Special new section for any friends
thinking of ever getting pregnant. There are all sorts of things that people
don't tell you about being pregnant but in reality we've all heard how
morning sickness isn't confined to just mornings, how you get fat ankles,
piles, mood swings, stretch marks, incontinence, etc etc.....
Here are some of the things I
personally experienced that I think other people
NEVER tell you!
I can tell you if Tommy had meat for lunch the minute he walks in the
door. I can smell kimchee or sushi from 100 paces. I can tell you where a
lump of dog poo is from across the street. I can sniff out a single smoker
on the far side of a restaurant. Good smells? Nah, can't smell
them... but bad ones and your olfactory sense goes into overdrive - and
invisible bump. In week 28 I'm looking pretty pregnant - not fat and
lazy looking like some women go, but very definitely "with child" - until
I step onto public transport that is.... and then the very clear, large
bump on my front becomes magically invisible. Now maybe it's my own fault
because I'm not one of those weedy, wimpy women who look like they're
about to pass out but so far, I kid you not, no one in the whole of Hong
Kong, or the various parts of China I've been to recently, has offered me
a seat on a bus, train, underground, tram or boat so far. It's magic, I tell you!
sniffles. Apparently this is something to do with the thinning of
membranes but the sniffles plague you in pregnancy. At least once a week I
feel like I'm having a major hayfever attack and either my nostrils and sinuses are
blocked to everything except the symptoms of dog nose or they run, and
run, and run, and run....... very pleasant!
waddle. Oh yes you do - and you always said you'd never be one of
those women who waddles didn't you? You were one of those girls who said
"I'm not going to be an invalid, I'll just carry on like normal while
pregnant" weren't you? And for the most part that's true but every now and
then you get out of a chair and your hips have just slipped apart and you
can do nothing but waddle until they slide back in again! I know, it just
looks sooo attractive!!
The Public Petting. Whilst
lots of members of the public don't even notice the bump there are also
those who think it's public property. Some attention is nice but when
random washer woman from down the street feels the need to pat, stroke and
pet your belly it becomes a little tiresome! However, to all my good
friends I love it when you want to talk to Twinkle, it really makes me
feel like I'm growing a real person and that side of it is completely
The boobs. It's amazing,
while your bump becomes magically invisible I've noticed that your boobs
become the subject of intense scrutiny from all members of the opposite
sex - again, this phenomena happens particularly on public transport. Now
I have been aware that the male population of HK are particularly "tit
obsessed" for a long time (maybe because their own ladies don't have much
in that department) and that mine are of a decent size but really, staring
for a whole journey from Admiralty to North Point is just rude
(particularly when not giving your seat up!).
The crying. OK, I'm not
usually a cry baby and this hasn't affected me too much but suddenly
pampers commercials bring a lump to the throat, children on swings being a
tear to the eye and a cat stuck in tree feels like a national tragedy. I
have a friend who said she cried for 3 days about the tsunami when she was
pregnant, and one who had to switch channels when that advert with the
child falling and grazing his knee came on. Awwwww... bless..... it
happens to the most hardened of us.
The Pregnancy Perverts.
Excuse me if I'm a little naiive but I had no idea there were men out
there with this fettish - and excuse me if I think it's more than a little
weird that some random guy should get off (mentally not literally) on my
big fat belly. This bump is a growing human, not a piece of pornography,
now piss off and get your sick thrills somewhere else.
WITWoCT Syndrome. I'm sure
I had the beginnings of WITWoCT syndrome pre pregnancy but when you decide
to bring a child into the world it multiplies! It's the shaking of the
head and muttering under your breath of "What is the world coming to?" as
you see young children take seats on busses ahead of old (or pregnant)
people, when people drop litter obliviously, when people blatantly shove
past you with their supermarket trolley, when people don't let others off
trains before getting on themselves, people who sit in the aisle seat of
busses and act all oblivious to the fact that someone may wish to occupy
the window seat etc, etc.... you've all experienced it, just pregnancy
makes it much, much worse!!!
The nice stuff. Your man is
so proud of his handiwork he takes pleasure in massaging anti-stretchmark
cream into the bump even though you look like Nellie the Elephant.
And just when you thought he wasn't interested in baby purchases he
produces a spreadsheet of his research on strollers and baby monitors and
anything mechanical you might need with a cost benefit analysis to take
the hard work out of choosing (OK maybe it's me that's sad but the logical
engineer in me loves this kind of stuff!!!).
November 8th 2005 - a girl on a
bus gave up her seat for me. It was what Tommy and I call a "death bus"
where they pack 5 times the legal number of passengers on until the people
at the front have their noses squished against the windscreen and I was up
there with the nose squishers when suddenly a girl of about 22 offered me
a seat - wow - I was so shocked I almost told her I was OK thanks!
(Here's a hint for any future
pregnant friends that someone told me though - if someone offers their
seat, always take it, even if you're feeling OK - (i) it's taken
guts on their part to offer and if you decline they may never offer to
anyone again, (ii) it sends a signal to all around that it's the right
thing to do and (iii) it means you can stop your whinging about how rude
everyone else is for a day or two!!!)
November 30th 2005 - a man
of about 50 offered me a seat on a bus. He and a early 20's woman were on
the font (disabled, pregnant and old people) seat and a fat child sat on
the single seat perpendicular to the front seat and this man actually
looked disgusted and stood up and offered me his seat. He seat was in the
meantime taken by another child, who I grabbed by the ear and said "move,
rude child" to. The man then stood the whole way. I was very touched. And
I hope the young girl who sat next to me the whole way and the fat child
and the other child who got a seat a few stops later felt suitably guilty
but somehow I doubt they did. Cue excessive under breath WITWoCT moments
30th 2006 - it's not that I've not been updating this newsflash
section, it's that I really seriously have not been offered a seat ever,
once in my last 2 months of pregnancy. Even now, in my 42nd week of
pregnancy, when I can seriously not imagine being more visibly pregnant
ever in my life I've had to stand on trains and busses.
Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh - what am I doing bringing a child into this