THE BLOG

Daddy Diaries Part 1

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There's four magic words that can change your life forever... or for the second time... or for the time after you thought that three magic words were the ones that were about to change your life. Those four key words are "let's have a baby". You think, 'it's the right age', 'all my friends are having babies'... implying that if everyone is doing it, and more importantly if everyone I know is doing it, then it can't be so bad; it's definitely doable. So once those words have been said between you and your partner, off you go planning, reading and prepping... and then doing everything you can to make that baby.

If you have one of those large, traditional families that believe that two days after marriage should come a baby, then the pressure is definitely on. If not, then you may just be fine. Alternatively, you could make the mistake of letting your family know that you're planning to have a baby and you will never hear the end of it. Because once you do that, with every passing day if there is no news of that baby or a sign that there is a baby on the way, you're going to be asked about it "Why no baby yet?", "Are you stressed?", "Are you not eating properly?", "Do you want to consult a specialist for your condition?" are the kinds of questions that will start creeping up... Condition! What condition... Why would I need to see a specialist, you wonder... I think you should see a specialist, you think about this overzealous relative. Soon, the friends who are supposed to be on your side starting jumping on the bandwagon too... What's happening here, you wonder! Thankfully, we had neither of these... just a happy and helpful family on the whole.

If it goes on for much longer or you haven't announced the baby yet, then some of these 'helpful' relatives and friends will decide to take it a step further. Suddenly their help will manifest itself in the form of recommendations for Ayurvedic treatments, Chinese herbs and similar kinds of medicinal cures that 'are good for you', 'that should do the trick'.

Do these people not know how babies are made? Do they not know that babies are not made to order? Or that a stork doesn't just deliver it to your door... It takes time! Maybe in the future you might be able to order a baby online or get it defrosted, but for now there is a process involved here and for those of you that know what I'm talking about, it doesn't involve birds and bees. Nonetheless, as the questions from friends and family mount, so do the worries. "Are they right? Is there really something wrong with me?", you start wondering. It's a fear you obviously can't share with others for the fear of embarrassment, but one you have to start living with, and one that starts eating at you all the time. You wonder if you should really find these 'consultants' who you might be able to visit without drawing too much attention to it.

Alternatively, you spend time reading about these herbal treatments and therapies that might really help your 'condition'. "Please don't let there be anything wrong with me... Please, please, please..." you pray.

And then one day, as you're sitting at work and pondering what your alternatives are, you get a message from your wife that relieves you of all these worries. Your prayers have been answered. The Gods are kind... "Honey, I peed on the stick and it worked... we are having a baby!", she tells you. "Holy mother of God! Hallelujah! There is a God after all... I'm going to be a dad..." These are among the countless thoughts running through your head at that moment... This and a sense of relief; relief at the fact that you don't have a 'condition', that you don't need any therapy or treatment or medicinal herbs to cure you of the same.

But you want to make sure and you don't want to spill the beans (or anything else) prematurely. You're dying to tell your relatives... "In your face guys!", but you want to wait, so you ask your partner to schedule an appointment with the GP or doctor to confirm. In the UK that first appointment, for anyone who has been to one, is a big let-down. Here is where you expect confirmation that there is a baby on the way indeed, that you're fine and that you will be a daddy soon... that you will see visual confirmation of this fact. But it is not to be. It's the simplest of appointments, a Q&A session between your partner and the doc that covers some very basic topics. The doc will also schedule some future appointments and then tell you to be on your way. "Huh? Is that it? Are you not going to check and see if there is indeed a baby there?", you ask... Sadly, no, you are told. This is just a pre-screening appointment to get some basic information and make sure there's nothing to worry about. "but... but... now I am more worried... I wanted to know... I wanted confirmation!"

As a dad-to-be who has been through so much, so many worries, so many questions you're just left extremely disappointed with that appointment. You feel as though none of your questions have been answered and you can't go back to the world with that "Aha!" response. But then you're still so excited that you can't help but wanting to break the news, at least to your near and dear ones... and because you cannot contain yourself you just go do it as soon as you're out of the hospital.

Once that initial excitement sinks in and those initial worries dissipate, you cannot help but step back and marvel at the enormity of the occasion. You have just had a part to play in the creation of a new life, you are going to be a dad and that's just a simply amazing feeling to say the least. The picture that goes with those thoughts and words then is Lion King's circle of life... you cannot wait for that moment when you will be holding your little son or daughter above your head with your loyal subjects bowing down to the future king or queen (ok, not that far... but the Circle of Life definitely does play through your mind)... Right? Right? All those dads-to-be out there? Are you with me?

We are about 20+ weeks into our first pregnancy. My wife has responded amazingly well to the challenges of pregnancy and we have welcomed the news with a lot of joy and excitement. We cannot wait to have this little one join us in our amazing journey through life and have begun preparations in earnest for the arrival of the little one... As a dad, I believe people underestimate the role you have to play in these weeks before the baby's arrival... you have your own worries, your own fears and your own insecurities that sometimes just have to take a backseat, by choice or because it is the right thing to do. So I thought, I'm going to use this blog over the next 16 weeks or so to bring these to light... to share my joys, my fears, my worries and to just express myself... But I'm going to do it with a bit of fun, a bit of sarcasm and a lot of humour so that you can enjoy and share in the journey with us till that magical moment of childbirth...