This week in our Lamaze Class, the fathers-to-be were given the chance to experience what it’s like to be pregnant. We were each strapped into a vest that simulates carrying 35 pounds on your mid section. I couldn’t wait! I’ve watched my beautiful wife’s belly grow over the last few months, and have seen how this has affected her. The way she walks (or waddles). The stress that it puts on her back. But again, I’ve only watched this…I haven’t experienced it firsthand, until now. Putting on the prego vest felt like I was strapping on a cop’s bullet proof vest, only heavier. And the weight of the “baby” seemed to be made of sand and liquid, so it moved when I turned or bent over. I could actually feel the stress in my neck and shoulders! I needed to sit down, so I tried to sit on a balance ball, but slid right off! The mothers in our class chuckled at me, as if to say, “you silly man!…you have no idea what we’ve been going through!”. Not even some ‘pregnancy sympathy’? I really needed a hug, some ice cream and a handful of TUMS.
The instructor gave us a 10 minute break and told me I could take the vest off, but I declined. I wanted to walk through the hospital to the bathroom and continue to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be heavy with child! My wife Jenni rolled her eyes at me, which happens so often these days I’m surprised they’re still in her head! The instructor laughed and said, “have at it!”. As I walked down the hall, I could really feel a difference! It was uncomfortable, not being use to having 35 additional pounds, disproportionately placed around my stomach. I wanted the full experience though, so I started to jog. “GREG!” my wife whispered loudly. Some nurses at their station saw me and started to laugh. So not only did I get to see what it’s like to carry that extra weight, but also what it’s like to be gawked at! Geesh!…some people! When I got to the end of the hall where the bathrooms are located, I turned around, but Jenni wasn’t there. She had turned down a different hall and walked with the other mothers! She was embarrassed to be seen with me!! Oh, I could just cry! Well she forgot just how crazy I am, because instead of going to the bathroom, I waited for her and the others. As they approached, I said to Jenni, “YOU DID THIS TO ME!” The other mothers chuckled, thinking how lucky there were to have a normal husband. Jenni kept walking. I followed her and asked, “Will you rub my feet?” She replied, “You’re sleeping on the couch tonight”.