Having somehow acquired a fake baby, Killian Woods attempts a rigorous five-day pregnancy undergoing many challenges along the way
Rigorous to practice and rigorous to fully immerse myself in, it was as much a challenge to think of ideas how to actually attempt pregnancy, as it was to carry them out. As a proud and happy man, initial stumbling blocks hit me at every turn, but never set me off my course.
After some light research and in-depth discussions with some women who would have vague understandings of how pregnancy actually pans out, it became apparent that certain aspects of the pregnancy would be difficult to mimic accurately. Most problems arose due to gender, other qualms were raised about my motivations, but the main issue centred round the Y chromosome that defines me as a man.
No matter. Waves of creative genius flooded to the fore of my imagination with possibilities of how to overcome these stumbling blocks. Most of the ideas started and ended in a Google search bar, but like those select sperm that swim up the uterus to fertilise an egg, some weren’t developmentally challenged with tails for heads and managed to flourish.
In order to gain a greater understanding of the nature of the task about to be undertaken, a duvet evening was in order. Initially I trolled the internet looking for informative films that would help immerse myself in the task, but because XXXPregnantWomanMovies.com kept featuring highly in my searches; it took a while to find the real movies that weren’t just a part of some sick fetish.
With Father of the Bride 2, Juno and Knocked Up all perched and ready to go in the DVD player and a bowl of popcorn on my lap, the education was about to begin. Dianne Keaton’s ability to deal with her torturous pregnancy was inspiring to say the least. However, Ellen Page in Juno only came across as a stunt-pulling, drama-craving teenager, which left Knocked Up to finish the mini pregnancy trilogy with a bang.
Unfortunately, the popcorn could not mop up the floods of tears as the heartfelt roles unleashed my maternal side and provided a perfect caricature of a pregnant mother (Katherine Heigl) to mirror.
Urinating has become a very common practice for me over the course of my life. It usually occurs in a uniform fashion, as I very rarely perform the action unless my sphincter muscle is getting tired. You can now understand why urinating on a stick was a bit of an experience for me.
After urinating in the toilet and then dipping the pregnancy test stick thing into the musty urine, there was the excruciating wait to see if the life-denying faint blue line appeared. The 30 seconds or so ticked by slowly and it had to be one of the most undignified moments in my life. In a sense, life flashes before your eyes. Your future more so, as you plan out how you are going to deal with the trauma of breaking the news to your parents. However, what no one is prepared for is the negative test.
After 20 minutes of staring at a urine-soaked stick, I suddenly became reassured that the pregnancy was a negative. Surprisingly, some women claim to be overcome with a sense of disappointment when the blue line fails to materialise. But just like real women, a second opinion to calm my nerves was a necessity.
First reference point was www.thepregnancytester.com A website that is so thorough in its testing that it guarantees the results to be 99.9 per cent accurate while you just sit and stare at the screen of the laptop or browse Facebook.
Quick, fast and precise, the website scanned me for the crucial cocktail of hormones that combine in a woman’s body during the early days of pregnancy and also scanned for amniotic concentration and progesterone infusion. Then in a split second, all that hope and willingness to deal with trauma drained from me as the website diagnosed me as pregnant to my utter shock and horror.
The website even informed me that it was a baby girl, gave me a sonogram and broke the bad news to me that the father was in fact Janet Reno.
Pregnancy requires women to completely overhaul their lifestyle to suit the young bundle of joy that is sitting in their belly. That involves making drastic changes to their diets and daily lives, so naturally I followed suit, if only for a short period.
My healthy eating lasted roughly two days, but I did keep up with the traditional pregnancy-inspired eating binge. Multiple lunches a day, second breakfasts and an entire tub of ice cream one evening empowered the pregnant woman inside of me.
Adding to the healthy eating, special exercises are another essential addition to any pregnant woman’s lifestyle. Morning yoga was a bit boring and the pregnancy kegel exercises were interesting to say the least.
Any pregnancy requires compromise; so attempting to mimic the lifestyle of a woman who is heavily pregnant was just another one of the rigours I felt needed to be endured. I had to overcome this challenge in order to come out the other side of this journalistic endeavour claiming the moral high ground. But how?
Admittedly transporting a heavy baby around all day must be tiresome, and especially so when it is hanging off your lower abdomen. By carrying around a box with two fake baby dolls in it and four bottles of Ballygowan water, I felt I learned a great deal about the specific challenge that faces women. The portable pregnancy mimicked this challenge posed to women over a nine-month period, and was hardly a challenge.
However, my triumph over this task could be disputed. The box did graze the sides of a few doors and wasn’t exactly intact when the day-long challenge was complete. The portable pregnancy was also forced to sit in a Bus Éireann baggage area mainly because a box with two toy dolls and four bottles of Ballygowan water doesn’t warrant its own seat on the bus.
In a final attempt to make the portable pregnancy more effective, I nominated somebody to randomly hit me in the belly in order to mimic the effects of a baby kicking its mother in the womb. It wasn’t exactly authentic, but it did improve my understanding of that unique experience a woman is forced to endure.
At the end of my pregnancy, I can happily say I’ve gained a thorough understanding of the physically and mentally draining challenges that a pregnant woman endures. Carrying around the portable pregnancy was tiring and gave me an idea of the inconveniences that pregnancy can cause. Moreover, adapting my diet and not being able to drink alcohol for the duration of the pregnancy was a major disruption to my daily life.
For me, I can sum up pregnancy as being a very awkward experience. All it seems to do is cause hassle, and even more hassle when it comes to pushing a huge melon out of a space that can barely fit a peanut. I’ve never felt so lucky to be a man.
Monday: Still unaware of the ticking timebomb that was sitting in the vicinity of my belly, I knocked back two small glasses of Captain Morgans and Coke after a long day at college.
Tuesday: The day was a write off after taking the pregnancy test and learning the news that I was pregnant. Wrapped myself up in a duvet and ate an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip.
Wednesday: The first bout of morning sickness made the healthy breakfast consisting of bran flakes and strawberries seem frivolous. Kerbel exercises are more difficult than they look. Especially when you have a large pillow stuffed underneath your hoodie.
Thursday: Hormones were running high today as parturition looked to be imminent. Most of the day was spent assembling the crib bought in Argos and practising changing nappies on a baby born doll.
Friday: At the time of going to print, Killian had been rushed to hospital by the soon-to-be-father Janet Reno.