March 12, 2013 by Dadinator
Last week we started to tell people about the impending arrival of “Sparky” (as we have dubbed him/her). We called The Boy “sprocket” when he was in utero after The Wife asked me what a sprocket was in an unrelated conversation. After I explained what it was she decided that it was a good name for an embryo. And who am I to argue? “Sparky” is short for “spark-plug” in keeping with the mechanical theme, by the way.
The Wife is now passed the mystical 12 week mark. This means that the probability of miscarriage is now very low, and it also means that we have some pictures of this little one. Ultrasounds are funny things. They are umbral pictures, ghostly and phantom like full of greys and specks of black. Yet they are for many (especially for dads) the first tangible piece of evidence for the existence if a new individual.
And if you’re like me you want to share these images as quickly as possible. So how does one announce a pregnancy in the modern world? We layered it somewhat… We had already broken the news to our own parents. They has helped us pack up before we moved house in January. At that point The Wife was already feeling under the weather. We hadn’t planned to tell the folks, but when my mum came over we realised that any attempt to conceal things from her would fail miserably unless we told her The Wife was critically ill. So on a whim we broke the news to her in early Jan. My in-laws followed a day later for the same reasons. Both my and The Wife’s mum were thrilled. we took great joy in their responses, excited hugs and wide grins.
We were adamant that the rest could wait though. But as tends to happen with happy secrets, we leaked to a select few. The Wife announced it on a Facebook parenting community she was part of, she did not know any of the ladies on it personally. My Yia yia (grandmother) was also told early as we saw her for lunch at my mothers place, and sh was worried The Wife wasn’t eating…. We let skip to some friends of ours who were asking of their own baby stuff, and to another couple we know who are also having a baby this year. But except for these lapses see maintained a for of silence on the matter.
Once we did the ultra sounds and ask looked well we made a fees phone calls to non internet folk (stereotypically the were grandparents mostly) and then we took the next twenty first century step, we posted things on Facebook proper and sat back and watched the likes roll in. And that’s all we did. Is thatcrass? Whatever it is, its done….. Turns out we’re just not that romantic or that about this sort of stuff.
Part of me wishes we’d dome something more old fashioned. I’m not even sure what the old fashioned way of spreading this sort of news was, but I’m sure it involved a card or some sort… But then I think back to the work involved with getting address lists together for the wedding invitations and that part of me shuffles off into the long dark shadow cast by the knowledge of how much work the boy can be.
The Wife was equally pragmatic about how she shared the news with me. We were going out to a new(ish) Mexican place in Castlemaine. On the of chance we had achieved stupendously early success in our attempts to have baby number 2, she tested herself without even telling me she was doing it. After all this brand of test came in a three pack, so there were spares. In the past whenever a ‘testing’ has taken place The Wife announced her intention to take the test with fanfare and aplomb. We then would sit together staring at the stick/paper/whatever to see if colours changed, holding hands and enjoying the sense of anticipation (then sharing commiserations in the case of a negative). But this time she was shi sure of a negative that she didn’t bother. She came into the lounge room and informed me that she would be partaking in non alcoholic margaritas tonight. And that was it.
It must have been a nice change to be able to break the news to me though. The first time around was we found out at the same time in hospital when she went in with bad cramps in her abdomen. She suspected appendicitis at the time. Turns out it was our first child.
I have subsequently read an article about women’s “breaking the news” stories which have seemed really elaborate. Coded messages in shopping lists. Placing literal buns in the oven with a card attached. Custom made fortune cookies, cryptic clues, balloons etc… And honestly, it just makes me tired thinking about it… And it’s all just a bit, well, naff to me. But maybe I’m just soulless and unromantic.