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.

Pregnant Days

Week 14: Telling Your Boss That You’re Pregnant

It’s week 14 and herself is full of energy, “Jaysus I’m full of energy Birdie… I might actually do the dishes today and some light hovering.” Light hovering is when she uses the nozzle on the room edges. There is something very satisfying when you hear a visible piece a of dirt get sucked up and then ripple against the plastic. However it isn’t proper hovering but I’ll let her off, she’s in flying form this week. No more nausea, no more bleeding gums but plenty of rancid farts and filthy dreams.

Today is the day that she tells her boss that she is pregnant. She’s been dreading this moment since we found out about the pregnancy but the bump is starting to show. It’s mind boggling to comprehend a time when a woman had to give up her job in the civil service the moment she got married. It was called the marriage bar and it only ceased to exist in 1973 in Ireland. Herself’s mother and mine and countless others were affected by that horrible law. Things have changed, thankfully, but the workplace still has a long way to go when it comes to catering to pregnancy.

Her boss can be a tad unaware with what he says. Case and point. Her best friend, Orla, used to work in the same job. After several years there she married and fell pregnant. She was having a disagreement with this boss over a particular type of approach. She worked out in the field whereas he had a MBA.

{I just want to take a quick detour to lambast that crap out of MBAs. I’ve met quite a few MBA heads in my time and they are all the same, they think they are God’s gift. Run for the hills if one of them approaches you. They pay universities thousands to talk shite that no one understands but themselves. They love coming up with new systems that are overly complicated, they love “thinking outside the box”… they also love laying people off.}

The argument went something like this:
“Frank, we can’t train up the stray dogs hanging around the flats to be guide-dogs.”
“Yes we can! It would save us so much money.”

“No Frank! Those dogs would eat the arse off a blind person never mind help them cross the feckin road.” Apparently Frank started to get a bit puce in the face at this point as he had an MBA and Orla didn’t.
“You’re getting a bit confused because of your condition, aren’t you?”
“My what?”

“Your condition,” he pointed at her bump and continued, “my wife was a bit volatile too when she had your condition.”
“What’s my fucking condition Frank?”
According to herself  it didn’t end well for Orla. He “promoted” her just before she went on leave. Her new role was official pen-pusher, she quit after her maternity leave ended. Hopefully herself’s condition won’t jar with Mr. MBA’s Q4 profitable system projections.

Pregnant Days

Week 13: Sex Obsessed Partner

“I had the most vivid sex dreams last night,” said herself at breakfast. She still retches after every second spoonful of porridge then follows it with a manic laugh. We’ve concluded to it is a bizarre pregnancy symptom or maybe the baby is trying to communicate with us. It’s amazing how you adjust to your new normal.

“With who?”

“Oh it doesn’t matter… but I now have a shooting razor blade type pain in my right nipple,” she said whilst checking the time.

“Did you experiment with bondage with some hussy?” We both were taken aback by my use of the somewhat archaic word that is hussy. I think the last time I heard it being used was by a nun in my school. The hussy was wearing a beaded necklace, only “modest” necklaces with crosses were allowed.

“It was a few people Birdie, but it doesn’t matter! Pregnancy just makes you really horny in the second trimester.”

“For other people apparently.”

“Listen let’s not fight, I’m pregnant, I’m not myself.” And she’s right, she’s not herself, she’s potentially two people which is really fecked up when you think about. You’re totally outnumbered in any argument and only asshole partners try to tell a pregnant woman that they are right. This is the one time that herself as a socially accepted excuse for wanting to eat coal whilst yearning to ride anything in leather chaps.

*****

We met for dinner after work. I watched as herself made her way to our table. I noted her eyes being draw to multiple pert arses and revealing boobs. My partner had turned into a dirty old man.

“You’d want to reign in the auld salacious gaze there love before you get us kicked out.”

“I can’t feckin help it Birdie, I just have sex on the brain.” She started fiddling with the breadstick very vigorously until it snapped.

“You just wanked bread.”

“What?”

“Nevermind.”

“Now my feckin left nipple is shooting with razor blade like pian.” She took another breadstick and started fellitio on it.

“Would you feckin stop giving head to bread!”

“What?”

“You’ve been transformed into some 70s porn star and I’m very conflicted if I’m honest.” On one hand happy days but on the other hand was I enough? I really can’t function on less than seven hours sleep and by the wild look in her eyes sleep was for the weak.

“Am I really that bad Birdie?” She started to caress her breasts over her dress, something that had drawn attention from the waiter which prompted him to ask, “is everything OK?”

“She’s pregnant, heartburn.”

“Ah, yes,” he nodded knowingly at me. He knew that heartburn was codeword for sex-crazed hormonal missus, “congratulations,” he added as he squeezed my arm and winked, “I recommend you start drinking espressos like us Italians.” I nodded solemnly.

“I’ll have one to go.”

Pregnant Days

Week 12: Breaking the baby news to Mam

I credit Coronation street and Emmerdale for normalising various types of sexuality for all the vintage Mammies and Daddies of Ireland. My mother is no different. Coronation street drip feeds her the modernisation of western society in portions that she can handle with a biscuit and a cup of tea.

Haley Cropper introduced my mother to her first transgender in the guise of a non-threatening woman in a red anorak. She adored her. When Haley died she was a wreck for a month.
“Why did she have to get terminal cancer birdie? Why didn’t they give terminal cancer to Norris… oh he is a dose!”

Then of course there was Zoe Tate from Emmerdale (the image in that hyperlink is symbolic of my mother’s initial reaction when I came out), she was my mother’s first taste of lesbianism so to speak. Zoe set the bar too high for me. A stunning upper class vet with a range rover.
“Why can’t you be that type of lesbian Birdie?”

*****

It’s week 12. The week that you’re officially allowed to tell everyone your news. The week I get to overtake my mother’s soaps with a new story-line of a same sex couple on the cusp of having a family. The soaps break her in for me. After three months everything riské becomes passé.
“They’ve written in another gay dog… it’s get boring at this stage Birdie… I wish they’d write in a dominatrix.”

It took a treble whiskey for me to pluck up the courage to call her. She’s the best in the world but Christ can she come out with cutting comments, but she’s a vintage Mammy so she’s allowed to… apparently.

“Hiya Mam, so herself is pregnant!” There is silence on the other line. One minute later she speaks.
“Oh… well that’s unusual.”
“I expected a better response Mam.”
“I voted YES.”
That fecking referendum. She thinks it gives her diplomatic immunity from the LGBTQ community for the rest of her life.
“I know you did Mam, thanks again for that.”
“You’re welcome.”
Her defensiveness starts to wind down.
“So there you are now.” I filled myself another glass of whiskey.
“Why on earth would you want to have a child?”
“Mam!”
“Your life will be over Birdie.”
“Mam, would you stop!”
“Anyhow, my soaps are about to start. God bless.” Her abrupt ending did not surprise me. What she really was saying was that she needed her soaps to show her the way and I’m OK with.

Pregnant Days

Week 11: Get Rich By Becoming A Parental Role Model

There is some serious money to be made out of parenting. Creating a religion used to be the easiest get rich scheme. Their hard sell has always been that the world will end on a certain date. Yet, the leader/CEO always seems to pick a date that their followers/customers will live to see… then in a panic their leader kills them for fear of them wanting their money back. The lesson to be gleaned here is that creating a religion will guarantee you some fast cash but you might have to murder people. Becoming the ultimate parental role model on social media is the best way to get rich and it’s something that I’m exploring. I’m pretty confident that I can make people feel inadequate.

Herself is a huge fan of Dandy & Birds. They are a lesbian couple in New Zealand that document their journey to parenthood via vlogs. They’re far too normal and nice for me. They don’t make people feel bad about themselves as they are the perfect parental role models. If I’m going to go the social media parental role model route I need to create something more controversial. I need to make my fans compare their lives to mine thus invoking a gnawing sensation of lacking.

To date my research has focused on celebrity parents. My theory is, every celebrity has an Unique Selling Point, or as we say in the bullshit business USP. I then take each of their USP’s to create my very own USP and ka-ching… easy peasy.

I believe that we all have role model celebrity parents that we worship privately. Publicly we don’t. Picture this, you’re in your local pub enjoying a few scoops with your mates and Kris Jenner comes up in conversation, your default setting is, “the feckin state of her kids, it’s shameful their carry on… she’s really failed as a mother.” Whereas secretly you’re saying, “That Kris Jenner one is a bloody genius! How the fuck can I commodify my offspring so that I never have to work again?”
Kris Jenner’s USP is the lip-gloss pout. I must apply lip gloss to our future baby and teach it to pout.

Then there’s Posh and Becks. You look at them with a mixture of envy and fuck you. But whether you like it or not, they have become inspirational role models to many couples. Sexy David Beckham has become a great parental resource. He’s helped guide countless clueless parents with his stance on religion. “I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don’t know into what religion yet.” Then he made some parents feel better about themselves for neglecting their children, “My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about seven.”
David’s USP is aspirational sayings. I must state something spiritual in my status updates like, “I’m so blessed to have a perfect life #dreamsdocometrue.

But what about lesbian celebrity role model parents? All I could think of was Rosie O’Donnell and Melissa Etheridge… now that’s a shit-show of drama or are they just keeping it real?
Their USP is that they both have mastered the element of surprise which has to be admired. I must marry, then divorce and then remarry herself within a year. I must also have a love-child in China.

But the pinnacle of parental role models has to be Gwyneth Paltrow. She has mastered the art of making parents feel shit about themselves. She’s so good at it that people actually pay $1500 to listen to her talk about how she balances being a working mother. She is my role model God that I seek to emulate.
Her USP is making shit up that has no scientific basis. I must create a face mask for babies out of yoghurt and seeds and say that it will boost their IQ by 100.

If you want to feel incomplete as a parent I urge you and your friends to start following me on social media. In time I will document my perfect life on Instagram. By 2019 I will have my own baby wear clothing line that you’ll probably never be able to afford.

Pregnant Days

Week 10: Can a clean freak handle parenthood?

Some people think my cleanliness habits are excessive but I think those people are crawling with germs. Their dirty bodies are hosting the next super virus that will wipe out 90% of the world’s population.

To say that I am a clean freak is an understatement. I have a selection of mini tube hand sanitisers, always at the ready. I wear gloves and a surgical mask on public transport, I was inspired by East Asians. I like order. I don’t like germs. I’m not at the Howard Hughes stage but never say never. But is it possible for clean freaks to have babies? How can you contain and eradicate their emissions without being arrested?

Last Sunday we visited my brother and his French wife for Sunday lunch. They have three children under the age of six. All of them have ancient Irish names that their parents pronounce incorrectly. My brother was as shit at Irish as herself. He hated the subject in school, in fact at one point he wrote to the Queen to ask her to conquer Ireland again so that he could stop learning, “this barbarian language”. But now that Irish has become fashionable amongst the upper middle class, he’s all over it like a contagious rash. Yet, he couldn’t just give his children run of the mill Irish names like Niamh or Ronan… no, no, he had to find the most obscure names because that obviously means you’re a real Irish aficionado and earn €90K+.

I still have PSTD from that Sunday visit. Their house is always covered in plastic neon debris that masquerades as toys. I nearly got anally raped by Peppa Pig’s pink slide. My two nieces and nephew kept trying to shove it inside my trousers. Their hysterical giggles were encouraged by the adults glee,
“Everyone loves Peppa Pig Birdie,” said my brother as he cleared unsterilized lego off the dinner table with the back of his hand… the lego fell onto the unclean floor. He just left it there. I shuddered.

Dinner was a horror show. Délámhach* shoved his hand in his nappy then shoveled potatoes in his wee mouth. Noting my revulsion, he smeared his urine and potato tinged hand on the side of my cheek. Oh how everyone reveled in my terror.

On the car drive home, I doused myself in my mini sanitisers. Herself could tell I that wasn’t myself. She pulled into the hard shoulder on the N7. Do you realise how much airborne dirt is zooming around the N7? Well at least it wasn’t the M50.

“What’s up Birdie?”

“It was so dirty and chaotic. I can’t let a baby dirty things up, promise me it won’t?”

“Of course it won’t!” Her tone was too enthusiastic, I grew suspicious.

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely! You should see the baby cleaning gadgets.” Now she had my attention.

“Such as?”

The Mopet Robot Mop, it can constantly clean the floor, even when you sleep.” I kissed her.

“Maybe a clean freak can handle parenthood after all!” She smiled weakly and coughed without covering her mouth.

*Délámhach or dólámhach literally means “two-handed” in Irish, but it can be used idiomatically to mean “working all-out,” or “giving your best.”

Pregnant Days

Week 9: Photos of Bleeding Gums & Other Odd Pregnancy Reactions

Sometimes I question the societal value of a smartphone being able to take photos and video. Everything now is documented. There’s no novelty to taking a photo anymore.

When I grew up, only posh people had cameras. That is the main reason why there are five photos of me as a child. All were taken by wealthy relatives that had emigrated to the United States. Instead of a slew of photos to prove my childhood existence, I have vague memories.

I’m old enough to remember when disposable cameras were the must have on a night out with pals. I remember the excitement and the anticipation of waiting to get your night-out photos developed. Over time you understood that 70% of the photos would have your finger covering 70% of the photo.

Those were innocent times I’ve now come to realise. With the invention of the smartphone you don’t need a disposable camera or wealthy Irish-American relatives anymore. You’ve a hi-tech camera in your pocket that can deliver hyper real photos. The mysteries of life have been exposed especially around pregnancy, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

*****

“Look at my mouth!!!!!!” She texted. I put down my coffee and gasped for air. Her usual perfect white smile was dripping with blood. But the selfie did not convey any horror in her face, she actually seemed to find it hilarious as the laughter emoticons reinforced.
“Jesus. That’s vile.”
“That’s pregnancy Birdie <winky emoticon face + hearts>.”

I resumed drinking my coffee and tried to forgot what I had just seen. Two minutes later the phone beeped again. Another message from herself. I sighed.

“Look at my knickers <multiple laughter emoticons with tears streaming out>.” I threw the rest of my coffee down the work sink, sat down, inhaled deeply like the meditation app said to do when faced with stressful situations.

In my hand was a detailed image of the discharge on her knickers. I could make out from the floor that she was in her office. I guess when you’re the boss you can yank off your knickers whenever the mood takes you.
“Gah! Why are you showing me this?” The moment I sent it, I regretted it.
“Because we’re in this together & you need to know what I’m going through for us <angry + sad emoticon>.”
“OK. Thanks for the updates xo.”

I resigned myself to the fact that I’ll be getting a photo ticker full of weird bodily reactions to pregnancy up… fuck you modern technology.

Pregnant Days

Week 8: Our First Pregnancy Scan

We’re getting an early scan because of the several miscarriages before this current pregnancy. It’s a grim side of pregnancy that we never entertained before, none of our peers experienced it. In our little bubble we naively thought getting pregnant was as easy as the nuns used to tell us in school, “sitting on a toilet seat that a boy has just used can get you pregnant,” said Sister Rita with medical authority.

Miscarriage is an intensely sad and private affair. We did tell people, well we had to in order to get time off work but it’s difficult for people to conceptualise because the normal thing to do is grieve someone that you have met in person several times, a friend, a relative etc. With miscarriage there is a limited context for your friends and family because you are grieving the disappearance of hope which is a very different thing. Herself and I had formed a relationship of sorts with each of these lost pregnancies because we were there from the beginning. That is why this pregnancy is a lot more tense for us.

After our last miscarriage we met with our wonderful consultant who has to be the tallest woman in Ireland. She has a maternal softness to her that just puts you at ease. Obviously we were devastated.
“The reason for the miscarriage is inconclusive which is the case for the majority of miscarriages… but you will try again,” she urged.
“It’s because I’m a geriatric, right?” I knew herself was older then me but not that much older. I found myself examining her face, neck and hands more… she’s hardly over sixty or maybe…
“Nonsense, we’re actually revising the age entry point. Also a lot has to do with your internal age and you’re very healthy.” I wanted to ask what the age entry point is but I decided that it might warrant a thump from herself.

Several months later here we are, pregnant again and ready for our first scan. The lead up to this scan has been full of anxiety but it’s only the very rare couple that skips into the hospital to get their first early scan.

The consultant greets us warmly, “no need to be nervous, everything will be fine,” she smiles, “I’ll just pull the curtains over so that you can get yourself ready”. The curtain rail scrapes as she drags the blue curtain around herself. The consultant then sits and I take a seat beside her desk. We smile awkwardly at it each other and I make a comment about the weather. We can hear herself land her body on the examining table like a sack of potatoes. The plastic cover on the examination table squelches. “Ready,” herself shouts.

 

The consultant turns off the lights and then there is silence. Herself has her legs spread under a “modesty” sheet. The consultant ducks down and rattles around in a cabinet. She suddenly pops up with what looks like a very large dildo but in the medicine world they call it a very large probe. She puts a condom on it, or as herself puts it so eloquently, “she johnny’s it up”. Then she lubes it. I start to blush and try to look away but I’m compelled to keep looking. Herself and I squeeze hands as the tallest woman in Ireland inserts her probe into herself… I wondered to myself, does this count as a threesome? I think it does as I feel very left out.

The adrenaline is coursing through the both of us, dry mouths and racing hearts. Situations like this also have a hardcore laxative effect on me but I keep it together.

The consultant is silent for a bit too long. She squints her eyes to study the glowing white coral that is emerging from the black screen. She smiles then turns up the volume.

“That’s your baby’s heart.” It pounded like a Saturday night in Ibiza. Oh the relief.
“So everything is OK?”
“Oh yes, a great strong heart. I love hearts, it’s my area of specialty so I’m just going to geek out for a bit.”

Truth be known, we could not make head nor tail of it but if she said it was all grand then it’s grand. We looked at the consultant marvel at the screen, she was transfixed. Herself looked at me and mouthed that she needed to wee and I nodded and mouthed that I needed an emergency evacuation. Five minutes later the consultant’s beeper went off, thank feck.

*please note that image 2 is not an accurate image of an early scan but Facebook & Twitter might ban me if I use an image of a probe… they already think I sell sexual products & services hence why I had to drop the word lesbian!

Pregnant Days

Week 7: Pregnancy makes you piss your knickers


Herself is a very happy person. Pregnancy has made her even more delighted with herself. She laughs a lot. She goes out of her way to find puppies to pet on the way to work. She does this because she loves things that make her giggle and rejects sad things. I think it’s fair to say that I am a sad thing but she has not rejected me yet because, “I know there is some emotion rattling around in there and I see it as a challenge to revive it. Plus you’ve got a great paying job and I want to be housewife.”

One morning I was confessing my anxiety ridden thoughts to her on our jaunt to our respective workplaces. I was wallowing in my misery, like really digging some bleak stuff out of my feral brain. She nodded with a glazed look and then ran away from me. A baby beagle across the road summoned her. I’m not saying that she is not caring what I am saying is that her world is softly lit, full of positive affirmations courtesy of cousin Síle and 80’s pop music is the uplifting soundtrack.

Imagine my surprise when I returned from work to the pained vocals of Emo music playing from the record player. The TV had SKY News on as she sat bolt upright on the couch.
“What the hell is going on?”
“I keep pissing myself.” I looked at the plastic shopping bags that peeked out from under her dress.
“Why?” She looked annoyed.
“Because I downed a litre of vodka and a flagon of cider.”
“Jesus, you hold it well. Are you stressed out about the pregnancy?” I know it would drive me to drink too.
“Birdie, I’m not drunk! I haven’t drank alcohol in two years in order to enhance my fertility.” A fact that I am reminded of daily, you’d swear she donated her kidney to an orphan.

“So what’s the problem love?” I said as I sat down beside her. A plastic bag crinkled under my arse but I sensed it was best to ignore it.
“My feckin’ uterus is doubling in size and it’s flattening the pee out of my bladder into my knickers.”
“Christ that’s rough babe. Do you want me to ask my Granny for a lend of her incontinence pads?”
“No!” She slid down to the edge of the plastic bag creating a small space between us to symbolise a momentary rift. We both looked at Kay Burley reporting from a hurricane.

“I’m just trying to help love.”
“I know,” she placed her hand on my lap, “but I’ve found a solution.”
“OK?”
“I’m not allowed laugh… laughter makes me piss myself.”
“I understand.” This is a side of pregnancy they definitely don’t tell you about. I wondered should I ask about getting a rubber sheet for the bed but before I had a chance to ask she held my face tenderly in her hands. I smiled at her and she forced her burgeoning smile into a grimace.
“You know what Birdie?”
“What love?”
“You’d be so good at this pregnancy stage. You’d never piss yourself because you’re so wretched. I envy you.”