THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF 3 DADS AS THEY TAKE  ON THE WEIGHT OF BEING A 9 MONTH PREGNANT MOM FOR ONE MONTH

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
1

How hard can it be?

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.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
2

The madness begins

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.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
3

It’s all weird and wonderful

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.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
4

Role reversal empathy.

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.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
5

Football night and feeling uncomfortably self-conscious

I’ve just returned from watching Enzo play football at his local club. I love watching him play almost as much as he loves playing,  but I didn’t relish the idea of wearing a pregnancy suit in front of  all the other dads. Pathetic I know.  I approached the grounds anxious and unsure whether my breasts should be in or out of my jacket. Call me bashful but I settled for breasts-in and belly-out.  Proud not provocative. I went in, bracing myself for a barrage of leeriness. Silence. Of course there were the usual looks of bemusement and confusion but that was it. It was almost disappointing. Maybe I should have got the breasts out after all. Ben passed me a beer and for the first time in 4 days life felt almost normal. I  guess Barcelona is just a liberal and accepting kind of city. Enzo played his heart out  but the star of the show as usual was not one of the boys but Maria – she’s four years old and utterly brilliant.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
6

Little victories 

In 2010 David Brailsford was the performance director for GB’s professional cycling team. He introduced the idea of aggregation of marginal gains. A 1% improvement in everything you do adds up to a remarkable achievement. Boom! Bradley wins the Tour. Today was all about little victories. Wearing a surfing rash vest reduced the chaffing of the straps around my back without causing over perspiration. The elasticated waistband gave a plum-preserving extra centimetre of clearance on the bike shaving minutes off Enzo’s school run. A strip of foam tucked in the belly reduced bladder pressure by a few psi and trips the bathroom to just 3 per hour.  The net result was a chipper mood all round and a new found productivity in the office.  I almost stopped counting the hours until this insane ordeal is over (528).

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
7

I’m expecting. But not this.

I was just getting used to the school run to drop Enzo off, until today. My timing was out and I arrived when the gates were still closed so I couldn’t just drop-off and go. A 9-year old girl with glasses and a couple of her friends approached me. She fired off a round of questions about the belly and whether there was a real baby inside. I played along and said yes there was and it was due in a few weeks. More of her class gathered and the questioning upped a notch in tempo. Enzo said a quick goodbye, as he does nowadays. I glanced towards the school gates, pathetically willing them to open. When I turned back the little girl with the glasses was looking at me suspiciously, like I was a fraud. Her eyes narrowed, she wasn’t buying it. She grabbed my jacket and yanked it up exposing the zip that accessed the pouch containing prosthetic belly. “There’s a zip!” She exclaimed in horror. The shocking revelation reverberated around her entire class who  now surrounded me. There was a moment of confusion before the bespeckled ringleader took control of the situation and began chanting: “Open it up! Open it up! Open it up!” She egged on her classmates, waving her little hands furiously like a mad conductor. The class joined in and the chant crescendoed to fever pitch “Open it up! Open it up! Open it up!” I was glad they weren’t brandishing sticks or this could have gone all Lord of Flies with Piggy in the middle.  In the end I was saved by the school bell and the unruly mob dissipated to their classroom. The girl in the glasses was the last to leave. I had the feeling that she hadn’t finished with me yet.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
8

Give me a dark room for two hours any day

Last night we had the choice of going to a birthday drinks party or the Cinema. Mafer was keen for the more social option which I thought was very brave considering that when we’re out together we both become the object of public attention. Whether they think I’m a scientific breakthrough and actually pregnant, or that I’m simulating pregnancy for an odd reason, or just a fat guy with tits, discussion will inevitably turn to my wife at my side and what part she plays in this freak show. Today was our first day in public together and understandably she felt self conscious and awkward to start; evident as she drifted a few paces behind me. That evening I was very grateful when she finally settled for the cinema and watching the film ‘Wild’ in a dark cinema out of public eye rather than mingling at the cocktail party. I did promise her that next weekend we would be extra social. The film opens with a woman embarking on a insane journey that’s she’s totally unprepared for. What an idiot.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
9

5 things I didn’t know a week ago

 

  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)
JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
10

Odd is good. I think.

It’s one of those things that has always annoyed me. Odd socks. If the sock drawer if not continually managed, chaos infiltrates the ranks, the pairs vanish and and odd socks rule the drawer. Every morning I spend a frustrating few minutes fishing around blindly hoping to land a surviving pair from the depths.  Add a 33lb pregnancy suit into the equation and a week of sleepless nights and this frustration escalates into full blown sock rage where I want to put my fist through the wardrobe and strangle ever last one of them. Until this morning that is. Today I saw those little fellas differently, literally. Why should there be just one partner for every sock? What if pairing wasn’t discriminated by colour,  pattern or size? Every sock would have endless possibilities of pairing. Society may implode into rioting and mayhem, but there would be happier sock drawers across the world.   Today it was a risk I was willing to take.  As I waddle out-of-breath and sweating to work with a black and grey Burlington on my left foot and a blue and yellowed toed M&S on the right, I find myself pondering whether I’ve just lost all sense of vanity. Or dignity.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
11

I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I wrote about my sock drawer yesterday.

There’s really nothing better than putting on a nicely ironed pair of pants when you’re hosting a 33lb pregnancy suit.  It’s the little things in life that I’ve come to appreciate. Tumbling into bed and taking the weight off your feet. Foam padding. Pillows. A bath.  Balancing the laptop on the belly and watching rubbish tv.  An infectious giggle from a passing mum as she catches you patting your belly. Pregnancy yoga in the office. A journalist from a newspaper in Chile asking you how long it takes to have a pee. And wanting the answer to the nearest minute. A hug from your wife even if her arms don’t quite reach around you.  Your 5-year old son saying what we’re doing is quite cool actually. And then whacking you on the belly.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
12

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Good: smuggled a 15kg of prosthetic baby through both Barcelona and gatwick customs without raising an eyelid  or a cavity search. Our first investor presentation as pregnant dads went surprisingly well,  all things considered.  Best member of the public remark of the day: ‘It’s a miracle’.

Bad: You know when you enter an airline and hope you’re not sitting next to the big fella who takes up two seats? Imagine the panicked passenger faces as we appeared.  I sat for 2.5 hours wedged between two pregnant dads in an airline seat clearly not engineered for any pregnancy beyond the first trimester.

Ugly: Me. Tired, angry and over it. I need to sleep. And you can’t in this thing.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
13

Back to Barcelona and back to normal. Ish.

The media circus in the UK was fun but utterly exhausting. The British public were generally wonderful and full of curiosity to know what on earth we were doing. This is probably because the UK has a long tradition of people making plonkers of themselves (occasionally for a good reason) and society is more forgiving than perhaps a latin country such as Spain. Everywhere we waddled we were approached by some inquisitive person with camera in hand and smile across their face. Still, we can’t let it go to our heads, gotta keep the feet firmly on the ground and focus on getting through the next couple weeks up the birth on Mother’s Day. Whilst we were in London Madonna ‘fell’ off the stage at the Brits. I mean really, the extent some people will go to grab a bit of attention

Member of the public comment of the day came from a mother laden with bags of shopping and 4 children: “If only!”

.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
14

Steve, It’s not the shoelaces. It’s what happens next.

In 1982 social scientists James Wilson and George Kelling introduced the ‘Broken Window Theory’. The theory states that maintaining cities to prevent small crimes such as broken windows helps to prevent more serious crimes such as rioting, robbery and looting from happening. It worked for New York.  What’s this got to do Steve’s shoelaces you may wonder? Well, it’s not the shoelaces, it’s what happens next. Yes it’s hard to do your shoelaces up when you can’t even see your feet, I get it. Being pregnant is bloody hard work. But there’s an apathy creeping in here and as we all know idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Tomorrow, it’ll be not putting the shoes on at all. Then not washing. Not wiping. Not dressing. Not caring. Hitting the juice.  Before we know it they’ll be a naked pregnant dad waving a bottle of gin around and directing traffic. No one wants that. Steve, please do the laces up.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
15

Halfway. A few words on happiness.

I once read an article on happiness and how our level of happiness is pre-programmed genetically so that even if our circumstances changed wildly – you ended up behind bars for life or at the other end of the spectrum you won the lottery –  your level of happiness would eventually return to its preset levels. If you were a grumpy old fart before winning millions you’d still be a grumpy old fart lying back on your yacht sipping margaritas. If you were a cheerful chap before prison, a few years into your sentence you’d be joyfully spooning down some tasteless slop in the prison dining hall . So, after two psychologically and physically draining weeks in this suit I ask myself am I as happy as I was before this ordeal began? No. Maybe the levels need more time to stabilise. Respect to you pregnant mothers out whose levels are all over the shop today.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
16

A morning from hell.

Woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’m a light sleeper at the best of times and wearing this suit is like going to bed in a straightjacket packed with a boulder and two stones.  Mafer was out the house at 6am to work which meant I had to get both Leo and Enzo up, clothed, fed, out the house and to the playgroup and school on time. I had a few obstacles thrown at me this morning just for good measure. Enzo wet the bed, Leo was sick down my back and my haemorrhoids were in a furious mood. I also had to take Mafer’s bike complete with wicker basket. Humiliating, I know.  As I cycle shifting uncomfortably on the seat through town, my verve waivers for the first time, I’m not cut out for this pregnancy business – I’ll take the rubbish out without being asked, I’ll put up the shelves and bleed the radiators, but not this.   I arrive sweating at the playgroup.  ‘Oh, look’ commented one of the mothers ‘you’ve got breasts and everything. Did you have them last week?”. ‘No’ I replied as straight as possible ‘they grew in week two’.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
17

Today I’m going to enjoy the things I have.

Last week a dear friend of mine, who had been suffering the debilitating effects of MS for many years passed away. Even though he had been wheelchair-bound and finally bed-bound for a good part of his life, it was still a shock. He was an unforgettable character with a laugh that would reverberate from the rooftops and such an irrepressible spirit that despite his ever-weakening body there seemed to just be too much life in him for any illness to stop him living. It’s hard to imagine the strength that he, his amazing wife and 2 young children have shown over the years living with MS. Not once did I hear them ever complaining about the hand they were so unfairly dealt. Chris will be really missed. My love goes out his family.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
18

I used to be quite active.

Running, biking and kitesurfing, my life sped along at speed and I loved it. Wearing this suit is like driving the handbrake on; it forces you to slow down against your will. Eventually you’re forced to accept it. I now find myself in the house more (socialising and being in public takes a certain frame of mind), so when I’m not working I spend more time with the kids. Leo has started to toddle which according to Mafer is similar to my pregnant waddle. He also utters an incomprehensible babble that resembles what emerges from the bathroom when I suit-up after the shower, but a whole lot sweeter. And he loves to be thrown in the air (apparently it’s good for the development of balance) and you’re instantly rewarded with a burst of mid-flight giggles. It’s very addictive. Meanwhile Enzo demands a daily dose of ‘Big Bad Belly’. This involves a few frantic circuits of the house with me chasing him. So, I’m still getting my cardio fix but it’s different. My beautiful titanium-and-carbon-fibre racebike hangs sadly on the wall in the study, slowly gathering dust. I’ve stopped looking longingly at it. Well, almost.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
19

The internet thinks I’m a pregnant woman.

‘Walnuts are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3s. A handful of walnuts is a great choice for an on-the-run snack for a pregnant woman like you.’ Wise words from the wholesome foods for pregnant women newsletter that spammed my inbox this morning. The internet used to spam me kitesurfing holidays in faraway places, Torque wrenches for carbon fibre handlebars and err, other stuff. Now it’s pregnancy supplements, pampers offers and err, other stuff. Anyway, I just happen to quite like walnuts so I took their advice and went out and bought a bag of walnuts. However, when it came to cracking them I couldn’t find the nutcracker. Leo’s favorite pastime is to empty the kitchen drawers and then hide stuff around the house. I found an egg whisk in the toilet yesterday. Scrambled eggs anyone? So, I found myself with a bag of nuts and no cracker. It was at that point that it occurred to me that I had carried around a 33lb nutcracker for the last 19 days. Talk about ah-ha! moment. I find it hard to describe in words the pleasure and satisfaction of cracking walnuts with my prosthetic belly. I never thought I say this, but you’ve got try one of these things; if for no other reason, to crack a walnut.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
20

The law of the alarm clock is the law

Over the last 20 days what I’ve missed most is at night, and it’s not what you think. It’s sleep. Every day I wake up feeling physically ill from lack of the stuff. They say 80% of pregnant women suffer from insomnia so I’m in good company. I’ve now tried all the pregnancy sleep tricks in the book: the yoga left nostril inhale, the squeeze the toes and relax, the eye roll, pressing between the little indentation between the eyebrows. I’ve tried sleeping pills – before you start tutting remember I’m not actually pregnant – but they only get me to 4am. Having two young children; one of whom has a tendency to wet the bed and the other who possesses a cry that would shatter a breezeblock don’t exactly contribute to the nocturnal peace of the house. Last night was different though. There was something in the air; a drop in pressure, a changing moon, a soporific quality that had me in the land of nod past 3am, 4am, 5am and heading towards the soft lights of dawn and a glorious sleep-in. But at 6am my wife’s alarm went off and I woke up. She’s one of these people who go to bed with the best intentions of an early start and then sleep them away during the night. Then she didn’t just hit the snooze button once (legal), or twice (a civil offence) but 3 times (a criminal offence) and then turned it off and went back to sleep (death penalty). I looked at the fluffy white pillow and then at my wife inhaling and exhaling softly in the deepest most beautiful sleep. Yes, I love you very much but I have to kill you: the law of the alarm clock is the law. I slowly leaned over to pick up the pillow and then Enzo walked in clutching a sodden pair of pyjamas and looking all miserable and distressed. I quickly pretended to be asleep. Mafer got up, calmed him down as only a mother can, washed him and put him back in his bed. I decided that murder was unnecessary this morning and let my wife off with a warning and a big hug.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
21

For long-term psychological effects, we’ll just have to wait.

Ever since I first put on the pregnancy suit my family have been brilliant. Over the last 3 weeks Enzo (5) has just made the most of it – punching, headbutting, playing big-bad-belly and generally accepting it into our life. Perhaps he’s too young to feel embarrassed or awkward when we’re together in front of his school friends or at football practice. I prefer to go out in public with him than alone as it’s more fun and you don’t feel quite so weird – it’s better to be a pregnant dad than a pregnant loner I guess. I’m not sure if there’s any lesson to be learnt here; if anything it could be that challenging the norm is a good thing even if you look like a dafty. If you can do this you can do anything. It’s a bit too early to say this will have a purely positive effect on my family in the long run as the disruption has been difficult, especially on my wife. With 2 young kids and our jobs, life is hectic at the best of times and the belly hasn’t made things any easier. However, even she admitted last night that she had got used to it and that we’ve adapted. Each evening she enjoys hearing the stories from my day. I’ve also noticed she no longer walks just behind me when we’re out together. Is there a little pride creeping in?

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
22

Double empathy whammy

Today was a gorgeous day of blue skies and sunshine in Barcelona. Mafer was working so we made a picnic, packed the bucket,  spade and football and headed to the  beach. The promenade was  bustling with happy people: the strollers, the sun-soakers and the volleyballers to a soundscape of waves lapping on the beach and the clackety-clack of the old men playing dominoes.  I noticed that we were gathering more smiles, laughs and nods of approval than looks of confusion, worry or revulsion. Something was amiss. Then I turned to Enzo who had stuffed his football up his t-shirt and was mimicking my waddle and proudly sticking his belly out besides me. It was brilliant. Here was I  empathizing with my wife’s pregnancy and at my side was the result of her pregnancy empathizing with me. We’d completed the empathy pregnancy circle. Later that day I was with Jason and a young Italian woman came up to us and  explained that she’d heard us on the radio in Italy last week and that we were doing an amazing thing and she please have a picture with us.  If 10 years ago someone had said ‘Jonny, your 15 minutes of fame will be wearing a 15kg pregnancy and generally making a right tit of yourself in front of the world’, I would have changed my life’s trajectory there and then. Today, I’m having second thoughts.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
23

Thanks Mum

3 weeks trapped in this suit has given me plenty of time to reflect. I’ve never celebrated mother’s day in the past. My parents raised us with a good wholesome and uncommercialised existence and void of most of the trappings of modern life such as television. Ironically this led me straight into a career in advertising.  My mother told me recently that we once cleaned the kitchen for her on Mother’s Day. What sweet little boys we were.  She then added that the motivation was not appreciation for her selflessly toiling away for us, but one of hunger: the sooner the kitchen was clean the faster we’d be fed. My mother was pregnant for 2.5 years as she popped out 3 boys one after the other.  She juggled being a mother, working as a teacher and her passions (horses, farming and acting) with joy. It was life – no doubt exhausting but colourful like life should be. As children our lives were spent outdoors, independent and free. Muddy but happy. And for that I’m very grateful.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
24

Labour pain or Champagne? You decide.

So there’s been a few suggestions, insinuations and casual remarks by members of the public, the odd member of family (Alex N), friends (Sophie C) and the French lady on The World Service Woman’s Day debate (I forget her name), that even after a month of lugging around these bellies day and night, the 3 pregnant dads haven’t suffered enough and that we should be subjected to the full horrors of a labour pain simulator as a fitting finale and to squeeze out a an extra squirt of empathy for the pregnant woman. For those unacquainted with this frankly medieval machine, it involves attaching a set of electrodes to the abdominal muscles and then discharging a bolt of electricity to cause sudden contractions, massive widespread pain and the occasional involuntary discharge. Nothing that millions of mothers haven’t endured since time began. Before you get too excited though, we’d need to gauge whether there is a general consensus for this finale or a just few isolated (and wholly sadistic) cases. So vote with your like button on The Book of Everyone Facebook page. If the total likes is more than 6000 by Friday then it’s labour pain for the 3 pregnant dads. If there’s less than 6000 likes on Friday we’ll settle for a natural birth in a jacuzzi with bottle of Champagne. You decide.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
25

My due date is in just a few days 

So I very sensibly turned to the internet for a few tips:

1.Everything is harder on your body so celebrate the small victories – and ask for help. Paid a visit to the chiropractor and had seven vertebrae realigned. Celebrated with a beer.

2.Savor the time your baby is in your belly… it’s almost over! Love you but the minute this is over it’s back in your suitcase and onto ebay to find you a new home.

3.Keep yourself occupied. Went to the Barcelona government to apply for a tech grant for The Book of Everyone. Gave a gaggle of  middle-aged female clerks a free feel of my belly and grope of my breasts. I hope I did enough.

4.Start nesting. Took the rubbish out. Stocked the fridge for the big day.

5. Put a waterproof pad underneath your fitted sheet. It’s already there.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
26

A few words on pain

I’ve stuck a garden fork through my foot, broke my arm in 7 places and had my heart broken. In each case I wept openly. So, I’m really looking forward to the birth simulator. I’ve heard the operator is ex-Guantanamo Bay and in his words is ‘out to fry us’. So I think this is an appropriate moment to say a few words to my wife: I love you very much and I’m so very grateful for the 2 amazing children you’ve given us. You are a natural mother and I know you find it hard juggling work and the children but when you’re with them you smother them so much love and happiness that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Thank you also for putting up with the madness of the last month. Finally, to all you folk who liked The Book of Everyone Facebook page to get us to 6000, thanks. Thanks a lot.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
27

Why didn’t I just catch a dose of couvade syndrome when my wife was pregnant?

Only now, after 26 days of the empathy belly and just hours before our abdominal electrocution, do I read that it’s surprisingly common a father-to-be to start gaining weight, getting morning sickness and even feel cramps in his lower abdomen. The condition is known as a sympathetic pregnancy or the Couvade Syndrome (from the french word couvee meaning to hatch).  Psychosymptomatic sympathy sounds a whole load easier than 15kg empathy. But that’s the point,  empathy should be hard-earned. It’s all too easy to say ‘I know how you feel’; but to walk in that person’s shoes is different.   Anyway, there’s no time for what ifs or if only now, the end is in sight, the final push for the summit is days away, the home straight is there, and right now the imminent joy of of relieving myself of this suit forever far outweighs the pain of a few electric shocks.  I mean, how hard can it be. Bruce Lee.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
28

Remember the girl in the exorcist film?

So we’ve put through our electrically induced birth simulation. This involves dousing the body in water (to ensure the current penetrates to the muscular tissue) and donning a special jacket as well as  arm, leg and buttock bands and then being plugged into the mains. After the initial minor contractions which are quite pleasant, the current is increased until you are no longer in control of your body. You can fight it or surrender yourself to the voltage demons. Imagine the girl in the exorcist film but with less projectile vomiting. It’s violent and involuntary and treads on that fine line between pain and pleasure and that’s probably where any similarities with a real birth end. There’s no ripping of flesh, expulsion of body fluids (although Jason did wee himself) and no beautiful bundle of screaming joy at the end. You do however feel strangely elated and happy to be alive – like you would if you were struck by a bolt of lightning and lived to tell the tale.

JONNY / 45 YEARS
DAD OF TWO
DAY
29

A unforgettable Mother’s Day awaits

So all our mother’s are coming over to Barcelona for Mother’s Day. My mother is avidly against anything as commercial as mother’s day but given a chance to see Enzo & Leo and meet 2 other mums who have offspring mad enough to embark on this endeavour has all meant that preparations were put in place and the bag packed. As my mother’s life is so full, such preparations require a small army of helpers to replace her. My father is just as busy as he puts the finishing touches to an amazing 4-years-in-the-making documentary on The Targa Florio called ‘A Sicilian Dream’ starring Alain de Cadenet and Francesco da Mosto. He’ll have to take over a few extra farm duties and apparently he’s treating it rather too flippantly (as it doesn’t involve vintage racing cars or homemade beer).  My mother has a peculiar vanity where she loathes the camera (as it has yet to produce a single decent photo of her) yet revels in the spotlight. Mafer has been put in charge of styling, makeup and a cup of tea on her arrival.

So, with pregnant sons and their mums ready, the makings of an unforgettable Mother’s Day await.

jonny

…WHY?

What started as a meeting about improving The Book of Moms, a personalised book that celebrates anyones and everyones mom, became something very different. Somewhere in the meeting the name Anna Jarvis came up as the women that trademarked the name ‘Mother’s day’,  who intended Mother’s day as a yearly event to honour Mom.

How could the 3 men (all in their mid 40’s) honour their moms and the memory of Anna Jarvis at the same time, in a way that will be tough, and meaningful?  What if we became pregnant?  Or as near as possible.  A thought became an idea which turned into an dare, and now there’s no going back.

DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOUR MOM

The Book of Mom, a fun and fabulously original personalised book all about your mom. This is a special edition, created just for mom:  Touching and entertaining. It’s fast to make and free to preview.

VISIT THE SHOP

GET INVOLVED

We want you! Join in and help us to prod and cajole the guys in the right direction over the course of the month. Get involved with your thoughts, ideas and comments. It’s gonna be a whole lot of fun. :)

  • Laura Lee

    Buenas Tardes! Thanks for the visual of your front. LOL Could you ask the other men to do a little more frontals of their bellies, too, so we get the idea of what everyone else sees? Do you always wear the bump on the inside or outside of your clothes? (You’re getting a small but loyal following here in South America.) :D

    • thebookofeveryone

      I’ve passed on your ‘message of support’ ;) to Jonny, currently they are all travelling to London… I’ll see what the guys say about doing more ‘frontals’ as well.. LOL. :)

      • Laura Lee

        Thank you! I think it’s great they’ve got the fortitude to do this. hehehe!

  • Camilla

    When the month is over, make them wear the suits ten extra days. How many babies arrive exactly on time? Then make them go through twenty hours of delivery pains, one week of breast pains for the nursing and then three months of a slightly smaller suit. I mean, only four weeks of big belly? Come on!

    But still: I love what you guys are doing :-)

  • tabby

    I really like your dedication, but I want you to have your victory Champagne without pushing yourselves to one last bout of pain! I hear jacuzzi labors are painless for most moms anyway. ;)

    • thebookofeveryone

      I’m sure they would much prefer the jacuzzi style natural birth too! :) But we’ve left the decision up to you guys.. and so far it seems like most don’t want them to see them drinking Champagne.. :)

    • Jonny Biggins

      Hi Tabby, thanks for your vote for the Champagne and Jacuzzi birth. Unfortunately it is but a broken dream now and it’s the pregnancy simulator tomorrow for the dads. However, I am trying to get my hands on an extra large canister of laughing gas to ease the pain. xxx