Pregnancy test, the moment of truth. Pleasure and disappointment of announcing a baby.
Part one: Finding out
It is surely part of the most memorable moments of a parent life.
And most of the time it comes from a piece of plastic.
Where one pink line makes all the difference.
One pink line means nothing, two pink lines mean everything.
Everything you have been worried about or everything you have been waiting for.
The unwanted outcome of a one night relationship or the accomplishment of months of passionate love.
Well if you stand in the more positive category, the one where you were waiting for that moment, the one showing you that finally madame is pregnant, it is the beginning of a new adventure.
From a Daddy perspective it can be overwhelming to see the mummy being so excited and happy while you are just wondering what exactly these two lines mean. OK, she is pregnant, she is going to have baby, so do I. Well that is what we wanted, so why crying and laughing and jumping and …
I think that before seeing a scan of the baby or even the baby herself in real, we, as Daddies, don’t realise completely what it is to going to have a baby. Therefore our emotions are likely to be less intense than the expecting mummy. It does makes sense because physically we are not bearing any new cells, our hormonal system is not shaken up, we stand as we are, observing these two lines, wondering what reaction is appropriate… Crying? I can’t cry… Laughing? Not appropriate… Smiling? Surely smiling is good! Talking? “Wow! Finally!” oops that all I was able to say…
If I remember well, I was not prepared at all!
And here is the story of how I found out about my wife 3 pregnancies:
Once upon a time I was not a Super Busy Daddy, not even a Daddy. I was a busy man at the most, and a worried man (as you can read in my post about trying for a baby).
That day my Wife and I were going to an appointment at the Life Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. The appointment was a scan, a preliminary step before starting the IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) process. Indeed we had been trying actively for nearly two years to our very first baby.
The ultrasound scan was supposed to simply make sure everything was normal before starting the procedure, and especially, to check that there was no baby already there…
You guessed… there was a baby there! Looking at the screen it was quite obvious and quite amazing! Both of us were completely stunned and could not believe it but we also were so so relieved. The way it happen was so unexpected. In preparation of that scan we were wishing for that to happen. In the car driving to the Life centre we were even joking pretending it was going to happen to put a bit of pressure off. Well we did not know for sure that we were right. It was really a dream coming true. Even if other types of pressure were coming forth: will the pregnancy be OK, will be good parents if it works, how we were going to keep secret until the next scan, etc…
For our second baby I had no clue. My wife was not feeling well. Our Friend Sarah who actually happen to be be our hypnotherapy practitioner who taught us Hypnobirthing technique for our first baby’s pregnancy, told her that she may be pregnant after listening to her symptoms. One day my Wife offered me a little present. I opened the wrapped gift and there were the two pink lines on a pregnancy test, the two lines that proved Sarah to be right. I was super Happy. And so surprised. It was only 20 months after our first boy’s birth! And although we wanted definitely another baby, we did not really plan for it to come so early after the first one. But that was actually much better this way! No stress, no anxiety, no protocols!
Then about 28 months later, one day my wife was wearing a parka. And she kept that parka all day. Until we went to bed, she went to bed with her parka. I thought she was cold and did not questioned that fact. So she asked me “You’re not surprised that I am still wearing my parka?”. I asked innocently “What is your problem? You are pregnant?”…
Her announcement so well prepared ended up as an unfinished joke… She wanted me to ask her to take off her Parka. She was wearing a T-shirt underneath, with a drawing of a oven… and written “A bun in the oven”… That could have been very funny if I did not spoiled the joke! She actually explained me that she suspected she was pregnant and did a test because she was able to do a leg full split without warming up at all. So she was so flexible, only relaxin hormones could have done that. These hormones are preparing a woman’s body for childbirth by relaxing ligaments and softening tissues. I did not know that either!
But anyway… that was the third time, and now I was really really surprised. We told everybody that it was planned, but it was not at all. It was actually a big relief and we cried together. We were indeed in a very down and sad period of our life. This happy event arrived just after we’d been announced that our second child had a Genetic disorder. So that new pregnancy was a big relief because we thought that it would be easier to be a big family to face difficulties. And the idea to have another chance to finally have a girl was also quite encouraging. Well… Of course it was a third boy, and let’s face it, it did not matter at all. We were, we are and we will always be happy of that outcome! And of course that third baby came with other sorts of problem on his own as well. But I will talk about my beloved children conditions in other articles. The important thing was that we were going to have a baby!
For now let’s celebrate! And remember that finding out a pregnancy for a man, is not just a matter of feeling happy, it is a bunch of all sort of emotions: joy, uncertainty, surprise, confusion, and thoughts like “How am supposed to react?”, “Am I normal to not jump and scream my happiness right now?”. Finding out is actually not really a moment of truth to me. A bad reaction does not mean that you don’t want that baby.
It is only an immediate reaction and real feelings build up from that moment, they go stronger and stronger as thoughts are going back in order.
If I had an advice for future mum on how to share the news with your partner, how to make him or her discover that you are pregnant, if you don’t discover it together, avoid too complicated situation that can end up in a misunderstanding or an uncomfortable situation! It can create awkward moment ending up in you being a bit deceptive. I think the best is to keep the fun for more relaxed occasion like announcing to the larger web of your friends once the first “at risk” weeks are over maybe?
So there I am, after having found out in 3 different ways the 3 pregnancies of my wife. They were surely the starting points of me becoming Super Busy Daddy.
In my next article I will talk about the different ways we announced the pregnancies to our family and close friends.