The reality of being an unexpected parent

I believe in fate, I believe in taking chances and things that are meant to be. I have lived my life by the rule that if things happen a certain way then that’s the way they’re supposed to be. It’s done me well so far, I believe it was chance that I met Yvo on a balmy 3am morning in a hostel just off the Khoa San Road in Bangkok (talk about romantic). I believe that it was meant to be that I missed my overnight bus to Chang Mai and I got to spend more time with him and I realised that this guy was pretty special (ewwww I just puked in my mouth a little bit). But let’s move on, when we found out we were having a baby I had to have a serious look at life and wonder what kind of joke was life playing on me. I’m a planner, I literally plan for a living and here I am with a month to spare to get ready for a baby. Like what the actual fuck life?!

Anyway here we are almost 6 months down the line and I think I am finally getting my head round this parenting malarkey…well kind of. I also feel that mentally I have had enough time to get my head round what has happened…well kind of.

The truth is, 9 months of pregnancy isn’t just so you can get a super cute nursery ready for your baby with the most perfect accessories and super cute bedding and clothes. It is also you can mentally prepare yourself for the fact that your life is about to change in such unimaginable ways that you just need time to absorb what is happening.

Anyway,ย here is what it’s like when you don’t have quite the same amount of time as everyone else to prepare.

You get everything ready on speed

I can safely say that I think Yvo and I should get some form of award for how quickly we prepared Nora’s room and basics for a newborn. We started on the Saturday morning and by Sunday night our spare bedroom (soon to become a nursery) looked like a John Lewis shaped bomb had gone off. We had furniture to build, decorations to put up and clothes to sort. But ya know, we kind of looked ready to welcome a baby if they decided to appear earlier than expected.

You don’t have time to worry

A lot of women spend 9 months worrying about their health whether it’s what exercise they’re doing or what they’re eating, there is so much contradicting advice out there that no one is really sure if they’re preparing right. But for us we didn’t even have time to think about that. Once we’d been reassured that my drinking hadn’t impacted on the baby we didn’t really have time to think about much else. (I was still running up and down 9 flights of stairs with the dog until we found out).

You’re not entirely sure if your mentally ready for a baby

At 23 years old, I wasn’t even sure what kind of parent I was going to be. When we found out, Yvo and I both came home and sat on the sofa in silence (after we ordered pizza), just trying to absorb what was about to happen. Like holy hell, we’re about to become parents, like Jesus Christ how do you even understand that. We didn’t really have enough time to think about what was happening.

You take a gung ho approach

In the end, we had to turn round and say this happening let’s just ride this crazy wave that is about to happen.

Becoming a parent is by far the hardest thing I have ever done, and I know this to be true for any first time parent. It’s overwhelming, it’s exhilarating and overall it is absolutely terrifying. The difference is that when you become an unexpected parent you don’t have the luxury of time you have to accept and enjoy what is about to happen.

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