Sunday, 20 December 2009

Ups and Down's Syndrome

Day count - 78.

I think we're over the worst of it!

The happiness of the scan heralded a new period of abject arseyness.
What promised to be that happiest of times soon deteriorated into rattyness, emotion and periods of silence.
It was hard to deal with and I really struggled with wanting to be happy, without anyone to be happy with.
I know its all about hormones (I read about it in one of the countless books that now litter the house at every turn) but that still doesn't make it easy for a bloke.
I'm more than used to getting a bollocking for my otherwise loutish behaviour, but getting "done" for just being around was a new one for me.

Steep learning curve? It was effing vertical!

Even the offer to start decorating the house from top to bottom didn't win me Brownie Points (to be honest, you'd think I'd been inappropriate with a Brownie)
Undeterred, I started on the dining room allowing Karen (aka Lawrence) to make all the choices in colour and design.
We had arguments about cutting in and an actual walk out over skirting boards!
It was mental!
On a positive note, it did save on some of the confrontation as its hard to get into a disagreement whilst up a ladder (the sudden rush of blood to the head can cause unsteadiness)
Truth be told, although I hate DIY, it was a great opportunity to just stay out of the way.

And like a hurricane, no sooner had it arrived, the moods disappeared.
We're back to our normal selves (just me getting a bollocking for actually being an arse)
I can honestly say that I'm glad.

So, we're on the up.
The tests for Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia have come back negative and the risk of Down's Syndrome has come back "low".
I know its not 100% negative, but its the best that anyone in our position can hope for at this stage.

Karen is definitely "living" the pregnancy through the advice of the aforementioned books.
If it says it in there, its gonna happen.
She's becoming a self fulfilling prophesy!
We're apparently entering the "fog" of pregnancy, where concentration, sense and knowledge go out of the window. Now, I've experienced this before and remember Fliss and Leanda in this phase. Hilarious!

My favourite from Karen so far:
"If Kurt Cobain's band were from Seattle, why were they called Nevada?"

So, the decorating continues (I'm now moving to the kitchen, then the living room, working my way up the stairs and onto our bedroom before starting on the nursery) although we're (I'm) having a break for Christmas.
The last one on our own. Exciting times!

We've also got a collection of "baby" things, for which I thank you!
Things I never knew existed.
A Nappy Wrapper! It puts nappies in a nice little odour free sausage when you've done with them.
I thought you just chucked them in the street, but maybe that's my Dalton upbringing.

My Mum and Dad bought us a baby holder/carrier/transporter thing.

I was made up and thought it was brilliant, though unfortunately we were still in the "arsey" phase so I got a bollocking for asking to have a photo taken. Hence the face!!
(Note the decorating in the background as proof that I wasn't lying about trying my best)

I will no doubt get some pictures over the festive period, including one of the newly formed bump.
Burt or Edie is certainly starting to show!

Friday, 27 November 2009


Day count - 54.

Thank you!

Your kind words are very much appreciated.

I'm still on a high.
Sorry if I made you cry*

*I'm a poet and didn't even know it!

PS. I've been out drinking.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Day count - 53.

Today has got to be, without doubt, the greatest day of my life.

Our 1st appointment at Jessops was 08:30 this morning.

To be fair, I hate hospitals but I was certainly prepared to endure one today.
Even when I had to sit next to a woman who had taken a cup from the water fountain, disappeared with it, and returned with it brimming with warm urine.

Now I know they have bottles for that kind of thing, as I had a full one placed next to my morning cuppa only hours before!

Anyway, I digress.

After much moaning (again) about queueing, late appointments and the general state of the country, we were ushered into a scanning room.

The sonographer (I had done done my homework!!) was a lovely woman who got straight to task. No messing. Good.

A bit of gel and rummaging about and "BANG"....there it was!
I can honestly say I have never felt a feeling like it.
The tiniest of heartbeats, there for all to see (well, only me and the sonographer at this stage)

Happiness, relief, pride, joy and hope.
I cried.

So there he/she is.
Little Burt or Edie.

I couldn't physically be any happier!!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Day count - 46

I've heard about this unpleasant side effect of pregnancy.
I'm now living it.
Even the dog is at it.

Maybe Karen should hold off on the Baby Knits and get cracking on one of these

Either that, or I'll break my own nose!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Wid Miffery

Day count - 32.

Jo the midwife came today.
Only the second person, in authority, we have met with so far.
I don't know why I feel this need to see persons in the "trade" as it were.
Maybe its to add realism to the situation? If I'm being honest, it still doesn't seem that real, all this pregnancy malarkey.
I mean, there's nowt to show for it. Other than Karen's general annoyance in my direction, and that's pretty standard stuff really.

She was very nice, but I'm guessing most midwives are.
We got some stuff (books and vouchers for more stuff) and were asked questions, some of which I found strangely amusing.
"Have you or your husband used 'street drugs' or abused solvents recently?"
I did have to stop myself saying "Only this week, I've been down the park with a carrier bag and a large tub of Brywax. Would this harm my unborn child?"

I suppose they have to ask these questions, as any smack head can get pregnant.
Presumably they procreate in between slamming crystal meth.

This aside, I did have moments of serious thought, especially around the tests we could have.
Downs syndrome is now screened free at the 12 week scan, and we would need to think about the possible results.
I had read this article on the front page of the BBC News website a couple of weeks ago, and the 1 in 85 odds were still fresh in my mind.
I never thought I would have to think about these things and it made me realise that the only thing expectant parents want is a healthy baby.
Its hard not to get bogged down by these things.
So I wont.

All in all, today was good. A chance to ask questions and be told that everything was going well.
Plus, I got 3 hours off work, which is always a bonus.

I'm now looking forward to 3 weeks time when I can add another professional to my list of authoritative figures.

Definitely should feel more real with the sound of a heartbeat!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Day count - 24.

Having a chauffeur does have its good points, though it also has its bad.
Like Soy Sauce in your coffee!

It has become clear that alcohol raises Karen's tolerance towards me, and without it, I'm on dodgy ground.
Summed up, so eloquently, after Lee's wedding reception;
"You're such a cock when you've had a drink"

This weekend, after repeatedly being told to stop arsing about in Billy Chans, she upped the game by putting Soy Sauce (a substantial amount I'm told) in my coffee and watching me drink every last drop.
Is this the start of things to come? Will the punishments increase in vigour as the pregnancy goes on? Will this culminate with a pillow over the face in my sleep?

I suppose I could try to behave.......

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Its not even a word!

Day count -21.

I think it's started, the moodiness I mean.
Karen had to go to bed last night because she felt too "wound up".
This morning is more of the same.
Even the dog is getting it in the neck!

She feels "ratchety" she says. Its not even a word, though I daren't correct her.
"I could pull my hair out" she says.

"Wish you would" I think to myself.
It would save on the £100 about to be spent at the hairdressers this afternoon.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Let the knitting commence

Day count - 19.

All items in place for the knitting to start! So far, it looks like it could be a blanket
(2 squares completed) but who am I to say. I'm not trained in these matters.
Could be a jumper for all I know!
I can say with some degree of certainty that it will involve this:
(recent eBay purchase)

and will be found somewhere in here:

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Painful Truth

Day count - 16.

Lee's wedding reception went with a bang......and so did my hip!!
It was the Champers that did it. Or maybe the Sangria!
I mean, who buys Sangria to celebrate fatherhood?
Not me for one, but I'll drink it if its free!

Anyway, we had decided beforehand to see what happened (in real terms, to see if Joanne would guess) and not mention the news unless prompted.

The 1st thing Jo said was "Are you pregnant? to which Karen managed a convincing "No".
This would have been the end of the matter but after 3 or 4 pints of truth serum (in quick succession), I was unable to hold my water, as it were.
My attempt to quietly advise Karen that we should say something was picked up by Jo and that was that!
I have to admit, I did feel a bit emotional saying it out loud (obviously the alcohol) to a larger audience. Great feeling though.
Joe came back from the bar with a surprise bottle of champers and he, Fliss, Jo, Mick, Gav, Karen and I celebrated our news in style. Much celebratory gin was also consumed, along with other drinks (another bottle of Moet if I remember correctly) which leads us back to the start of this post.
God knows what I did, or when, or with whom, or with what?
Injuries like this are explained away if I'm out without Karen, but in her sober company?
Am I really ready to look after another human being?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Shames and names

Day count - 12.

So, the "telling" continues.
A joy on the whole, with a heartwarming feeling that people are genuinely happy.
A shame that some people are more concerned about themselves, precluding them from sharing in our happy times.
I didn't realise that times like these would highlight some peoples true colours.
Cards marked and positions noted!!

It is strange, all this drip feeding of information! I'm so happy that I could just burst and I wonder if every other father-to-be has this "tourettes" feeling. I keep thinking that I will just shout out our news at any given moment.
I think tomorrow will be the beginning of the end though. Our 1st real social event, so I'm expecting the game to be up.
Hope this is the case, we'll then be able to display the great card from The Frances™, which remains hidden at present.

I caught Karen reading 101 Salivations during the week!
"Inspiration for baby names" she says.
"I despair" I says.
Mind you, "Rex" does have a certain ring to it!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Testing! Testing!

Day count - 9.

This week has felt like an eternity!
I awoke on Saturday 3rd October to find The Knit™ missing and the dog barking. She was in the bathroom doing "The Test".
Two blue lines, it said!
I was surprised by my reaction as I'd always thought I might get a bit emotional at being told I was going to be a father. Turns out I was more concerned with the validity of results given by a £1.69 pregnancy testing kit. Plus the dog was barking.
Having been untrusting of the slightly more expensive Ovulation Kit (another Wilko special) I pronounced that I would believe the news when we had it confirmed by someone other than James Kemsey Wilkinson.
(The Ovulation Kit had shown a negative each and every time we had used it, a waste of £5 if ever I saw one!)
Why couldn't we just "do it" every day I asked? Apparently the fiver was a better option, according to Karen. Funny that!

The weekend was spent feeling decidedly strange, as I would catch myself thinking about random fatherly things (teaching "it" the drums and looking forward to watching Mythbusters together etc), whilst still feeling like it wasn't quite real.

A doctor's confirmation should change all that!

Monday passed with a few more thoughts (would it be ginger? How much would my friends laugh if it was?) whilst waiting for confirmation of the doctor's appointment. The "coded" email finally arrived around lunchtime and confirmation was inevitably delayed until Tuesday @ 17:20hrs.
This meant a difficult task of cancelling a work appointment without being able to give any rational reason why. Somehow "I need to get off at 4pm because I'm going to test the validity of a Wilko Pregnancy Testing Kit" just didn't trip off the tongue.

Tuesday was raining, not a good sign I thought. Though, what was I expecting?
17:20hrs came and went, cue much grumbling about doctors waiting rooms, the state of the country, the youth of today etc. Fatherhood appears to have hit me already!
The doctor was, without doubt, one of the nicest I have ever met (not that you normally get much chance to appraise them, as they're writing the prescription and ushering you out the door before you've even sat down).
She congratulated us, confirmed the validity of the test (they can be -ve but really +ve but not the other way round) and scared me shitless with talk of 12 weeks of emotional hell. I still smiled!!
So, that was it. We are pregnant, or "expecting" as my Mum would say!

Now one thing we hadn't thought about was the "tactical" release of information. The Doc said it was upto us when we told people, so we naively thought we'd roll out the news as and when.
We then realised that a phased release would be impossible due to social events and the possibility of being "outed"!!
People would deffo notice when my little "Peter Barlow" was out socialising without a drink in her hand!
So, off to my Mum and Dad's....pronto.
They were suitably chuffed, with a few tears, as expected!
We then bombed over to see Justine & Nick (Karen's sister and B.I.L.) who were just as excited.
Nice feeling for people to be so happy for you!

It was the turn of my brother the day after, who reacted as expected.
1st laughter, then talk of small orange fruit. This disclosure was my main concern as Ashley now appears to live his life on Facebook (says me!) so he has been sworn to secrecy and has managed not to blow it yet (mind you, he is in a foreign country which helps).

Thursday and Friday were spent laughing at the fact we are going to be parents and Karen already playing on the fact (You've got to get me a drink from the kitchen, I'm carrying your baby etc)
Along with this we were worrying about Saturday. A pre-arranged trip to Alton Towers!

This definitely DID NOT fit in with our plan (sorry Shelly, but we couldn't tell you before we'd managed to get round the rest of our family! Even if it was your birthday!)
After much deliberation (and reassurance from the Doc) we decided to go and wing it.
Despite Karen's resistance, using a variety of excuses, she was cajoled by her work mates to go on a ride.
The look on Karen's face after her 1st ever Oblivion experience was priceless, though I know she was extremely worried about what we were doing to this tiny thing growing inside!!
Foetus at 4.5G just to make sure you tell your family & friends in the right order!!

My Aunty Susan caught me off guard with the question "Who's having a baby? Is it Karen?" when I told her she was going to be Great Aunty!
I had to point out (for the sake of my marriage) that I hadn't got another woman pregnant!

The final people to tell on the 1st phase were "best friends"
Kate jumped up and down in her kitchen and Joe gave me fatherly advice whilst walking over Midhope Moors! Fliss tried to sell us some baby items and worried Karen to death by condemning the Alton Towers trip!! I know both sets of mates were very pleased, which makes us glad to have them as friends!

So, that's it. You're up to speed (for now anyway!)

I'm typing this and only a handful of you know anything about it!!
What a week!
I'm going to be a Dad!!