So, as I am sitting down to write this, my wife and I are just about to announce to our family and friends that we are expecting our first child.
[Pauses for applause and cooing noises]
Interesting times! I’m still not sure it feels real yet…
Anyway, there’s quite a lot of information and advice out there, most of which is – quite rightly – aimed at expectant mothers. However, there doesn’t seem to be as much stuff intended for fathers-to-be, so I thought I’d throw my digital ink into the mix. I’m going to be chronicling this adventure and trying to talk about what it is like to be a nerdy millennial on the road to fatherhood.
The plan with this blog series is to talk about our experience and to share any useful bits of information that I pick up along the way. This will be aimed mainly at new fathers but will include stuff we both learned that we didn’t know before and which might be useful if you are thinking about having a child of your own.
I’m going to try and be brutally honest about it, as much as possible, but I have also given my wife power of veto over any information that I share. And yes, she will have read this before I post it!
The Story So Far
So, it is currently Week 12 (everything in our life is going to be measured in weeks for the foreseeable future) and we’ll be having our scan soon. At this point, other than the fact that the baby is already the size of a lime, there is not a lot to report. So, here’s a bit of background information; my wife (30) and I (32) have been together for six years and we got married in October last year (2018). We started trying for a baby around Christmas/New Year.
In case you are wondering, this was all totally planned. We actually came off birth control in July last year, after learning that it can take up to a year for the effect of the pill to fully leave your system (there is your first ‘fact I didn’t know’!).
M’wife and I work opposite shifts, so, one day in August, I was awoken at some ungodly hour of the morning to discover that she had managed to successfully pee on a stick. It probably wasn’t the reaction she was expecting, being that I wasn’t fully conscious, but, when it finally sank in, that was when the nerves and excitement started!
The main thing so far has been The Secret. Keeping the secret has been fairly difficult. You’d be surprised how many conversations about children, as well as general discussions about family and the future, have taken place around me over the last couple of months! The difficulty is trying to take part in these conversations without letting anything slip, while also not being too quiet or trying too hard to change the subject in case you give anything away!
I felt a small surge of emotion and nerves when I spoke to my boss, to explain why that I might be missing a couple of meetings to attend various appointments. I probably needn’t have bothered as it turned out that there was only the initial midwife appointment and the infamous ‘Scan’ before we made the information public, but I thought it only fair that my boss knew the truth about what was going on. At time of writing, he is the only person besides ourselves (and a handful of medical professionals) who knows the truth.
Meeting the Midwife
It was over a month from when M’wife gave me the news to our first appointment with the midwife (at around eight weeks in). It wasn’t really necessary for me to attend, but I wanted to be there. It was mainly a big medical questionnaire accompanied by some blood samples. Annoyingly, they ask you lots of questions about your family’s medical history that you probably can’t answer until you’ve told your family but never mind. Presumably, we can go back and fill in any blanks after the news breaks.
We were also told that our due date was two weeks ahead of the date that my wife had estimated. Currently, it remains to be seen whether motherly intuition or the opinion of a trained medical profession has turned out to be correct!
Each time I do one of these posts I will try to like to something amusing or useful that we have discovered.
The link I want to share in this post is this page of hilarious advice for new fathers; ‘50 Things Every Guy Should Know About Pregnancy and Parenthood’. This is advice from two fathers, which includes such gems as:
- From the very moment she announces her pregnancy, she’ll be the center of attention — not you. Get used to it.
- When the baby comes, they’ll both be the center of attention — not you. Aren’t you glad you had nine months to practice going unnoticed?
This isn’t particularly news for me, I feel like I’ve been in training for this all my life! But there is some good info and funny comments in there, so it’s well worth a read.
That’s it for now. As I said, I’m still not sure it feels real for us yet!
I’ll check back in with updates from the scan in a few weeks’ time.