Old wives tales, there's no getting away from the bastard things when you're expecting a baby. Everyone knows one and feel compelled to blurt it out if you mention something relevant to it.
"Ugh... I've fierce bad heartburn"
That person's eyes light up like they've won the bloody lotto. You can see it building in them until it bursts out. "Heartburn means your baby will have loads of hair". (They won't say it, but internally they're delighted with themselves).
Old Wives Tales
It's kinda hard to avoid hearing; 'Old Wives Tales', that this particular tale is actually true and what previous generations had to endure when they were giving birth to you, your wife/partner, your siblings, your cousins and even the neighbour 6 doors down from you where you used to live at three years of age birth story.
"I'm telling you, I had very bad heartburn and wouldn't you know it you came out with so much hair on your head. I thought you were one of those Troll toys. The midwives had never seen the like of it, especially after 67 hours of labour. And there was no such thing as drugs then. You were lucky to have a damp cloth. And where was your father at the time, in the pub!".
Jaysus, I only asked how you were doing?
If you've had a baby, these will resonate, if you've just found out you're pregnant. Prepare to hear a few of these.
"Oh, your carrying high. You're having a girl!"
"You're carrying low. It's definitely a boy!"
We'll take those 2 dopey old wives tales and swallow it along with mini sick in your mouth from hearing it. The difference a week or two makes in a baby bump is crazy.
For example, last week my wife's bump dropped. The week before that it was clearly up higher. Has the baby decided suddenly...
"Ya know what I fancy? A set of balls. I hear they're great fun to play with".
No, the baby has simply moved down into position. Onto the next old wive tales.
"If you have bad skin, acne or blemishes. Old wives tales say it's a girl stealing your beauty away"
You know what Deirdre you're dead right there. It's definitely a baby girl getting their skin routine down ahead of life outside the womb. It has nothing to do with the cocktail of hormones swimming around inside a woman's body and wearing a mask due to the pandemic.
"If you crave sugar, you're having a girl. If you crave savoury or sour foods, you're having a boy"
I'm guessing this old wives tale came from the perceptions of girls are always sweet or something like that. That craving might just be something they're lacking in their diet at the moment or the fact Easter Eggs are 3 for €5 at the moment and everyone knows chocolate tastes way better in egg format.
"Sympathy pains are a real thing. If your husband/partner also puts on some baby weight, the old wives' tale says it's a girl"
Well, these Old Wives weren't making these tales up during a pandemic and all you're doing is eating and drinking at the moment.
"If you've suffered from headaches during pregnancy, you're having a boy"
This might have been one of those old wives tales that someone came up with after they gave birth to a baby boy. A baby boy who hasn't stop crying since day 1 and their headache has gone on so long it feels like they have had it from the moment they conceived.
"If you're mellow during pregnancy you're having a boy. If you're moody you're having a girl!"
Clearly, this person has never said that to a pregnant woman. They may be in fact moody, but if you tell a pregnant woman that, expect a smack and to be in the dog house for a while. I wouldn't even get to finish that sentence as soon I uttered the word 'moody'.
And by some miracle you did manage to get away with calling your pregnant other half moody. Expect to hear about it 96 hours later out of the blue when you've completely forgotten about the whole event.
(Starts with a silence) "Remember when you said I was moody?"
Run lad!....Fuckin Run!!!
This phrase "You're tidy", is something you're other half might hear from time to time. It's like a nice way of saying, well you don't look like a complete mess and trainwreck with a big belly. This one also leads to people mentioning that if you look at your wife/partner from behind, (which I do often, oi oi), if they're narrow it's a girl and wide it's a boy.
So, in other words, what you're telling me is. I should designate my wife a "Long Vehicle" for a girl or "Wide Load" for a boy.
The Baby's Weight
So, last week my sister in law, decided to do a baby sweepstake. God love her she's finding any way to fuel her gambling habit (That's a joke by the way). Everyone put €9 in (3 bets of €3) to guess the sex, date of birth and the baby's weight. It's a bit of fun and the winner has to buy a round of drinks when the pubs reopen. Christ, I can't wait for that pint in 2022.
Now maybe it's because I've just done the family sweepstakes thing but it had me thinking, is the baby's weight like a badge of honour?
Like, you know when someone catches a big fish. And they stand there as proud as punch holding a 30lb fish. Is displaying the baby's weight the equivalent of that moment for parents?
"Look what we have created a milk drinking, poo dispensing sleep monster who's weighing in at 8lbs 4oz. How great is my wife for pushing that out, I reckon she could have done 9lbs"
All the while holding the baby aloft overhead by its ankles with the CUMH in the background for posterity.
People Think They're Sherlock Holmes
So over the weekend, I got a text from a friend of mine. Just asking how my other half and I were doing. He asked when the baby was due again to which I replied "She's due the 1st of April". This immediately led to him donning his detective's cap and assuming that we are having a girl. We've no idea what we're having, by the way, we're keeping it a surprise.
This was not the first time however, I've had someone try to be some sort of Sherlock Holmes (The Benedict Cumberbatch one) and decipher alternative meanings to what I actually texted or have said.
"He said 'she'? Is he referring to Ruth or the baby? Wait...they often refer to the baby in the womb as 'she'. And Rob said 'He' a total of 6 times in our text conversation which subconsciously means he's telling me that he's having a boy".
Eh... Lockdown has had an effect on us all I'd say.
37 Weeks on Thursday
So, my wife is 37 weeks on Thursday (11th March). At 37 weeks, a pregnancy is considered full-term. Which means your baby is ready to be born in the next few weeks.
That is just mind-blowing to think that I'll be a Dad very very soon and I know someone who had both her children at 37 weeks. Who knows it could be a very interesting weekend ahead?