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“I’m pregnant” | The 3 Stages of Understanding (Fatherhood series part 2)

Author: Iain Schofield

“I’m pregnant” | The 3 Stages of Understanding

Like a child, whenever somebody shouts my name I assume I’m in trouble. So, when my wife called me into the living room, I was instantly tense.

‘She’s spotted the spaghetti stain on the carpet’ I thought to myself as I trudged to the couch.

She didn’t look mad, but that could have been a smokescreen. I’ve fallen for that one before.

‘Take a seat” she ordered. I obediently sat. 

She seemed a little nervous. As I looked at her, I slowly came to realise what was coming.

“I have something to tell you,” she began [long pause for dramatic effect] “I’m pregnant”. 

There it was. The biggest news I’ll probably ever receive had landed in my lap.

We’d been trying so it wasn’t out of the blue, but I’d expected a little more trying before we got to this point. 

So, I took a second to process.

getting organised for baby

“Awesome, this is good news.” I finally said in a high-pitched voice.

And that was that. We’d done it. Now, what to do with this information? We spent the next few days/weeks/months in a daze as this simple conversation unfolded into a complex web of consequence.

During this time, I traced three distinct stages of my mental processing.

Stage 1 - Denial

First up the classic, denial. 

I spent the first few weeks (lie, months) telling myself that this event wouldn’t change a thing. Besides, it would be absolutely ages before anything actually happened (9 months is like years, right?). So, surely I could just carry on as if nothing had happened. This news certainly wouldn’t spell an end to my carefree days. Nothing could saddle this wild stallion. I listened to all the advice to the contrary; I heard the anecdotes, read the books but all with my fingers metaphorically in my ears singing ‘la la la la la!’

Stage 2 – Panic

Sweet denial slowly ebbed into blind panic. Waking up at 3am sweating, frantically trying to budget for this new life. Listing all the things we needed but were yet to buy. And the nursery, it hadn’t even been painted yet, we hadn’t even decided on a theme! A sense of impending doom fell over me. The world as I knew it was ending. The carefree days were already over. What a monumental numpty I had been for thinking otherwise. [Gently rocks self back and forth]

Stage 3 - Acceptance

This panic steadily mellowed into a quiet acceptance. Things would change, money would be tight and carefree was almost certainly an outdated concept. But we would be okay. I wasn’t alone. I had my wife. We would tackle every new challenge together. So whilst one chapter of our lives was coming to an end, a new richer narrative was about to be written.

I can’t wait to see how things turn out.

Read more posts in The Fatherhood Series:


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