Papa Don't Preach

Scott Kara's (rough) guide to being a father.

In sickness and in health

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The presence and supporting role of a partner cannot be underplayed during the trials of a pregnancy. Photo / Thinkstock
The presence and supporting role of a partner cannot be underplayed during the trials of a pregnancy. Photo / Thinkstock

I never realised how awful morning sickness can be. The last three months at our house has been a living, gagging, nauseous hell. It wasn't that bad last time.

Some of the descriptions my wife used to portray what she was - and sometimes still is - going through included: the stomach bug that never goes away, having food poisoning for months on end, or, put simply, torture.

She also moaned, 'Let this nightmare be over', many a time. She had to stay in bed for as long as she could in the morning, then get up and move slowly. At work it was hard, but you have to do it don't you?

However, by home time the sickness had returned. It was paralysing which also meant she could hardly care for Mia at all, and that's tough on a mum, not to mention a little one who can't comprehend why her mummy is incapacitated.

The sickness - gag, yack - was so bad my wife's doctor recommended an early scan just to check it wasn't twins.

It wasn't, and I know they are a blessing, but phew.

So apparently, because the pregnancies are quite different one theory says that we could be having a boy.

Then again, my wife's mum dispels that theory because she had two girls and two very distinct pregnancies. So who knows?

One theory I am willing to believe is that because the morning sickness is particularly severe that indicates the baby is fighting fit.

Anyway, this column is about being a dad, so enough about my wife, and bless her for hanging tough (and thankfully we're nearly through it). But my three months have been pretty torturous, energy sapping, and challenging too. And for Mia and I it's been about survival (with the help of a few cheeky takeaway meals).

And before you say, 'Well you carry the bloody baby then', I have to say I rolled up my sleeves and got on with it.

I did everything from the drop off and pick up of Mia, the laundry, the cooking, the shopping, the toilet stops, and generally being at the beck and call of my better half without much moaning at all.

So guys, from my experience of life with morning sickness, it's all about compassion, dedication, and putting that pinny on and working your butt cheeks off.

But also, by doing some research about this dreaded side effect to pregnancy and understanding it better, I found it easier to cope and it made it more bearable.

That might sound like a terrible way to put it but believe me at times I was pushed to the extremes of frustration and fatigue. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, I don't know how solo parents do it. They are legends.

What inspired me to find out more about morning sickness was when Libby came home and said she was eating lemons - as in eating them like oranges - in the afternoons.

Honestly, the cravings women get around this time are intriguing. I mean, eating a lemon is more like a party joke than normal everyday behaviour.

So I felt compelled to find out what was going on inside that body of hers.

And besides, she'll love you for making the effort to understand what she's going through.

Well, eventually she will - once the sickness subsides.

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