Starting a blog is something my significant other has encouraged me to do for a long time. In fact, she’s given me two journals in the last six months (one for my birthday, the other our anniversary). Both were met with eye rolls. I’m a writer by trade. I spend my days working at a newspaper telling other people’s stories. I’ve never had much drive to tell my own.
That changed On March 14, 2017. I found the motivation shortly after learning I’m going to be a father. If television shows and movies are right, this is going to be terrific, amazing, terrifying and a whole lot of other emotions, too. This blog will serve as a record of my journey.
Kayla’s, too. She’s the mom in this parenthood scenario.
I learned this news last night over the phone. Kayla was driving from our Lincoln home to Omaha because she had a dentist appointment the next day and was spending the night there. We were talking about a certain… monthly visitor who was late.
“Don’t worry until we know for sure,” I said.
“Scott, I have to tell you something,” she replied.
What followed was a 45-minute conversation, most of which I can’t remember thanks to the information overload.
We weren’t exactly trying to start a family. To put it delicately, we weren’t “not” trying to have a baby.
We had previously talked about having a kid when we turned 30. Then we did turn 30 and decided maybe not just yet. Or so we thought. I’ve been 30 for 23 days as I write this. Kayla turned 30 two months earlier. I know, I like the older ladies.
In my mind, the groundwork is set. I’m in a long-term relationship with the woman I’m meant to be with (We’ve been dating more than 10 years, but are not married by choice), we own a home, most of our friends have kids and we both have steady employment.
Settling down and starting a family seems like the logical next step. It almost seems like our last year was leading up to this. We celebrated our 10-year anniversary in the Dominican Republic last fall, our biggest vacation to date. For Christmas I got Kayla a SLR camera, a bigger purchase I would have probably passed on to save money had I known there was a baby coming, but at the same time am really glad we have now. It just feels… dare I use the word “poetic?”
We enjoyed the freedom that comes with not having to care for anyone but ourselves. But let’s be honest, nearly all of our wild nights out have been replaced with takeout and television. Instead of chugging green beer, St. Patrick’s Day 2017 was spent watching HBO in bed.
Frankly, the child-free lifestyle has become mundane and the thought of a new adventure is exciting.
Still, we don’t feel ready. Does anyone?
I spent the last weekend playing Halo with my friends, and now I’m thinking about anchoring bookcases to the wall.
I should also mention I know nothing about children. Seriously, taking care of plants is borderline overwhelming and I need a recipe to make cereal.
My mind has been racing with questions ranging from serious to silly. Including:
How hard would it be to raise a child completely off the grid, no doctors, no social security number and raise him or her to be an international spy?
And then there’s the more traditional:
Boy or girl?
Do I make enough money to support a family?
That last one is especially relevant. Newspaper reporters aren’t exactly bringing in the big bucks, but goshdarnit we should!
There was also a closed-eyes hands-clasped chant I forced Kayla to jokingly participate in:
“Blond hair, blue eyes, blond hair, blue eyes…”
Clarification: this is because I have blond hair and blue eyes. Kayla thought it was important to mention this so I don’t sound like a dictator.
Also, we have no idea what pregnant women should and shouldn’t put in their bodies, outside of passing on beer and sushi. Unfortunately for Kayla, these are some of her favorite things. Unfortunately for me, I’ll likely have to mostly give these up alongside her. But the night I got the big news was also the first night I ever tried sushi from Super Saver, so it might be ruined for me forever, anyway.
We had heard caffeine is a no-no, which led to a humorous scene of Kayla and I in our kitchen, hunched over a tea bag wrapper reading the ingredients.
“It’s gluten free! Is gluten bad?” Kayla asked.
I shrugged and suggested she hold off on anything in question until talking to a doctor.
On that note, taking a pregnancy test is obviously the first step.
Kayla had that one down, but does that mean it’s for sure?
Since we’re both ignorant to the parental lifestyle, we went to an urgent care clinic the next day, just to be positive the test was also positive.
The woman there politely asked if Kayla took a test and said all they would do is offer the same test. She suggested we save the urgent care fee and accept the results.
She offered her congratulations as we walked out the door.
So that’s where we’re at now. Passing up car forums to venture over to a different corner of the internet, where I’ll hopefully learn how to be a parent.
Wish me luck!