Maybe it was blind ignorance, maybe it was wishful thinking but I was never in any doubt that it would happen. And before too long, we get what we’re hoping for. Well, almost.
It happens right at the beginning of the process. We’ve only had a couple of rounds of ‘going for it’ and, we think we’ve been successful. Unfortunately, success before you’re quite ready for it—can be terrifying.
It’s been a lovely weekend. One that seemed to go on for ages. I caught up with some old workmates on Friday, got nicely drunk, didn’t stay out too late. Took it easy on Saturday, had a beer with a couple of folks, went for a kayak, then dinner and a DVD with Erin.
Surfing lesson at Bondi on Sunday morning, round the markets with Erin and her sister. We make it home by 6pm and settle in for dinner and telly. Very relaxed, feeling very fulfilled with life in general. Even the specter of work on Monday morning isn’t a problem. I’ve made the most of these two days, and it’ll be another weekend soon.
Then Erin says, “I don’t want to freak you out, but I think I might be pregnant”. Oh. Shit. Shouldn’t have told me that then should you. Fuck, better enjoy these weekends while I can.
“But I don’t understand.” she follows “There’s a window of when it can happen, and that’s when you were away… but I’m late.”
“Well is that an unusual situation? What?! What do you mean when I was away? How often are you late… have you ever been late before? How often does something like that happen anyway?”
I keep my voice steady, and I’m surprised at how steady I really do feel.
“… Don’t know,” she says.
Now for a bloke, that answer is almost inconceivable. How could you not know? If I’d been through the discomfort of having my period every month since puberty, I think I’d have figured it out by now.
Anyway, it appears that you don’t really pay much attention to these things, until you happen to be involved in the process of baby making. Fair enough. I have no basis for comparison, and no idea what I’m talking about.
This, as it turns out, is pretty much commonplace for the foreseeable future.
“So… are there not tests for these things? Shall we go out and get a test from the chemists?”
“I’ll do one tomorrow at the hospital. They’ve got them at work.”
“Ah… ok. Are you sure? We’re not going to get much sleep tonight.”
Just then the phone goes and it’s Erin’s mum. She disappears into another room to talk, and I’m left there watching ‘Dancing with the fucking Stars’. Fuck knows how that ended up on, I was randomly flicking through the channels when Erin started our conversation, and I must have just stopped at some point. So, there it is. Taunting me from the corner—and given this little moment to myself, contemplating the implications of our discussion and feeling a little dazed, I can’t quite bring myself to change the channel.
‘Dancing with the Stars’. I’ve never seen more than 10 seconds of it before, but I can’t move. Can’t even lift a finger.
Now, I’m not sure, but I think my reluctance to use the remote control sitting in the palm of my hand, is because to do so would be openly admitting to myself, that on the brink of discovering I am about to become a father—possibly one of the more monumental moments in life—all I’m interested in, is what’s on the telly.
So I leave it there. Dancing with the freakin’ Stars.
Thankfully Erin comes out the room after a while and I snap back into reality; as unusual a reality as it is. She remembers having bought some ‘help-you-get-pregnant’ vitamins, and there’s a pregnancy test in the pack.
“Well… let’s do it then, let’s find out. We’ll either get a great night’s sleep, or we won’t sleep a wink! Have you been taking those vitamins by the way?”
“Yeah on and off, for a while I suppose.”
“Oh, and you’re surprised that you might be pregnant?”
As I’ve already mentioned, with my simplistic view of how babies are made, I’m not really that surprised that Erin might be pregnant. A little stunned perhaps, but not too surprised.
“Let me know when three minutes are up will you? Start…now” she says.
I write the start time down, not trusting myself to remember 7:40pm.
A long three minutes. I do like it when a weekend goes on forever. We should do this more often…
Not pregnant. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Interesting Sunday night. I’m so emotionally exhausted I take the next day off work. I’m not sure how long I was watching Dancing with the Stars for, but jees, it sure takes it out of you.
I guess these experiences help bring you closer to the reality of it all. Well, maybe not the actual reality, but certainly the real emotions involved; fear, excitement, nervousness, heart-pounding time distorting anticipation, a heady mixture indeed. Actually scarier than standing on the edge of a bridge, and I mean a real fucking bridge, that you’re prepared to jump off.
I didn’t know anyone with children when my wife was expecting. So I’d sit in front of my computer at the end of the day and squeeze my life out onto the keys. This is a little part of what I wrote, and if you’re thinking about having a kid, it’s a wee taster of what might be ahead.