Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Craving to help

I was so used to hearing funny stories about people craving the most ridiculous things when they were pregnant that I was well prepared when it came to my wife’s turn.  I was ready and really wanted to help out with this.  I didn’t drive when my wife was pregnant so I had to make sure I knew where the nearest convenience stores were, which wasn’t too hard as we have one within 512 feet.  (I just checked, I didn’t know that already.)  And another, bigger superstore around a mile away.
Anyway, I was probably more prepared for my wife’s cravings than I was for any other part of the pregnancy.  We have already considered that I wasn’t really aware of how tired she was likely to get, and whilst I knew about morning sickness and nausea I had tried to put that to the back of my mind.  But cravings, here’s where I could really step up and come into my own.  Cravings were something, other than the fact that I couldn’t drive and therefore couldn’t really transport anything back which weighed more than a couple of sacks of potatoes, that I could help with. 

I’m about to say something which will sound ridiculous when viewed from a female point of view, but I’m not really qualified to talk about that so here goes, Pregnancy for us men is a difficult time.  I was ecstatic about the birth of my first child, but there was a part of me which recognised that I would basically be relegated to second place, everything about our family would now revolve around my wife and our child.  I was fully prepared to be a hands on dad, and with my wife’s work it was likely that I would be very involved, but there’s just something about mummy that means we are second class parents, especially if, as with my wife, they are planning on breast-feeding.  There are 9 months in which your wife is the entire centre of attention, and I was perfectly happy with that, and then the birth, which leaves you feeling totally useless, and then the early years when mummy is really the one parent to rule them all.  I was perfectly happy with all these things, but it does leave you somewhat struggling to find things that you can help with. 

But there were always cravings.  I can run to the shop with the best of them and before we had our child I was also happy with early mornings and late night trips out.  Cravings were where I was going to shine.  At least this is what I told myself.  As you may have gathered, I am not the most practical of men.  Putting up the cot, or making the changing table really didn’t play to my strengths, though I gave them a good go, (and there is more DIY related news to come later today so watch out for that) but here was something that I could do. 

So here we were, my wife was pregnant and I had gone through craving forums, and learnt about some of the more extreme cravings. I had read up on the causes of craving (disappointingly it seems that no-one knows, although studies have been done, such as this one from 1978 which is free to read, or this one from 2002 which requires institutional log in, nonetheless, no conclusions are really drawn from this.  Just one of those mysteries for which, no doubt, people have their own ideas.)  I had a supply of pickles just in case (it seems that pickles and olives are craved most often.)  I had done reconnaissance to make sure I could put my hands on more if necessary.  In short, I was as prepared as I could be and ready and eager for these cravings to start, here was my chance to be useful in this pregnancy. 

But, of course, things didn’t quite go to plan. My wife developed a mild taste for fried eggs, which required a saunter to the shop, so the marathon training wasn’t totally wasted, but other than that it was like she wasn’t even pregnant a grand total of no cravings, nothing, throughout the entire nine months.    She liked all the things she already liked and disliked all the things she already disliked, which is quite a list, and nothing had changed.  And there was I head full of knowledge, studies from the 1970s memorised, all for nought. At least I know now, and perhaps the Mongolian sweetbreads will still be good if there’s a next time.

1 comment:

  1. I was so disappointed - I didn't get any odd cravings either - I was really looking forward to it, but no. Salt and vinegar square crisps was about as wierd as it got. That and goats cheese and watercrss sandwiches!