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Pregnancy 101: A Guide for Guys

In today’s financial and social climate it has become increasingly more common for people to be spending extended hours working, and if they’re not working at their 9 to 5s then they’re putting the extra effort into their side hustle, which is awesome. You have got to go out there and get what you want, what you crave. You have got to work to make your dreams come alive, but what are we missing out on in the process? We don’t get to spend as much personal time with the ones we love and seldom do we ever get to experience the breathtaking, life-changing moments with them. Instead, we have to settle for skipping through them in their social media stories.

If you have read my previous blog post then you would know the stressful couple of years I have had, but the last few months have had a very special silver lining to them. I have had the rare experience of spending day in and day out with Mrs. Pineapple as she has been going through the amazing changes of pregnancy. Yep, you have read right, Baby Pineapple is on the way! (Insha’Allah / God willing).

My adversities have allowed me something that I never thought I would ever get to experience. It allowed me to experience pregnancy from the perspective of the father-to-be in all its wonder and glory, at every moment of the journey.  It was truly an educational experience for me and I often found, and continue to find, myself scouring through textbooks and internet articles at odd hours of the morning looking for answers to obscure questions. So that’s what brings me here, writing this to you guys right now, just some information for future fathers and anyone else who’s interested…the top 5 things I’ve learned about pregnancy so far:

  1. All Day Everyday Sickness

One of the very first things I learned about pregnancy is that morning sickness doesn’t just happen in the morning. Mind-blowing right? I didn’t get it either at first. The nausea is caused by hormonal changes which is worst during the first trimester (week 1 – 12) and usually gets better around week 12, but it could go on longer. Now here’s the golden bit of information that I wish I had known early on, the nausea is worsened by an empty tummy, which is where the “morning sickness” comes in. From night till morning is the longest time without food therefore by morning her tummy is super empty. So my advice would be to keep some snacks near the bed and on hand throughout the day and that should help with nausea like 80% of the time. The other 20% is usually an aversion to certain smells, foods or textures that may vary as time goes on.

 

  1. Masterplans & Blueprints

There are plans, to make lists about all the plans that need to go down in the next few months. I could never keep track of it all. The lists and plans would make me more confused than when we started the discussion of the topic which was planned for that day. I’m sure most guys can agree with me, tell us what we are supposed to do right now and we’ll probably get it done sometime in the near future. At first, I thought this was just a thing specific to Mrs. Pineapple, who was always a planner, and that it was just personified by the pregnancy…until I saw the YouTube videos. There are hundreds of videos out there on pregnancy planning, birth planning and ideas for lists I could not even fathom. I learned very early on to go with it because there has to be merit to all this planning and it’s proved really useful now that I’m looking back. So the best advice that I can give is to get on board with it and get involved with the process as much as you possibly can, your partner will appreciate it and you’ll feel a lot more involved in the whole process.

 

  1. Nesting

Now this concept is one that I found particularly interesting. It is the desire to want to organise, clean and ready your home for the arrival of your new-born baby. It isn’t like the planning and making of lists, this is a naturally occurring phenomenon that has been well documented in various scientific studies. It could seem outrageous at times, especially since you’ll think a bag is packed but then it gets repacked, a clean cupboard will not be clean enough and this woman will go above and beyond to put every little thing in the most perfect place. I was just intrigued by the sudden urge to get it all done and then doing it all over again. So don’t be surprised to find your heavily pregnant partner on top of a chair cleaning the far reaches of your cupboards, she’s just getting the home ready in the best way possible for your little bird. Love her for it.

 

  1. Maximum Effort

I don’t even know if I’m qualified to write this segment of the post. Leaving out labour and delivery, just the changes associated with pregnancy bring about such discomfort that I cannot even fathom. For myself personally, a simple headache is enough to turn me into a debilitated mess, but the same cannot be said for women. One of the most obvious changes seen in pregnant women is her growing tummy, as the tummy grows larger it affects a woman’s center of gravity.  To allow for this shift the spine becomes further bent and the muscles of the back are put under an enormous amount of pressure, at the same time the muscles of the tummy are weakened adding more stress to the lower back. This back pain can begin in early pregnancy and continue through till delivery and beyond. There are very few options available in terms of pain relief yet we see women out there going about their business, working and taking care of their families, because they are the real soldiers. This is just one of the many difficulties faced by women in pregnancy, there’s also the heartburn, the swelling feet and the kicks, just to mention a few. There have been multiple times where I have found myself helpless against the aches and pains felt by Mrs. Pineapple. There isn’t much for us guys to do except give our unconditional love and support, to rub an aching muscle whenever they need it and never stop showing our appreciation for the ones we love

 

  1. The Halo Effect

This is another interesting phenomenon associated with pregnancy, maybe you’ve heard of it before. The theory is that women forget the pain of labour and delivery after giving birth due to natural defense mechanisms. That seemed absolutely wild to me, that a person could go through such excruciating pain and then suddenly have it all dulled down. Well, I decided to do some research and science had a little something to say about all this. According to my research, studies have shown that women do not exactly forget what they had gone through. It’s more likely that after going through the difficulties of labour and delivery, the rush of oxytocin (the love hormone) that comes with holding your new-born baby makes it all feel worth it. Nature is absolutely amazing. While I have not as yet noticed The Halo Effect after delivery, my realisation came when Mrs. Pineapple felt her first kicks. In my opinion, the first trimester was absolutely brutal with all the nausea and vomiting, Mrs. Pineapple could hardly keep a meal down. Fast-forward a few months later after the first kicks were felt and I mentioned how tough the first trimester had been, Mrs. Pineapple was convinced that “it wasn’t that bad”. I was completely perplexed until I found out about the Halo Effect. It could work for anyone in any situation, where unpleasant experiences are soon followed by pleasant ones thus masking the previous unpleasantness.

That brings me to the end of my list for today. There have of course been many other things that I learned along the way, these are just the ones that really stood out to me. Most of these are things that I mentioned were not thought to me in medical school, and if they were then they weren’t approached from this perspective. It really was a learning experience for me. I hope that it helps some of you in some way or even just leaves you with a little more information than you had before you started reading this.

Through this journey, I have developed even more respect for my wife, my mum and my sister as women, and for women in general who go through the difficulties that no man could ever even begin to imagine. In my opinion men and women, but especially men, should always put our best foot forward and show the utmost respect and admiration for the women in our families, our lives and our communities because they have gone through the most for us to be here today.

Till next time…

Be wild, weird and wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by ThatPineapple

I am but a simple man attempting to spark a thought in the minds of my fellow earth dwellers.

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