7 Ways To Survive The Last Month Of Pregnancy

There comes a time, in every women’s pregnancy, when she reaches the ‘gatvol‘ stage. For my International audience – gatvol basically means ‘sick and tired’. Well, friends, I am officially gatvol. Like labour dilation, it happens slowly with a rush at the finish. I woke up on Monday, tired, puffy and exhausted, and by the time this morning had rolled around, I was 100% certified gatvol. If you aren’t sure if you are in the early stages of gatvolness or the late stages – here’s a simple test: Does the sight of another human being fill you with rage? If yes, you are at full-scale gatvol.

Full-scale-gatvolness tends to happen in the last month of pregnancy, and can be narrowed down to one thing. You have been pregnant for 11 years.

The only official cure is to birth the baby, so until then the gatvol-ness must be managed with a variety of lifestyle changes. Because as we all know, hard liquor, medication and murder are all top of the ‘pregnancy no-no’ list.

So, as my free-gift to you, I have come up with a list of several ways I can recommend surviving the final stages of pregnancy, until it’s time to become un-pregnant.

  • You aren’t sleeping, which is terrifically unfair, because you know that in a short few weeks when baby is here, you will never sleep again. Why aren’t you sleeping now, you ask? Because baby is literally sitting inside your bladder making running water noises and the slightest movement from either yourself or her sends you waddling to the loo. If you’re lucky, a little bit of wee will pass out. Enough to justify the use of a square of bog roll. If you’re not, you will convince yourself you have a bladder infection. This goes on all night. All fucking night people. The only way I have managed to help myself is to have a weekly cheat meal of soya sauce in a bowl. Drink it before bed and ensure you do not touch water. You must dehydrate yourself to the point of biltong if you want it to work. Then, with skin sucked in as tight as Zumas Shrek skull, you must go to bed and not move. Not a muscle. Your lack of movement, coupled with the extreme dehydration your are now putting your body against, will ensure a guaranteed 4-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

  • The heartburn in the latter stages of pregnancy will become so bad that you will wish sudden death upon yourself. Gaviscon will no longer work. Not even when drunk directly form the bottle (the large pink one) and downed with a couple chew tabs at the same time.Not even when your pillow nest is 4 granny-goose high and you are more erect than Bill Cosby after cocktail hour. The only cure, I’m afraid, is to stop eating anything with wheat, carbs, cheese, sugar, preservatives, spices, flavouring or milk. You must not consume anything that is actually food. Instead, if you feel faint to the point of collapsing, you may smell a piece of spaghetti and drink one glass of soya sauce in water. You might actually die from malnutrition, but the positive to this is no more heartburn, and a guaranteed good rest.

  • If you, like me, are waddling like an Internet gif, you must make alternative transport plans. I cant begin to tell you how little respect I generate when I walk int a boardroom looking like I’m birthing a penguin from my vagina. If the waddle is severe, you must break a bone and confine yourself to bed rest until baby arrives. A toe or foot will suffice. Remember – a break will hamper your time after baby – so think this one through very carefully before committing. If the waddle is only bad in the morning, afternoon, around lunchtime and at other times during the day, may I suggest finding a sturdy office chair to get you from point to point. Extra claps if you can find an attractive colleague to push you around.

  • It is very important to remove yourself from any situation where you may encounter a person with a stupidity disability. Sadly, hiding at home away from other human beings for 9 months is almost impossible, so may I suggest embarking on a ‘people purge’ for a while. Remove yourself from any and all mailing lists, politely decline any and all meetings and avoid 98% of men in the office who think their sexist jokes are funny. It is also very important to not answer unknown numbers, or emails that start with ‘TV licence’. Just yesterday I told a do not reply sender to go and ‘fuck their hand’. If your bullshit tolerance feels like it might break, then may I suggest also deleting your social media accounts until your anger hormones have settled. 12-99 months should suffice. Top Tip: Also try and avoid the following people: Car guards, telesales people, municipal workers, slow waiters, taxi drivers and slow-mall-walkers.

  • Do not allow yourself to be in traffic unnecessarily. I say this with peace and love in my heart, for I intentionally aimed my SUV at a silver painted mannequin man just last week. After a mind blowingly fun 2 hours in traffic. His juggling red balls were blocking the turning arrow, and for that I knew he must die. Luckily I had my son in the car, otherwise that silver man would have been so deeply ingrained into the tar of William Nicol that people old have mistaken him for a shimmery mirage.

  • Do not divorce your husband while pregnant. Give the relationship a fighting chance and admit that even you – yes, you – may be overreacting at times. Sure, the sight, smell and sound of him may cause you irrational anger, but this too shall (hopefully) pass. They don’t mean the things they say and they are also probably truly sorry for being such assholes during your 40 weeks of suffering. Do not rise to the bait when they tell you about your pregnancy and feelings and do not, under any circumstances, let them know that the smell of alcohol on their breath makes you want to cut their face off. If possible, ignore them for the entire gestation and become a self sufficient martyr.**

  • In the last month of pregnancy it is important to not carry anything of monetary value. Buy a cheap pay-as-you-go cellphone and eat off paper plates. This means, should you ever drop anything, it is therefore not necessary to pick it up or retrieve it, because if you lean down to fetch it, the chances are statistically high that you will never get up again.

  • Invest in a pair of highly unattractive, yet functional footwear. I’m taking something with the word ‘Froggy’ or ‘Green’ in them. Your feet and ankles with grow so swollen with water that anything sharper than the prick of a blade of grass will surely make them explode. Your feet, in anything stylish, will expand and wrap themselves around the straps, and you shall be left with a Geisha like walk for eternity. Fashion be damned, buy those damn Crocs.

Now off you go, waddle with god speed into your 19th trimester, dear friend. Not long to go until baby is here, you can drink wine and see your toes again.

**If you still feel this way when your baby has reached high school, then it’s probably not a phase and you should get a divorce attorney in.

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On This Sleep Thing.

I had a conversation with a friend last night who is keen to start trying for a baby. His wife is (naturally) very nervous. Amongst other things (gaining weight, finances and hormones) she’s worried about the lack of sleep a new baby will bring.

And I don’t blame her. Carter is perfect in many regards, but when it comes to sleeping, he’s a bit of an under achiever. And he’s over a year. So it’s not as if I haven’t given him a fair chance to prove me wrong.

Lack of sleep is 100% guaranteed when you have a child. Your newborn might sleep through from 6 weeks, but like any wild animal they can turn on you at any time. I know friends who smugly told anyone they met that their newborn slept through. And then said newborn turned one and never slept again. I know moms whose eleven-year-olds have sleep regressed, and I know my story – a baby who naps beautifully during the day, falls asleep on his own within minutes, but who sleeps through the night only 30% of the time. He’s 14 months. Which means that I haven’t slept through the night in 5475 days. That’s a lot of no napping, a massive rest respite, a sad RIP REM.

Now, before you dash off to your nearest Doctors office and swallow a box of birth control, I do have two pieces of good news: 1. You don’t actually need that much sleep and 2. It gets easier.

The only way I can liken coping on little to no sleep is to compare it with fitness. Have you ever trained for a race? Let’s say you have, and let’s say it was for a 10k. Let’s also assume that you were starting at a zero base – couch potato level. Your program starts you off gently, maybe a 2-kilometer run/walk the first day. Your heart rate spikes, you’re out of breath and you finish sweaty and exhausted. It’s possible that you may wake up the following day fucked. Your head foggy, your body swollen and battling to function for most of the day. You wondered how you could ever do more. But then the following week you have to run a solid 3 km’s, and it’s bloody hard, but you didn’t walk once, your body is a little less stiff, and you feel slightly happier. Within 4 weeks you are cruising a solid 5k’s and possibly beating your time. When race day approaches you’ve got this 10 k in the bag. You finish, tired but unbroken, and suddenly you start thinking about another race – perhaps a 21 k this time?

Lack of sleep is a bit like exercise fitness. If you happen to be a parent, think back to a time when you were kid free. If you are currently kid free then, well, damn you, you well rested bastard. Right, so thinking back to BC (Before Children) – you were used to long nights of unbroken sleep and a routine that was all yours. Now imagine you went out on a bender, got home late after a wine-fuelled dinner party or were babysitting a small human. All of these actions are guaranteed to result in less and broken sleep. Remember how you felt when you woke up the next morning? Fucked. Your head was foggy, your eyes swollen and you battled to function for most of the day.

But then you had a child of your own and that first night back from the hospital meant no more nurses or staff to help you. And then your baby had to wake up for a feed every 3 hours and – like a blind drunk – you stumbled from room to room, boobs exposed, bleary eyed and tried to do what you needed to do. You’d wake up in the morning, and how did you feel? Fucked. Your head was foggy, your eyes swollen and you battled to function for most of the day.

This goes on for a few days – you’re probably still so used to not having a kid that you’re sleeping through some cries, your 2-am alarm and the baby monitor beeping. You wonder how you will ever get used to the constant waking up. And then a few weeks pass and suddenly you wake up without needing an alarm, feed the kid with military skill and it all starts feeling easier. A few months in and your baby is going through a sleep regression, teething,

Fast forward a few months and your baby is going through a sleep regression, teething, colicky or in pain. You sleep less and less but function better and better. By now you might be back at work juggling deadlines, demands and clients. On 18 minutes of sleep you’ve put together proposals, dominated meetings and finished budget forecasts. You are acing this. You are running your 10k.

Turns out, the less you sleep the easier it becomes to not need sleep, and little rest no longer means you can’t function the next day. Our bodies are amazing things, and simply adjust to help us cope with this change in our lives.

That being said, combining the two can often be dangerous. I went out on a wine fueled bender last night, and also happened to be on baby duty. I am fucked today, eating McDonalds at my desk, my head throbbing, my eyes swollen, wondering how I’m ever going to function again.

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