It gives me great pleasure to announce something of incredible importance. I can’t even believe it myself, something of a serious note for once. I can proudly announce that this guy, right here, is going to be a father for the second time. That’s right, my wife is PREGNANT. I’m barely even qualified for the child I have, yet here I am, awaiting the arrival of more tiny feet.

Just a few years ago I was having my children repeatedly removed from my care by social services because my wife and I left them home alone whilst we attended our day jobs. It turns out I really suck at The Sims. I never thought that I’d be able to make such a turn around in just a few short years. I guess I’ve really grown as a person.

I remember the day my wife surprised me with the news. She’s never been one to pull off surprises without me suspecting something along the way, however, after choosing to surprise me at my weakest of moments (before breakfast) I didn’t put two and two together.
“I should have known,” I muttered under my breath “Why else would she get out of bed before me?”
Since that moment it has been all baby. Every conversation is baby related. Every financial decision is baby related. Even the mess in our home is baby related, as used pregnancy tests litter the place like Ava’s seemingly endless supply of stickers.

Over the years my wife has shared some videos with me from Facebook or YouTube, of expectant father’s reactions to their significant other’s pregnancy announcements. There’s crying, cheering, dancing, and all manner of joyful expressions, while my wife sheds a tear and nudges me aggressively.
“Why can’t you show emotion like normal people?” She questions me.
“Because I don’t have a vagina,” I respond with a stone like expression. From now on when she asks, I assume she’s being rhetorical. Needless to say, my wife was uninspired by my reaction to her surprise, which was a borderline “Oh awesome. High five. Put it there, Champ!” I did give her a hug though, so I think I passed.

It has been a time of real excitement as we’ve announced the news to close friends and family, but also a time of much trepidation. This time last year my wife sadly suffered a miscarriage which broke her spirit in two. She began to blame herself, wondering if she had done something during the pregnancy that resulted in this tragic event. She was inconsolable. She would say how she knew these things were common, but never thought for a second that it would ever happen to her. Much like the time the cashier at McDonald’s confused my order of a banana milkshake for vanilla. Rightly choosing not to mention this at the time, I struggled for countless weeks to sooth my wife’s broken heart. I don’t believe that anything I have said or done has helped my wife come to terms with our loss, she will forever carry it with her, as I shall forever try to comfort her. We can only hope that she never has to experience such emotions again.

My wife and I share very different views on pregnancy. My wife believes in life at the very point of conception, giving her strong Pro-Life views whilst remaining open minded to other’s. While I on the other hand, am an avid believer in Pro-Choice. So much so that if anybody should need discreet services, I have an urgent need for extra cash with more coat hangers than I know what to do with. I’m fully aware of all the trials and tribulations that can befall a pregnancy in its infancy. Until I can feel a baby’s tiny hands gripping my finger, or hear that fragile whine in my ears, I remain cautious of the hand that nature could deal us. Pessimism at its most depressing.

As my wife and I embrace parenthood for the second time, we shall always have the events of last year in the back of our minds, with every hope in our hearts that we are not met with the same fate. As my wife beams with the joy and the adulation of pregnancy, we look forward to sharing news of our newest addition as it occurs.

Raising a child is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that life has to offer. Whether I’m the man who cries through every second of the birth (unlikely) or if I’m the man who leans over my wife during a contraction to excitedly show her a movie trailer that’s just dropped (incredibly likely) I shall still be the doting father this child deserves. I’ll comfort them when they cry (between the hours of 7am-7pm) I’ll make them laugh until it hurts and I’ll be there to guide them whenever they need a helping hand. But above all, I shall embarrass them with every bone in my body, because that’s what parenting is all about.

With names being heavily debated and provisionally settled upon, we have asked Ava how she feels about becoming a big sister.
“Are you going to share your toys?”
“Yup,” She beams.
“Are you going to share your cake?”
My daughter, everybody. That’s my girl right there.

Baby Randall. ETA December 10th