Blogging Fatherhood Pregnancy Pregnant

The Best Christmas Present

Why is it that no matter how old you get, or how long you have been trying for a baby the thought of telling your parents you’re pregnant is terrifying.

Me and my wife, 2010, two months after we starting seeing each other.

Don’t get me wrong, the excitement that I felt from the second I found out right up until the second I finally got to tell everyone the news was massive.

But the whole thing was still so damn frightening.

We officially had our first scan photo, we were now sitting almost on top of the twelve week ‘safe zone’ and my wife and I were discussing how we would tell our families.

My mother in law was not included in this discussion as she found out about two weeks after we got home from Rome and was already suffering from the same secret keeping itch as we were.

The big question however, was how do you do it?

How do you announce to your family that they are going to be Grandparents and Aunties, Great Grandparents and Great everything else’s.

Should there by balloons? Should there by fireworks? Should there be dancers and a string quartet? Will I have to make a speech?

Oh god, there was going to be a speech.

My last attempt at a speech was at our wedding.

Things were going perfectly well, I followed my notes to the letter, then a moment of madness came over me and I thanked my parents for having me.

Me the second after realising what I just said in my wedding speech.

So, I would have to say a few words, keep it simple, wish everyone a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year tell them that next year would be even more exciting as there would be a new addition to the family.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Bowes aka Dad

Just like that all of the anxiety of the past few weeks faded away, curious faces turned to excited ones and there was a race to see who could hug us first.

My dad sat grinning in the corner and told me later that he just knew, the birds at the park had already told him.

We had baubles made for our parents with the scan photo inside of them and they received pride of place on both trees the second they got home. 

What followed this evening of anxiety and eventual triumph was one of the best Christmas times I have ever experienced, having more people to talk to about the pregnancy was a huge weight off our shoulders.

Between Christmas and New Year we called a few other people to give them the news, before we issued our ‘official’ announcement on Facebook on New Years Eve.

This seemed like the easiest thing in the world after telling our parents.

In the middle of all the Christmas madness we went for our official twelve week scan, it went well and we got our first photo of babies face (side profile) but were told that we were a little bit early (11+5) meaning for the sonographer to get the correct measurements we would have to come back a couple of weeks later.

We returned after another wait and received the next scan, at which point we finally got our official due date, 11th July. 

Hearing that we had an official due date was more exciting than I could have imagined, the whole thing was starting to feel very real, and while I thought this would terrify me it was in fact the complete opposite, I was more excited than I have ever been in my life.

This post brings us up to the current date, meaning all posts following will be chronicling our pregnancy as it happens.

Fatherhood Pregnancy

When in Rome

Photo by Willian West on Unsplash

Have patience with all things but first with yourself.

— Saint Frances de Sales.

There is something strangely ominous about sitting in a cracked leather chair staring down at a ten year old issue of Razzle with your pants around your ankles and a sample bottle grasped tightly in one clammy hand.

And that is not even where my story starts.

My wife and I had been trying to get pregnant for almost a year, tests like the one above had taken place and results had all returned perfectly fine, yet the struggle continued.

Ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, colossal excitement followed by disappointment and heartache every time that little strip said, “not this month.”

As funny as it may sound, it was the one month that we truly switched off a little that our luck finally changed.

We were due to travel to Rome for our second wedding anniversary at the start of November, a couple of weeks prior to this my wife took a random ovulation test after some light cramping, positive. No point in wasting an opportunity.

Fast forward those two weeks, we land in Rome and after a rather eventful few days we reach the morning of our second wedding anniversary.

“Today is the day that I can take a test.” My wife smiled up at me from the bed.

She took the test, and I was given the highly complicated and massively important task of checking the strip, a task at which I failed miserably.

Courtesy of Air BnB

I wandered back into the bedroom of the old Italian apartment we were staying in and told her that the stick said negative. She had expected this, and although disappointed she took the news well, she then asked if she could see the stick and her face turned to shock then beaming excitement, in the dim lighting of the Italian bathroom I had missed the positive line.

Oh, that’s a risky little game.

— Rachel Green.

We had a positive test!

And we were in another country.

With no pregnancy vitamins.

The finest Italian pregnancy vitamins

Cut to me in an Italian pharmacy, trying to explain in true Bridget Jones fashion that my wife is pregnant and that I need folic acid.

I left with a box of Natelben Piu and our pregnancy journey truly began.

The next few weeks dragged along in a strange almost ethereal blur.

We had a private scan booked for ten weeks, the wait for twelve just seemed too much, but so far things were progressing as normal, the morning sickness had reared its ugly head though the term ‘always sickness’ would probably be more appropriate.

As the scan loomed closer, time moved even slower and our anxiety reached an all time high, I am not a particularly anxious person so this feeling was new to me, and I was not a fan.

The day of the private scan arrived, and as we sat in the waiting area my wife’s hands were shaking as she tried to complete the paperwork.

Suddenly, we were there, the scan woman introduced herself, my wife lay upon the bed and the final wait began.

We stared up at a blank screen for what seemed like an eternity, when finally the big screen was turned on and we could see it for the first time.

Our baby was perfect and the little flickering heartbeat confirmed that everything was progressing as it should, it felt like a giant weight had been lifted off of our shoulders and we couldn’t stop smiling.

The first ten weeks of our pregnancy had already felt like an adventure and I can’t wait for all of the adventures still to come.

This first post brings us up to just before Christmas, meaning my next post will bring us right up to my wife’s current date which is at the moment of writing thirteen weeks.