Her body was a wonderland, now it’s a kind of Eastern Bloc theme park where all the best rides are collapsed and shuttered.
Being pregnant sucks balls – luckily, everything drastic that’s going to happen is going to happen to her. Some of these things are pretty gruesome, so for the sake of keeping your balls attached to your body, don’t make matters worse by pointing any of the following out.
1. She will fart like a trombone
If at first she feels a little bashful about this, it will not last long. In fact, you’ll pine for the days when your beloved actually cared whether she was leaking like an earthquake-ruptured gas main.
Now she’s up the duff, her body has ramped up its production of relaxin and progesterone (muscle-relaxing hormones designed to help her accommodate –and eventually deliver – the growing child). As a result, food moves more slowly through her gastrointestinal tract, gasbagging like a Trump defender at every turn – and eventually firehosing you with flatulence.
In the beginning it will be mostly while she’s asleep, but before long you’ll be struggling to hear the radio over her horn section.
As netmums user Amy R put it nicely: “Before I was pregnant, if I did fart, it was only a squeaker and never smelt,” she wrote. “Now it sounds like a lorry coming out my backside.”
More and/or less hilariously, she’ll also burp like an interplanetary klaxon calling Cthulu across dimensions.
Don’t feel obliged to compete – you’ll lose.
2. She’ll grow a muff like a beefeater’s hat
Some women continue to groom their ladyparts even after they’ve begun hardcore nesting; others even continue their six-weekly appointments with their waxers.
These women are blessed and rare, because once the pop-tent of her distended belly blocks the view of her minge, for most women it’s a combination of too-hard-basket, risk (slicing your own bits because you can’t see them) versus reward (you’ll shag her anyway) and literally out of sight, out of mind.
Also, pregnancy hormones kick her hair growth into overdrive, meaning the well-groomed l’il kitten you’ve become accustomed to will go full Chewbacca seemingly overnight.
Oh, she may also have a little more facial hair than earlier. Downy though it will probably be, best not mention it.
3. She’ll drool constantly (but not where you’d expect)
Sex during pregnancy can be a wonderful relief from the constant trips to IKEA to pick up the endless nesting crap that she insists on buying.
The good news is that, at least from the second trimester onward, there’s a good chance she’ll be hornier than a viking’s hat rack. And yet, at some stage, you will have this exchange:
HER: “Hey! Wait a minute – not so fast.”
YOU: “But you seemed so… ready.”
HER: “No I didn’t.”
The reason for this is the unsexy quinella of words that is ‘vaginal discharge’. She feels wet all the time. She is wet all time time. But not because she’s necessarily ‘in the mood’.
Basically, because she’s an estrogen machine now, her ladyparts are more drenched than lowland Bangladesh whether she’s up for it or not.
So: when sexual opportunities do come up, be sure not to fast forward the foreplay, even if you seem to have a leave pass.
4. Her bits will Hulk out
Okay, look, there’s a lot that’s happening in the vaginal area generally and it’s unseemly to bang on about it, but it is what it is.
One of my wife’s best friends described her lady furniture as looking “swollen and angry, like a purple gorilla” in a conversational exchange I unfortunately walked in on, and no small amount of drinking has allowed me to forget.
As D-Day looms, your lover’s lady-parts may swell alarmingly, as if she’s had an unfortunate bouncing accident with a particularly unforgiving Space Hopper. This is an ailment that only birthing seems to relieve.
Fear not – things will calm down.
5. She’s a lot, ahem, looser down there
But don’t be surprised if things start feeling a bit different while you’re making the most of her hormonal surges. Everything down there will begin to soften and loosen to make way for your bub’s exit, and while the highway’s been widened, you’re driving the same sized minivan.
The good news – it’s also quite normal that what stretches also retracts. It’ll go back to normal eventually. In the meantime, and I’ve said this before but it’s seriously, worth repeating: do not pester her about pelvic floor exercises or joke with the doctor about ‘throwing in an extra stitch’.
You’re not getting laid for a while as it is – don’t make it any longer.
6. Oh, and she might be a cripple
Osteitis pubis, the scourge of Chris Judd and lesser AFL players in the 2000s, sounds like an unlikely injury to put your partner on crutches – or, in worse cases, a wheelchair.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), osteitis pubis’s little brother, has been diagnosed in roughly 1 in 300 pregnancies – but the occurrence could be higher as some women don’t realise they’ve got it.
One victim who definitely did know was Zoe Foster Blake, the multitalented wife of Hamish Blake, whose pregnancies put her on crutches.
“The pain got far worse as the weeks went on, it was now in my groin and back,” she wrote, in a typically excellent blog post. “Once I realised I was limping non-stop (around 34 weeks) I saw a third physio, who immediately put me on crutches for the last five weeks of my pregnancy, which sucked a doz.”
7. Her rack will be awesome, but off limits
“On average, it’s safe for women to expect to go up at least one bra size over the course of the pregnancy,” says obstetrician Dr Patrick Duff.
On the downside, her lingerie will be functional, and probably not fun. But get used to that, because her boobs are about to follow suit. As they get fuller, they’ll also become sore and sensitive, so don’t expect to be allowed to touch them. Also, some women tend to get a little possessive about their new-found chest friends.
8. She’ll borrow grandpa’s laxatives
Progesterone again. As her digestive system slows down, stuff passes through it at a more leisurely pace, relaxing her gut muscles and giving her bowel more time to absorb moisture.
This is bad, because it turns her stools into atrophied, rock-like nuggets, which are about as keen to leave home as your mooching kid will be when it turns 18.
Expect irritability and painful bathroom trips for her, and even hemorrhoids – which usually aren’t too much of an issue, but will occasionally require some very delicate surgery to remove. (Aren’t you glad this isn’t happening to you?).
9. She might wet herself
Okay, so: there’s a baby sitting on her bladder and every sneeze, cough or Amy Schumer one-liner could cause a small amount of wee to escape.
She will hate this. Especially because her sense of humour is already diminished by a very sore crotch – often caused, among other reasons, by your growing offspring kicking her in the vagina. From the inside.
Yet another reason to check your privilege and give her foot rubs, or at least stop getting pissed at barbecues every weekend because she’s unable to drink/can drive your drunk arse home.