Breaking the News and the consequences of.

We made an agreement on Friday last to keep this news to ourselves for a little while. Our parents have yet to find out and we’re thinking that Christmas Day would be the ideal time to tell them. Jen says, ‘but my mum doesn’t know yet’ but she’s the first one to tell her friends about our news. I don’t blame her. Something like this is not something you want to keep to yourself. It is news you want to share with everyone you know. ‘Guess what? We’re having a baby’. Then the reactions and the smiles and the congratulations. I know that people will be pleased for us. Working in an environment like this people develop a natural interest in each other’s well being. News spreads quickly; good or bad. Gossip and rumour are staples of the daily office social diet.

Christmas Day will be interesting. It will be interesting to gauge the reactions of our parents. I’m sure that my parents will welcome the news. It will be a great Christmas present for my Mum and for Byron, also for the boys who will be uncles for the first time. Jen’s Father will be pleased with the news too, as will her Mother, but I know the issue of marriage will come up soon after the ‘we’re having a baby’ announcement.

I have always, always, for as long as I can remember, never understood the appeal of marriage. I don’t need a piece of paper or expensive party or foreign holiday to show to someone that I love them and I am committed to them. Having a baby with someone, actually agreeing and entering into a decision to be responsible for another person for the next 18 years is a bigger commitment than any legal contract. It is an agreement of such magnitude that it should only be entered into by two people who are 100% behind their decision. It is life changing. I know that emotionally, mentally, financially, my life will never be the same again. I am under no illusions to the contrary. I accept this change. I welcome it with open arms. It is going to make me into the person I have always wanted to be. Having a child with Jenny is a commitment beyond marriage. It is physical and emotional. Through the existence of another human being, Jenny and I will always be linked.

So, it’s going to be interesting. I have my beliefs, and I hope that reading this you can understand what they are. Other people believe differently. It is not going to be a battle, because inevitably we’ll do what we want to do regardless of what other people might think or want or expect, but I will take into consideration the feelings of others. When the question comes up of marriage the answer will be, ‘soon, but not yet’.

The Announcement

It was on the 15th December at ten minutes to two in the afternoon that I heard the news that changed my life. My girlfriend, Jenny, announced that she was pregnant with our child after performing a home pregnancy test at her sister’s house. My memory of that conversation is a little sketchy. I remember feelings more than words. I remember the anticipation when she came on the phone as I knew she was taking the test. I remember the outright horror that I felt when told the test was positive. I remember wanting to grab her down the telephone line and hold her close to me. I remember the feeling of overwhelming joy and excitement as the news sunk in. I remember not being able to sit down whilst having this conversation. People always say, when they are going to give you news, god or bad, ‘are you sitting down’. I was sat down but I remember standing up and pacing the length of the house whilst having this discussion. I could hear the emotion in her voice. I could feel the emotion in mine. I was shocked, stunned, bewildered, excited, anxious, happy, terrified. I felt like I would burst. I felt like I needed to run outside a proclaim, ‘we’re having a baby!’ to the world!

But instead I put the kettle on and made a cup of tea. It’s funny to think of the things we do when we have been given such news. People can tell you where they were when man walked on the Moon, John Lennon was killed, when the World Trade Centre was attacked. I will always remember that when I was told that I was going to be a Father, the most momentous news a man could possibly hear. When I was told this, my reaction was to go put the kettle on and have a cup of tea.

What was I going to do? How could we afford it? Is the house big enough? What will our parents say? Will it be healthy? Will I be a good Father? Will our relationship suffer? Will our sex life suffer? On that first day every conceivable question, concern and worry ran through my head, but it all came back to that one important all-encompassing question. ‘What the hell am I going to do?’

I’m going to do my best to be the best Father, Parent, Friend, Confidant, Teacher, Entertainer, Companion, Provider, Supporter and Advisor that I can. I’m going to change my life, my goals, my focus for another human being. I am going to do my all to ensure that my child has the best possible start in life and is loved and cherished and protected to the utmost of my ability. I am going to be as supportive as I can be for Jenny as she copes with the physical, emotional and mental changes that this experience will inflict upon her. I want to experience it all as much as I can. The miracle of life. Creation. Two people coming together in love and creating something so special. So perfect. I want to immerse myself in this adventure and feel all the emotions that she does. I will be there for check ups, for scans, for mid-wife visits, for everything. I want to be as close to the events as they unfold as is humanly possible.

I’m going to be a Dad. We’re going to be parents. I will do my very best to share these experiences, the good and the bad, with you, on these pages.