The Happy Baby Project

A happy baby needs a happy mum


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Daddy?

Hello. I’m The Chef that she occasionally talks about. I keep making a balls of things and this is why. She doesn’t know that I am posting this and I genuinely hope that she doesn’t KILL me for hacking into her blog.

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It’s funny how a stream of warm, alcohol-infused piss can change your life for ever.

‘It’s positive’.

‘What’s positive?’ I hadn’t put my contacts in yet and was brutally hung-over.

‘This!’ shaking something white in my general direction.

Shitting hell.

Two minutes earlier we had been screaming at each other about something that seemed at the time to be important. One of the arguments that we still have, about everything and nothing. About communication, competitive instincts and damp bath mats. I hope that our child never finds out that Mummy did a pregnancy test just to stop Mummy and Daddy being mean to each other. But that’s what happened. ‘It’s positive’ she said and I loved her so much.

I had to go out to buy a second test ‘The digital one! It HAS to be CLEAR. BLUE. DIGITAL! ‘.

I crashed my car in Sainsbury’s car park- ripped the passenger door handle clean off.

The second one was positive too but it seems that Clapham High Street is in some strange time continuum because we were 2 weeks more pregnant than we had been half an hour earlier. I still don’t understand how they work out how pregnant you are. Not understanding has rather become my default setting of late.

I am not an insensitive man. I am enlightened- My university dissertation was about the ethics of male feminism, and I genuinely think that women should rule the world. But I don’t get it.

I find it hard.

I find it hard that my beautiful wife (and she genuinely is) was so disfigured, so brutalised by her first trimester that she couldn’t leave the house.

I find it hard that I don’t care as much as she does. I can sense her disappointment when my eyes don’t light up during discussions about prams.  She thinks I don’t care.

And I don’t.

Not like she does. I can’t. Can I?

For me, now, it is abstract.  For her it is a son or a daughter that she is keeping warm. For me it’s a promise of something more, a present that I can’t unwrap, a halcyon summer after crappy A-Levels. Something distant and exciting but when I try to grab it, I can’t.  I feel stupid talking to a bump. I feel guilty when I can’t summon enthusiasm about hypno-birthing (or even find out what it is) and I feel helpless when my wife cries. And worse when it is because of me. When she is mean I crave her love like a wounded child. It’s pathetic. I KNOW about hormones, I KNOW that she resents me because I’m not carrying a baby or suffering from hives and insomnia, but I hate it when she is mean to me. I am, in those instances thin-skinned, over sensitive and have little or no consideration about what is happening inside her head or who is wriggling inside her body.

But what kills me the most is when she worries about money, about stability and security. She has something to protect now- something to keep from evil, to nurture. I just have a wife with a bump. Her nesting instinct has gone into override and again I look into her eyes and I know that she NEEDS me, in a very Darwinian, animalistic way to look after her and HER child. And of course I will, but it’s not because of a primeval urge yet- like it is for her. It’s because it is the done thing, polite convention. There is nothing in my psyche gnawing at me, insisting with utter absolutism that I do the right thing.

I need to hold my baby. Feel its breath on my cheek. Know that my wife is safe and well. I need the little bugger to grip my finger, have my eyes and smile before I love it like my wife does now. But when I do, I know that I will love it ferociously and without condition until the day I die.

So, darling S, I love you more than anything, more than I love my unborn child. For now. But come March and I suspect you will have some serious competition.

So until then darling girl, how about you look after our baby and keep him or her safe, warm and well and in return, I’ll do my very best to make sure that I spend every waking minute thinking about how to look after you.

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