1. First, you find out the news. Even if you’re “trying” for it, nothing quite prepares you for this.
2. Then there’s the swelling pride - and this is even before the nipper arrives.
3. But despite all the excitement, you can’t mention anything to your family and work colleagues, which is almost impossible.
You’re not supposed to say anything for the first 12 weeks - this is for various reasons, not least the increased risk of miscarriage. People tend to assume everyone knows this but they do not.
4. And then, the slow realisation. You’re going to be a father. There is no going back now.
5. You have to put up with people saying the same things over and over.
1. “Are you excited?”
2. “You know your whole life is going to change.”
3. “Make the most of going out and having fun while you can”.
4. “Was it planned”?
5. “Do you have a name?”
6. “I guess you’ll never have a social life ever again LOOOOL”
7. “Don’t complain about being tired now!”
6. The 12-week scan, when you see your real, actual child for the first time is the most awe-inspiring thing you’ll witness.
7. The science of how it all works is quite staggering - the way women’s bodies just know what to do during pregnancy and childbirth. But if you’re a squeamish sort, maybe don’t Google episiotomy.
8. There’s a lot to remember. It’s not just fags and booze that are off the menu - there are LOADS of things expectant mums aren’t supposed to consume. Here are just some according to the NHS:
9. Then you have a small heart attack thinking about how much all this will cost.
10. As much as you want the best for your child, you cannot understand why everything is so expensive.
11. You start to bore everyone you’ve ever met with the sad truth that childcare is RIDICULOUSLY expensive.
Yes, a full-time nursery place for kids under two in the UK is £11,000 a year on average, according to the Daycare Trust’s annual survey, rising to as much as £14,000 in London. I’m really not making this up.
12. And of course there will be some serious nesting. All that stuff you’ve been meaning to throw out? Get rid of it. Also, get ready to visit IKEA.
13. Your reading material takes on a new theme.
14. If you ever feel like checking the internet to see if there is any calming advice to be found, remember this can be a BAD IDEA.
15. It’s not really that much like being in a film or on TV.
In films, pregnant women look the same with a Hollywood bump and clothes that always fit them. And they have comedy cravings for strange food combinations.
What they never seem to do is get up in the night to go to the toilet. Or stand at the top of the stairs blowing their cheeks, due to the extra 27lb they are carrying around (baby + extra blood + layer of fat, but don’t say fat, no, never say fat).
16. You sit through antenatal classes where people ask questions such as “how do I sterilise my boobs?”
17. When it gets to the end game, you tend to get a bit twitchy.
18. You plan for the big day but feel utterly unsure about what to do during labour.
Aside from moral support, carrying the bags, phoning relatives, trying not to faint and driving the car / booking the taxi there seems to be very little else you can do.