Time for a preg­nant pause ....

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - SOCIAL - Kirsty Blake Knox @KirstyBlakeKnox

It is Au­gust — the of­fi­cial month of the out-of-of­fice re­ply. These tend to come in a va­ri­ety of shapes and sizes; fit-to-bust smug, open ag­gres­sion, and Cap­tain Lawrence Oates lev­els of vague mys­tery. This year, I have de­cided to use this col­umn as my out-of-of­fice. I’ll be head­ing off for some time as I am, to quote James Joyce, up the pole.

Yes, in less than two weeks I’ll have to fig­ure out how I can en­cour­age a small hu­man to skele­ton out of my pelvis and into the world.

The big­gest re­spon­si­bil­ity I have to date is look­ing af­ter my phone, so this is quite a step up. Sadly, they don’t make Ot­ter­boxes for Ba­bies™, and peo­ple are less un­der­stand­ing if you drop a child in a night­club toi­let. Go fig­ure.

Un­til I be­came preg­nant, most of my knowl­edge on the sub­ject had been cob­bled to­gether from pop cul­ture — movies, soap op­eras and Demi Moore’s Van­ity Fair cover. This really messes with your head. The peo­ple who pack­age preg­nancy for film must be the same peo­ple who keep putting shower-based sex scenes on TV. Looks good — then you try it at home and lose the will to live, and de­stroy a loofah. I can’t be alone on this front so I’ve de­cided to point out the ways real-life preg­nancy dif­fers from movie preg­nancy.


In films, this just hap­pens — no fights, no con­fused looks, no “I knew some­one in pri­mary school called that and, well, he killed a man”. In re­al­ity, it’s a mine­field. As the Ro­mans said, “Nomen Est Omen” — the name is a sign. You want to get it right.

In Switzer­land, a baby-nam­ing agency will scour his­tor­i­cal tomes to find some­thing unique and filled with mean­ing, thus en­sur­ing your child goes on to achieve un­told great­ness such as discovering plu­to­nium/in­vent­ing the in­ter­net/cre­at­ing a pan­cake-flip­ping ma­chine. The only hic­cup is the agency is called Er­fol­gswelle — which doesn’t in­spire con­fi­dence.

Ask­ing around is risky, ev­ery­one has an opin­ion and you don’t want to end up with a child called Baby McBabeface.

Celebri­ties have gone for places they con­ceived — such as Brook­lyn — but that only works if you were on hol­i­day at the time. Ir­ish towns don’t lend them­selves to adorable names — Hack­balls Cross, Ter­mon­feckin, or Doodys Bot­toms? And you have to fac­tor in di­alect — a baby called Scar­let is just not an op­tion in Dublin. Googling a name, much like an ill­ness,

lis never ad­vis­able. My top pick turned out to be the name of an ac­com­plished porn star. I am very fond of the name so I’ve spent weeks ask­ing friends what they reckon the longevity of her ca­reer will be? Short-lived? Or will she be­come the Meryl Streep of pornos? The for­mer I can live with, the lat­ter... not so much.


You won’t get a hanker­ing for coal, or chalk, or petroleum. Or any­thing fun. Most likely you’ll just want to eat frozen piz­zas, chips, and toasted cheese sand­wiches. Your palate be­comes as dis­cern­ing as mid-1970s, mut­ton-chopped Elvis.


I thought I’d dis­cover I was preg­nant when I be­gan pro­jec­tile vom­it­ing dur­ing an ex­tremely im­por­tant meet­ing. Men in suits would anx­iously glance around the ta­ble, back­ground mu­sic would swell, and a wiz­ened old lady would ap­pear from nowhere and nod at the cam­era. In­stead, I just felt dull nau­sea I as­sumed was the re­sult of eat­ing mince pies for break­fast (don’t @ me, it was Jan­uary).


You won’t want to just sit. You’ll want to take off your pants and lie down like a gi­ant do­mes­ti­cated cat.


This is par­tially true — you do feel like a pri­mal Won­der Woman some days. But then you down­load an app in­form­ing you the baby is the size of a turnip and uri­nat­ing a pint a day. And then there are the things that movies never tell you. Like your body be­comes pub­lic prop­erty for ev­ery­one to com­ment on and poke. This can be both a pro and a con.

I love be­ing carted off to rel­a­tives’ homes to show off the bump like a hu­mon­gous Kin­der Sur­prise. I even like it when strangers grab my tummy — pro­vid­ing they aren’t listed sex of­fend­ers.

Also you will cry at all the fol­low­ing; that Ker­ry­gold ad with the dead mother fry­ing but­ter and ev­ery episode of First Dates, Queer Eye, Long Lost Fam­i­lies, Gog­gle­box, and, yes, even Flog it!


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