I wrote this over a fortnight ago.
For the last 8 or 9 months, Mrs The Jules has insisted on being pregnant.
Attention seeking, if you ask me.
Still, it worked, and I have been thus engaged, for the second time in my life, in attending to the multitudinous needs of a heavily pregnant lady.
When I look at other critters on this infested little rock we call Earth, I note that gestation and birth seem to go relatively smoothly. Especially for the males.
Unless you're a seahorse, because their males are just sooooo modern and reconstructed, giving birth to the kids for the girls. They probably frown upon the antics of other species who's menfolk practice the wham, bam, not even a thank you ma'am method of rearing their young. It would explain their long faces.
You can tell they're just a bit judgemental. Always looking down their noses at other sea creatures.
"Look at us, with our swollen man-wombs, bursting with multitudinous offspring. See that, turtle? Shark? Octopus? Get a load of my belly, all you other fish. Not you Siamese Fighting Fish. You're all right you are, apart from all that fighting and what-not."
Chuff knows what they'd think of cuckoos.
Anyway, the critters of this world keep the process relatively simple. They get knocked up, they get bigger, they go into labour, they give birth.
Well, there's back-to-back presentation, dodgy placentas, cord prolapses, huge heads, shoulder dystocia and generally being bipedal which is just silly because it means the . . . er . . . exit, points straight down.
Even gravity is agin us.
In true human, troublesome style, our little pre-bundle of joy is breech presentation and is steadfastly refusing to turn over into the normal upside down position with a stubbornness more typical of a donkey in a flower shop.
I was talking to a midwife who said that these days, only 55% of pregnancies are complication free. Nearly half have some sort of problem!
That doesn't sound good.
But it's not just us that have obstetric difficulties, but it's also the species we've become responsible for. Domesticated animals have become infected with similar problems. How often do wild critters need a hairless ape to wrap a rope around their unborn child's hooves and drag it out onto the floor of the savannah?
Rarely, that's how often.
What have we humans got against problem free pregnancy that we inflict our own limitations on other creatures? Were we jealous of their easy entrance into the world and so thought we'd bugger it up for them as well? Let's artificially select for obesity, hyper milk production, short legs, dodgy respiratory tracts and abnormal sizes, and watch them suffer as well. Misery loves company yay!
So, because of our child's recalcitrance in not playing by the rules, we are booked in for an elective cesarean section next week. By we, I mean Mrs The Jules. I'm showing solidarity in saying we. I say "We're pregnant" and we both went to antenatal classes.
I even developed cravings, albeit it for beer and blue cheese.
We have a date. We have a method. We have a consultant.
It all makes me a little on edge.
We have a week of chewing our fingernails down to the humerus in nervous anticipation. At the end of the cliche, the only thing that is of concern is the safe arrival of number two child and the safety of Mrs The Jules, and it doesn't really matter if the have to use the side entrance.
So here we go. Deep breaths.
And the wife . . .
Since then, three weeks early and by emergency cesarean after my wife's waters broke in the car, I am now the proud owner of a healthy baby girl.
Strangely, depsite my rationalistic and strictly anti-woo psyche, I refrained from posting it when I scribbled it in case something went wrong, maybe jinxed it. Hence it's placement now. Shows how base and animalistic we are when it comes to our kids.
Right, it's bedtime. I'm off for three solid hours of kip now.
I am very tired.