The long journey had finally ended, we were going to try for a baby! I’m not sure anything will ever prepare you for the first time you find out that you are going to be a dad!
You hear so many stories of couples that have complications in trying to conceive. It’s heartbreaking at times to think of the trouble some couples go though in order to have a bundle of joy. It also seems that miscarriages and complications with pregnancies are more common than perhaps I once realised. With all this lurking in my mind I was very anxious to find out that we were actually on the road to being parents.
My wife had stopped taking her contraceptive on a Sunday night and we were due to fly out to Thailand for a spot of backpacking/honeymooning on the following Sunday. Although we were trying, we were hoping not to get pregnant whilst we were out in Asia as we were unsure of the medical checks we many need and some of the places we were planning to travel to had limited or no sanitation. Before we left for our travels, I was adamant that we had done it.. we had made a baby. I had no scientific reason for this, just a gut feel. I managed to persuade my wife to take a test. It was negative. I couldn’t believe it. I was sure we had done it in under a week. I did sense a bit of relief from my wife as we were just about to fly across the world for a trip of a life time and the worry of morning sickness and hormonal imbalances played on her mind I imagined.
As we travelled round Thailand, having a baby wasn’t really the main focus, Every time we saw a child, I could see my wife look curiously at how the mother was acting, “was she frustrated? tired? annoyed?”. To say she was broody wasn’t completely correct, but I knew some mental preparation was going on in that pensive mind.
The trip continued and there was still no sign of the first period after stopping contraception. We weren’t overly worried as it had only been a few weeks and it can take up to 2 months for women to have first period after prolonged lengths on the pill. Saying that, again I was adamant that we were pregnant towards the end of the trip (3 weeks since arriving in Asia). I had no real basis for this again. Maybe it was pure optimism, but we bought a pregnancy test. It wasn’t easy translating to the person behind the counter at the pharmacy in Thailand what I was after, in fact I ended up purchasing plasters, ear buds as well, just because I didn’t have the strength to argue that it wasn’t what I needed. To this day, I’m not quite sure how my actions trying to depict pregnancy translated to needing to clean my ears! Anyway, armed with the pregnancy test, my wife disappeared to the bathroom of the hotel and shouted out a few minutes later, “not pregnant sweetheart”. I was devastated and for the first time, i think my wife was disappointed to. All the talk and preparation had it built it up so much. It was an anti climax.
Arriving back home after Thailand, jet lagged, de-hydrated and unpacking my small backpack, i heard a cry from my wife. She ran up the stairs so fast. I thought someone had died or there was some news in the post that she just found that needed urgent attention. She looked at me and said,
“Guess what, I’m pregnant”. I was gob smacked, I didn’t even realise she was doing the test. According to the test, she was 2-3 weeks pregnant.
I can’t quite remember the feelings I went through. It all happened so fast. I don’t remember it being life changing, it was a bit surreal. I remember just looking at her stomach and thinking, there’s a baby in there?!
It turns out the test we did before we left for Thailand was too early, the one in Thailand didn’t work. We did rush off to the shops and buy 2 more tests just to be sure. But yes, it was happening and after all the worry, it had taken us less than 2 days to get pregnant. A miracle in itself.
I remember not been able to think about anything else for a few days after finding out the news. It was so surreal. We weren’t sure what to do next. We called the doctors, got a mid-wife appointment and waited. I had assumed that the doctors would have rushed round immediately in order to check it was all ok, but it was quite the contrary, it’s all a very slow process. There are no scans or pending rush to do anything from the hospital or doctors. You just sit and wait for the appointments from the mid-wife, consultants and ultrasounds to come in.
I still remember sitting on the train, on my way to work, smiling to myself… I was going to be a Dad.