Where’s the Glow?

So.  This is the first of what I assume will be many postings related to kids and parenting.

(If you didn’t know… well… SURPRISE… We’re 6 months pregnant!)

As my wife and I march closer to the birth of our little man, the changes are already coming fast and furious.  And anyone who knows me knows I over-think just about everything.  No starry-eyed wondering at the miracle of it all… not me, not here… I’m wired more the opposite.  Cold hard analysis. Looking at the short and long term effects of decisions.

You could argue I’m draining the wonder and glory out of the whole thing.  You might be right, but it’s who I am… and thankfully I married a woman who loves me anyway.

Except we are both quite blindsided by the most recent development.  Apparently, society has another topic which it displays in a blanket of misinformation and wrong advice from every side.  I thought the only thing fully in that category was sex and it’s true realities (don’t get me started… a whole other blog post about both the religious and secular worlds doing more damage than good).  But no-no… there is a bigger smoke and mirrors campaign.  Something like:

“Pregnancy is a beautiful wonderful thing.”

Um. No. That’s a lie.

Okay, maybe that’s too harsh.  I suppose there are women out there that have good pregnancies to perpetuate the myth.  Some must actually enjoy it.  Heck, that Duggar woman is now pregnant with her 19th kid so I guess that’s an example of good times no matter how extreme.

But in our house… any sighting or representation of “happy expectant mother” is laughable.  I truly believe that the “glow” is only something Hollywood created.  When have you ever heard a real “it was awful” pregnancy story? Morning sickness you hear about.  Maybe you know a woman put on bed-rest… but that doesn’t get discussed as anything worse than a monumentally boring hassle.

This is one of those things where looking back apparently becomes so altered by the rosy glasses of the little cuddly person that all the crap is forgotten.

So.  Here I am for the sake of history.  Or so I’ll tell myself.

Morning sickness. – Nope.  Didn’t happen.   We had evening sickness.  Not with puking, but a general dislike of all smells, food, and wafts of the airconditioner.  I had to eat in another room.

Oh… and the first trimester is supposed to be when she feels the worst.  Um.  No.  We’re on a perpetual rise of discomfort like a never-ending roller coaster crank hill.

Now, Catherine’s a trooper.  No doubt.  Wanted to go camping.  Likes to get out and do things.  But the snap-back for her boldness is horrific.

Heartburn so bad she wants to cry.  A bronchial infection.  That leads to coughing, which stirs up the acid reflux, which generally leads to puking, which empties her stomach, which makes her hungry, which leads to heartburn and the cycle continues.

But wait!  Coughing moves ribs!  That’s right, dear reader, ribs in my wife’s back are swinging out of place like they are on hinges.  And that comes with a big basket of excruciating pain, which makes her cry, which stirs the heartburn, which aggravates the cough, which hurts the rib, which often leads to puking, which makes her hungry and on and on it goes…  except now with terrible tear-stirring pain.

And… nosebleeds!  Cause when all of that’s going on what she really wants to do is lay down and let the blood trickle down her sore throat, stir her heartburn and…  yeah.  See above.

So.  Where’s the glow?  Who thought up that steaming pile of fiction?

What really breaks my heart is there’s not a thing I can do to help her.  She’s sorting through a list of medications longer than my entire medical record, trying to keep down lunch and not cough to send her rib screendoor-ing around her torso…

And I’m standing there going “I’m sorry, baby”.  I may as well just shrug and say “Sucks to be you” – that would be just as helpful.  Thus… if no one else in the history of pregnancy wants to say it… I’ve done it.

Pregnancy sucks.  It’s not wonderous.  It’s not beautiful.  There are no Angels with softly gelled spotlights making sure there’s a glow off perfect skin.

If you’re reading this – and you’ve gotten this far – I must ask one serious favor.

Do not ask my wife how she’s doing.  You’ve already read how she’s doing.  She’s somewhere in the discomfort cycle listed above and swallowing her way through her daily mountain of pills.

Don’t ask.  And don’t mention it.  That doesn’t help either.

There’s no glow.  Baby’s healthy.  Mom’s in Hell.  Dad’s hanging on.

And the truth has been recorded.


  1. First of all, couldn’t agree more. Erica was basically uncomfortable 24-7 for 9-months with Sophie, and this go around (oh, did your mom tell you we’re due for our 2nd in March?) she has constant nausea and headaches which give her barely enough energy to make it until I get home from work, and then she puts dinner together (if she’s up to it) and passes out. There is one thing about the cliche that is true my friend… in the end, its all worth it!! 🙂 from your fellow “Sucks to be you” friend, Matt.

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