1.  Women generally think you’re great in a pregnancy suit. Men think you’re a plonker.  5-year old boys think you’re a punch bag.
  2.  Having breasts is fun for a day and then they get in the way.
  3.  If you like the idea of having your belly stroked by women you’ve just met, this is an unlikely ice-breaker.
  4. This thing is a 33lb nutcracker and can crush a walnut with a single blow.
  5.  Never, ever,  attempt to go over a speedbump whilst riding a bike (for the same reason as 4)

So I went to the pharmacy last night to buy myself a belly support strap. What i didn’t mention was that Mafer also gave me the task of buying some baby cereal for Leo. I grabbed what i thought was right – admittedly it contained cocoa but it did come with a free tin of powdered milk. I returned home proudly revealing my new elastic belly support to Mafer and claiming it was going to change my life. Mafer smiled and then saw the box of cereal and, well, the smile vanished. “Estas loco? Chocolate!? For a baby?! All you care about is your belly, no one else is important anymore!” She stormed out of the house and back to the pharmacy to get the right cereal. I was left stunned and confused like only a pregnant dad can be. After a moment I realised she was right and weirdly I empathised with how she felt from the time when she was pregnant and I was on the other side.

It was weird returning to work. Calling clients, skyping (camera off today), meetings, dealing with investors; doing the normal everyday stuff felt anything but normal. By the end of the day the constant swinging motion of the belly forced me to brave a visit to the local pharmacy and ask for medical assistance. It was packed so I waited for it to empty before unzipping my jacket, exposing belly and explaining my predicament to the woman behind the counter. I expected her to crack a smile or reel back in shock, stab me with a syringe, anything but treat me like a pregnant woman. She  nodded professionally like she’d seen it all before, opened a drawer and placed an elastic waist strap on the counter.  A few minutes later, with belly strapped firmly in place,  I waltzed out of there with a new-found  spring in my stride. It was wonderful, I could move again.  I celebrated by chasing Enzo around the house whilst growling ‘BIG BAD BELLY’S GONNA GET YA’. Then collapsed in a sweaty pregnant heap on the sofa.

After 5 hours of wearing the pregnancy suit, initial jubilation (aided by a few drinks, nothing excessive, of course) has worn off and the reality has started to bite, nip and rub.  The velcro straps that support the suit chaff against your neck, the belly itself hangs so low it swings perilously around your mid-groin and to pee you have to hoike the thing up with one hand, pull the fella out with the other and pray you’re not urinating down your leg.  It’s funny that now i’m wearing the suit, my wife’s attitude turned from one of ‘that’s no substitute for my 9 months imprisonment’ to one of bemusement and pity.  I had shortsightedly taken my racing bike to our little ceremony at Jason’s house to avoid the traffic caused by the Barcelona half-marathon. To get vaguely comfortable on the return journey I had to rest the belly on the cross bar and breasts over the handlebars. By the time I was home I was getting used to confused pedestrians double-taking. I waved cheerfully to one lady who put her hand on her mouth muffling a scream, then turned on her heels and disappeared into the metro.

An hour ago I thought this whole bonkers idea would be more embarrassing than physically tough. I imagined life would continue pretty much as normal bar the weird looks and confused questioning by the public. I naively thought I would continue my usual routine of running a couple of times a week and biking or kite-surfing on the weekends. Yes,  it would harder, more challenging,  but I secretly thought it would be good training – like wearing a loaded rucksack or carrying my five-year old son on my shoulders. For a month. Day and night.  In the process I imagined I would gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of what my wife has been through twice and my mother 3 times. No major downside. That was an hour ago, before trying the pregnancy suit on. I’m now having second thoughts. Life will not continue as normal.  It may never be the same again. It’s not so much the 15kg of weight but how it’s distributed: right on your bladder and groin. To make matters worse, something moves inside the belly. A weird alien-like lump of solid resin swings like a embryonic pendulum with each move you make. It’s freaky. Wrong. This whole ordeal is definitely not made for a man.