129 days… and counting…

I believe it was August ‘06 when Jo said to me something along the lines of…

“You’ve got twelve months to get your head around the idea of having kids!”

I was just turning 34 in that month, and Jo would do so the following February. So we were, as they say, “no spring chickens,” and it was definitely time for us to “make our minds up.” Prior to this, we had discussed the concept of having kids, on and off, for most of the getting-on-for-14-years we had been together, usually having a Big Discussion once every few months or perhaps even less frequently. We had viewed the topic from numerous angles – how we would feel if we never had kids, what bringing children into the world would mean to us, whether we’d be able to cope with our loss of freedom, privacy, etc, and so on and so forth. I think it would be fair to say that Jo has always been more for the idea than me, but she would be the first to admit it was an almighty hormonal surge which finally decided it for her… August ‘07 was the month! It was the time when she would stop popping the pills and we would let nature take its course.

Which nature promptly did!

Given our non-spring-chicken-ness and so on, we had fully expected it to be months, perhaps even years, before fate deigned that we were to be parents. Fate, however, had other ideas… Clearly our Baby2B had been sitting on the sidelines, impatiently drumming its fingers every time we had a Big Discussion, attempting to get our attention and declare its readiness to emerge into the world… and then, upon our opening of the metaphorical gates, he/she charged through, plonked him/herself into Jo’s unsuspecting belly and settled him/herself in for three quarters of a year of growing, making Jo feel sick and so forth.

Our progeny appeared a month after we had opened the gates.

We learnt of his/her arrival another month later (17 Oct 07, to be precise).

Time to think about the implications of the gate-opening?

Not on your nelly!

Which, in all honesty, was probably for the best…

However ready our little’un apparently was to accept us as its guardians, protectors, educators and suchlike, I don’t think I can say I was ever going to be ready – in any true and definite sense of the word – to be a dad. In August 2007, however, I was, as they say, “ready as I’ll ever be.” I was “ready” to let fate decide. I think, to be honest, it was more a case of Jo’s hormones having reached a peak of now-or-never-ness, me not desperately not wanting to be a dad, and so us both saying something along the lines of…

“Go on then, let’s give it a bash and see what happens.”

And in all truth, this is probably how we have made most of the important decisions in our mutual lives, and so really there was no reason to expect that we would make this decision any differently. I mean, it is probably the most important decision we will ever have made… but still! We’re us! And things.

So Jo did the test. Directly after which we said barely a word, watched Heroes and went to bed. The following day, while I was at work, she had the test confirmed. Upon which, the emotional deluge poured forth!

I was happy.

I was inexplicably happy.

I had never envisaged I would be this happy.

It is not something I have ever particularly wanted or planned for – I had accepted, more or less passively, that there was a good chance I would never have any kids. And yet…

What a big, soppy, blubbering dad2B I was!

I went home and… well, I can’t remember, right now, what we did for the rest of the day, but it was in the following days and weeks that things begin to sink in…

We bought baby clothes. We bought nappies. We told our families… my dad nearly fell off a ladder. We told our colleagues and our friends. We bought other baby things. We looked at prams and cots and then ran screaming (kind of) from the shops where they sold prams and cots (not least of all because of the ridiculously exorbitant cost of these things). People were happy for us. They congratulated us. They said how wonderful it was. They were so pleased and generous and gave us stuff (Freecycle is a Godsend!). And there’s pleasure to be had in these things (obviously – I mean, we are having a baby); but there’s no getting away from the immense, inconceivable bigness of it all… the unrealness of it all. We are bringing a living, breathing (crying, eating, etc, etc, etc) human being into the world! It’s terrifying! It’s awe-inspiring! But there’s another weird thing that’s been happening more and more lately…

An emotion which I just can’t quantify or explain…

It’s exciting!

Who’d’ve thought it… 🙂

 

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