There’s a lot of times and places this story could’ve started from.
But for this particular story, it begins in a Celebrations Liquor store on Spencer street in Melbourne. Not the most romantic of places in anyone’s opinion no doubt, but at about 7.45 on a Thursday night it became one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited.
Ever since I was about 25 I’d always said that the only time I would ever fork over the $180-$200 for a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label whisky would be the day I found out I was gonna be a dad. And then, on the day the little one came home, I would open the bottle and have a glass.
Well, on that Thursday night I was told by the most beautiful girl I know that ‘hey, you should buy a bottle tonight’.
And that’s how I found out we were gonna be someone’s mummy and daddy.
The next few weeks were like walking on air, yet it also felt like I was walking around knowing the greatest secret that mankind has ever known.
It was 1 week before Christmas.
Christmas day came along and we told our immediate family. They were very excited. We all were. There were more smiles than I’d seen on a Christmas day in a very long time. It was the best Christmas I’d ever had.
We still had to wait around 6 or 7 weeks before we reached that ‘safe period’ of 12 weeks before we could make the public announcement, but these weeks we had some of the best fun ever. We didn’t want to go out and buy all the big stuff like cribs or prams, but we couldn’t help but picking up the occasional awesome ‘onesie’, miniature converse all-stars and pretty much the greatest children’s book collection ever! We’d start seeing things while we were out and about that had always been there, yet we’d never paid attention to.
Cool toys and awesome wall decorations. Teddy bears and clothes. Baby memberships to our mutually worshiped football club the Essendon Bombers – A Baby Bomber. So much awesome stuff!
We turned making up excuses for why my partner couldn’t drink on major drinking occasions like New Years Eve and Australia Day into an art. But there are only so many times you can blame ‘gastro’ or a major hangover from a party the night before until people get suspicious.
Shopping; a task I usually detest, became fun. A few weeks ago we even ventured into an environment that the very idea of makes both of us cringe, the monsterous IKEA warehouse to have a look at baby stuff. We weren’t convinced there would be anything but flatpac horrible rubbish, but we spent a couple of hours in there. Looking at all different kinds of cool decorations for the perfect kids room.
Then we got to tell everyone. That was FUN!
We did it in a typical 2013 fashion. Text messages and Facebook mostly. It was awesome though. We got such a great response. Everyone seemed so happy for us.
We were riding the wave for a few weeks, just waiting until that awesome day where we got our 14-week ultrasound and we got to see a blurry, weird picture of our little boy or girl for the very first time. I was so pumped!
That was last Friday morning.
By Saturday morning, we were in a hospital room. My girlfriend was in an unimaginable amount of pain while I sat next to her, holding her hand, just wishing there was something I could do. Doctors ran all sorts of tests and took all kinds of measurements but they all came to the same result. We no longer had a little one to anticipate in August.
Within 48 hours we went from the happiest, most thankful people on the planet, to the absolute saddest.
Various doctors told us some of the most terrible sentences a person could ever hear in their lives. I know many others before have heard before and no doubt many others will in the future, but this felt like our little world had come undone.
Our little family had shrunk by one.
That was about 24 hours ago from the time I wrote this. My little one won’t ever be coming home and I’m drinking a glass of that expensive scotch today instead.
So why did I write this?
I grappled with whether or not to write this down, let alone publish it.
It such a personal thing to occur and I have no doubt others out there would deem it distasteful or unseemly to put it out in a public forum like this.
But we discussed it between us and thought it seemed like the right thing to do.
I write about things I feel. Most of the times they are nerdy, tech geekery. Sometimes they are more personal thoughts. This sits at the top of my personal category.
My blog is about my life and this story is about the very best time and the very worst time I’ve ever had. Writing it down (unedited) helps me document a major aspect of my life – a large majority of it I will never ever forget.
The next part of why I wrote this was to help get the story out in our terms I guess. We could text message everyone, or let it spread through the grapevine, but it deserves to be ours, and a status update is something we really didn’t want to do.
The end of this little journey would unfortunately define the beginning and middle of it for most people. And we felt that that conclusion does not do the happiness we felt the justice it deserves.
It also helps avoid any awkwardness of someone who doesn’t know asking about the pregnancy and then having to be told about it. That makes it awkward for everyone, and we really don’t want that.
But to summarise, this is my version of the story of my little family, and I wanted to tell it.
Thanks to everyone who knows and has given us support over the past 24 hours (and beyond).
Life huh… a bunch of really awesome stuff with the occasional punch in the nuts.
NOTE: I won’t be approving or responding to comments on this particular post on this page. Apologies.