It's been a world wind of a weekend to be honest. We told our families that we are expecting. Their reactions were fantastic & heartfelt, and it was incredible to see other people's excitement about the news we had known about for the last 7-8 weeks.
The stars aligned nicely for the announcement. My wife's birthday was on Saturday and on Sunday her sister was hosting a birthday dinner for her and the family. On Monday we had our 12-week scan scheduled, so we felt that it was a good time to tell them as for one thing, her sisters and parents were all in the one place.
A little bit of a back story. I had missed my mother-in-law's birthday. The reason for this is that I drove to West Cork to take down an awning on her caravan. Storm Ellen was about to roll in by Mizen Head and if I didn't take down this awning, I reckon it would land in the sea or who knows, end up in France.
A Great Idea for Announcing The Baby News
So, we decided, my wife & I, that just before we'd sit down for dinner on Sunday that I would give the mother-in-law a card as a token for her birthday. As I had missed it, and to open it now at the table, share it with everyone, so we can concentrate on the birthday celebrations for my wife.
We had put inside the card, on a piece of card, in big black writing as we both reckoned that my mother-in-law might not have her glasses on and ruin the surprise. She does have a habit of it and we weren't taking any chances.
My wife even went so far as to bring nonalcoholic white wine with her. Get a glass of normal wine on arrival, then sneak out to the toilet to swap out the actual wine for the nonalcoholic version so no one would suspect a thing.
My mother-in-laws reaction, was this large gasp! Swiftly followed by my wife saying, "read it out". Then the mother-in-law read out "Congratulations, you're going to be Grandparents". Everyone went wild and there was shouting, screaming, and jumping around. Followed by tears from my sisters-in-law and my father-in-law.
We were being hugged from all directions and seeing their excitement of the news was special and fantastic.
I was blown away by it and of course it was the topic of conversation throughout the dinner and the evening ahead. We explained that we are having the 12-week scan tomorrow, that it was easier to tell them now, and not to say it to anyone as I was telling my parents (well one half, as my parents are divorced) and my brother after the scan the following day.
What really blew us both away was the reaction of my wife's brother-in-law. He nearly flipped the table with excitement and was climbing over the table to congratulate us both. To be fair he's been a part of her family for I think 14/15 years, but he was over the moon. We had discussed how my wife's sisters and parents would react. But never thought of how her brother-in-law would react to the news.
From mine and the guys point of view, it was great to see another guy show that level of excitement about the news, letting his emotions out and he wasn't holding anything in. I can only imagine, if he ever has kids of his own, how he'd react to that news. Might have to tell him in an open space.
We also found out that between both our siblings and their respective partners siblings. This is the first child, so cue the "they're going to be spoiled rotten" lines.
I had mentioned to my wife on route to the dinner. That as soon as we announce this, your mother, my Mam, your sisters etc. will start each conversation with "How are you feeling?" or for us lads it's "How is [insert wife/partner name] feeling? and then begin to offer advice as well as immediately thinking your wife/partner is incapable of anything mildly strenuous.
I don't think we even made the 2-hour mark before my wife was sitting down and her mother was like "would you like a cushion for your back?" to which my wife responded "Why" (with a tone) which led to her mother sheepishly saying "You might like it".
Shortly afterwards my father-in-law was having trouble getting out of a bean bag chair. My wife went to give him a hand. The mother-in-law again saying to not do it and for the father-in-law not to be pulling on her.
Ugh... just another 6 months of this... and on a side note.
There must be a part in the human brain that stores all puns, expressions, movements and phrase to topics in life. We've built up a mass storage unit of them in our brains and as soon as we can use them. We dump them on said person like a form of physical & verbal diarrhoea. Examples of which are;
"You're glowing"; which in reality is my wife's sweaty brow because she's now become a walking furnace since she got pregnant.
"You're showing"; eh that's just fat you bitch. My wife's reaction not mine.
Rubbing you wife's stomach; again please stop touching my fat.
"Get some sleep now, you won't be able once the baby arrives"; eh da fuck you think we try to do every night. We don't get into bed to pretend sleep. Also, you can't store up sleep for a later date. Also my wife at this moment in time is saying, "easy for you to say when you don't have to pee every 2 hours".
"You're getting bigger by the day"; Well done there Shelia, kind of happens with the old pregnancy thing.
"Any day now"; eh...5 months to go ya bright spark.
Oh and the last one which is always aimed at the man. "It's all downhill from here, right?"... Just get out, and while you're leaving have a good solid look at yourself in the mirror.
So, we had our 12-week scan on Monday (14th September). All good and the baby's due date has changed again but it's going to be early April. Baby is doing fine, and everything is going well. As the Dad it's a nerve-racking experience just waiting outside. You're fucking about on your phone trying to occupy your mind and you start to think of every doom's day scenario then. You're just sitting there like a spare prick, constantly looking up and out the window to see a glimpse of your wife walking out. Hopefully, I'll be able to see a live scan soon and not just the pictures.
I've been told the pictures don't do what you see live on the ultrasound justice. So for all us Dads going through pregnancy right now. It's a ball ache we can't go in with the restrictions.
My wife walked out and threw me a smile to say all is good. Phew, thank fuck. Instant relaxation moment. I sat in the car staring at the photos taken aback at just how big it looked compared to our previous 8-week scan we had. I was buzzing, emotional and we were just about to drive out to my parents' house to share the news.
Now, my brother had gotten engaged at the start of the lockdown. I had wanted to get a gift for him and luckily it arrived Friday so that he'd have a reason to stay in the parents' house after dropping my mother home after they had spent the day looking at his fiancé's wedding dress.
I know my brother very well and after spending a day entertaining the mother, fiancé, soon to be mother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law. He'd be like, 10 min tops and we are out the gap and off home.
I handed him the gift and both he and his fiancé were delighted with it. My wife then handed my brother a card and said it's just a token (Going with the card again, it's a solid no fuss approach. I highly recommend it).
He opened it and his jaw hit the floor so hard I thought he might break the tiles in the conservatory. He gasped and was like "what the fuck? You serious?". He read it out "Congrats, you're going to be an Uncle". Again, there was screaming and shouting mainly at the start from my brother and his fiancé. It took my mother a couple of seconds for it to register.
But once it did, the water works were flowing. Both my mother and brother were bawling. My brother will blame it on that he was tired, had a long day and was hungover from a weekend down in Kerry. But he's a softy and I love him.
Seeing their reactions was fantastic. I didn't know what to do with myself but seeing their joy was a wonderful feeling. It's something that I'll never forget.
We made a few phone calls on loudspeaker to tell my aunts and uncles and share the exciting news. All we asked was to keep it off social media etc. as I still had my Dad to tell on Friday.
Now I thought I'd escape having to hear advice on pregnancy from my mother being a male and that my wife would have to bear the brunt of WhatsApp messages about you should do this and that. "Take this, is she taking that?" I wasn't so lucky. I had two 30-minute phone calls from my mother on the topic before lunch the following day and I have a feeling it won't be the last one.
Phone moved swiftly to silent.
Sure, what can ya do, this is it and the next 6 months will be one hell of a ride as we move into the 2nd trimester and the 'white lies' to your wife become more prevalent. "I swear no one will know you're pregnant in that".
Skip forward to Friday the 18th of September and I went to visit the auld fella to share the news he was going to be a Grandad. It just so happened my brother was going to be there on the same day as he was in the middle of his staycation.
So, we were having a gentleman's wager at how he might react. My Dad is not one for showing his emotions and the both of us joked at the thought of "what do we do if he cries?" we've never seen him cry.
My Dad didn't disappoint, as reliable as ever. A solid "Well Done" on opening the card with the news inside. Followed swiftly by me saying "eh, do you want to read it out, so your wife knows". Me and my brother were in stitches laughing. Not much of a reaction, just a "Well Done" and a hug from him. His wife did start bawling her eyes out.
My Dad is from a generation of men who never expressed or showed their emotions. Or were piss poor at doing so. But I did get some more out of him as we chatted while he worked the BBQ and we shared a few beers outside. A very manly scenario that I think allowed him to feel more comfortable about letting down a few barriers and share his feelings. It wasn't much in the grand scheme of things but from him it was huge and something I know wasn't easy for him to do.
Over the next few days, I got snippets of excitement from him in texts and calls after the reality of the news sunk in. His own father passed away 3 years before I was born so he never got to share the news with him, so I think it hit a bit deeper than he'd let on hearing the words come out of my mouth. I think as the months go on and the due date draws closer his excitement levels will rise and I think he is really looking forward to being a Grandad. He's just letting out bits in drips & drabs.
But for now, it's "Well Done" and to all expecting father's about to tell their own Dad's. "Well Done" means way more than you think.
Time to play the waiting game until November for the anomaly scan. All is going well so far, and Mother and bump are doing fine.