A JOURNEY of awe and astonishment, trepidation and fear started with a simple moan. “My teeth hurt.”
Six weeks pregnant and with no signs of gestation other than a couple of positive tests and a permanent grin on her face, I scoffed at my wife’s suggestion that her aching molars could somehow be down to her condition.
“Look it up,” she advised.
Now there was a time when “look it up” would mean reaching on the shelf for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Maw Broon’s Book of Pregnancy or Debrett’s Guide to Delivering an Heir. Well-researched organs designed to alleviate stress.
“Yes aching teeth are a possible side-effect of pregnancy,” they would tell us “but it’s perfectly normal and should subside within days/weeks.” And a good night’s sleep would be had by all.
Now we have the internet and one press of “return” on a search engine can bring up all manner of first-hand horror experiences and second-rate advice. Click here to read part one of ‘The helpless blog of a first time dad’No one, it seems, posts on a message board if they have good news to impart.
“My sister-in-law lost sight of all her teeth because her gums swelled up over them,” babydust exclaimed. “Best go to the dreaded dentist.”
Dismissing her as a Roald Dahl tribute act, I scrolled further down the page.
“Pregnancy hormones can cause gingival hyperplasia,” said Mum44. Mum didn’t go on to tell us what gingival hyperplasia was but neither word sounded particularly positive and joined together sounded positively life-threatening.
“I got Tooth Moose,” announced another.
It turned out Tooth Moose was an ointment to alleviate the pain of sore gums but the damage was already done as far as my panicked wife was concerned.
“Do you think I’ve got moose tooth too?” she fretted.
And our anxiety was only just beginning.
Coming out of the thread on teeth and gums we returned to a main menu with a myriad of topic headings for pregnancy related symptoms we’d not considered.
“Gestational diabetes,” “swelling hands,” “restless leg syndrome,” “itchy feet,” “high blood pressure,” “low blood pressure.”
What happened to the pregnancy “glow” I read about in magazines whenever a celebrity pregnant?
Another thread listed all the foodstuffs you shouldn’t eat. They may have well been making an inventory of our fridge.
There was a supplementary group dedicated entirely to wind and belching.
After two and a half hours scrolling my eyebrows couldn’t rise any higher so I signed myself up to the message board (pitterpatter42) and decided to call it a night.
“My teeth still hurt,” said my wife.
After all the information I’d taken in that evening, so did my head.