looked at her try to button her dress.
“What the hell are you talking about? They’re the same size!” She abandoned her dress in favour of a loose top.
“You do realise that your breasts will grow during pregnancy?”
“Yes I know that but mine are the same, I still fit into my usual bra. I just got a maternity bra as my wired bra could damage my milk ducts. Look I still fit.” She took off her top and the maternity bra and whipped on her pre-pregnancy bra. She stuck out her tongue from the side of her mouth as she concentrated with gusto on tying it.
“I don’t understand what point you’re trying to prove.” She ignored me.
“Got it! See, I still fit into my bra!” Her cleavage looked like her arse had emigrated to her chest but I decided to play along with her weird game.
“You’re right, you’re breasts still look tiny.” Tiny was probably the wrong word choice.

Later that day her friend, who also is pregnant, stopped by for a cup of tea and the first sentence out of her mouth was,
“Jesus fucking Christ, your tits are huge! You look like a homely porn star.” A homely porn star? I still don’t understand that oxymoron.
“Are they really that big?” Of course I just stood there bewildered that she didn’t heed my breast alert from earlier.
“They are mega sized chick… that baby won’t go hungry anyhow!”

I’ve since learned that pregnant women will only listen to pregnant women. Only they can see their pregnant body changing and thus convey this new reality to their comrade… non pregnant people, especially partners, are not allowed to weigh in. If you are brave enough to state the bloody obvious then you run the risk of being called an insensitive feck.

Once the pregnant friend told herself that her boobs had ballooned she relaxed into her new shape. Suddenly wardrobe malfunctions had a cause, her breasts were the effect.

“Jaysus Siobhan, they are actually big,” she stood up to look at her shape in the mirror like it was the first time she ever saw it in 16 weeks.
“Sleazy gits would pay crazy euro to squeeze them… read all about it in me Twitter feed, you could probably buy a house if you were to let them squeeze them,” said Siobhan as she sipped her tea. I looked at Siobhan and thought many things all at once but decided against verbalising them. Herself just nodded at her with a face that said, Jesus Siobhan you know fecking everything, you’re so worldly. Herself then turned to me.
“You know what Birdie, that’s probably why my dress didn’t fit me this morning, don’t you think?”
“If you think so love.”
“Yeah, I think so,” she said as she dipped her kitkat into her mug of tea.


Pregnant Days

Week 15: The Dreaded Speculum

Of course a man from the 1840’s designed a speculum. The design has changed little from when he tested it on slaves. How fucked up are both those sentences?

Because this pregnancy is deemed high risk we’re in and out of the hospital like fleas in heat. We’re in love with our consultant Malachi, he’d make us turn but alas he’s gay too… I told you everyone is gay. Malachi is like a teddy bear wearing a doctors coat. He tells us repeatedly that we are not wasting his time and to come in at any stage if we have a concern.

Week 15 is when we lost our last pregnancy so herself is understandably up to ninety. I’m nervous too but I hide it, one of us has to be positive and ironically that’s me. This week she notices some spotting of blood on her knickers. We call Malachi and he tells us to come in. He scans herself, everything looks good. Then he takes out the speculum. Herself looks at me and I cross my legs.


All women can relate. You strip off your bottom half. Lie on a cold plastic table that many other arse cheeks have christened. Then you place a glorified kitchen towel over your exposed crotch. You lie there behind the curtain mortified that the doctor or nurse will notice your five week old pubic shadow that you hastily tried to shave off that morning and failed miserably as the eruptions of razor burn attest to.  

“Are you ready?” Asks the doctor. You want to shout, no I am not fucking ready to be inserted with a crude plastic tool but instead you say,

“Yes doctor.”

“OK, hitch up your legs a bit for me please.” You comply and hope that you smell of anything but vagina down there.

“God the weather is fierce cold these days.” That’s it, chat about the weather, this will totally normalise this situation.

“Oh yes, snow is due Friday apparently… OK this is going to feel a little cold.” The fucking understatement of the century. And then it’s shoved in. You gasp and try not to tell the doctor to desist from inserting something that looks  and feels like big bird’s beak made from icicles inside you.

“I know it’s a bit uncomfortable,” he says. A bit fucking uncomfortable? Here let me get a few pegs from my clothes line and pinch your ball sac simultaneously with them a few times. Then let’s have a cup of tea and chat about what constitutes as uncomfortable.


This time I’m sitting outside the curtain. I look at Malachi unwrap the clear plastic speculum and genuinely feel bad for herself but also feel very relieved. It is one ugly piece of “engineering”.

“Are you decent?” Malaky winks at me and oh how we laugh. Malachi is just so funny.

“Yes,” she says. Her voice betrays resignation. Malachi pops behind the curtains. I hear the speculum squeak like a car jack.

“I’m so sorry about this,” he says, “I read yesterday that they are redesigning it.”

“About fucking time,” we both say.

“OK, I can see some erosion at about 2 o’clock on your cervix. That’s normal. You’ve nothing to worry about.” I’m lost in thought that you can read time from a cervix.

“Thanks Malachi,” says herself as he removes the car jack and throws it away.

“One prototype is supposed to be just like inserting a tampon,” he says as he snaps his rubber gloves off.

“Wow that would be amazing,” herself says. You’re amazing I whisper to Malachi through the curtains.