One of the core subjects about which I intend to ramble on here is the adventure of becoming a dad for the first time, so I should probably set the scene a little more comprehensively.
My lovely wife Julie and I are expecting our first child some time around the end of this month. At our second scan (around 20 weeks in) we were informed that it was 90% likely that we were having a wee girl. I'm not especially bothered about the gender of our little Peanut, so named because when we found out we had achieved some measure of success in our quest to start a family the cluster of cells destined to be our baby was only the size of a peanut. The name kinda stuck. As long as Peanut is happy and healthy I'll be content, although I'd not be completely honest if I didn't admit that in the early stages I was convinced that we were having a son. I think all blokes want a son, possibly in some archaic caveman desire to teach him how to use power tools, how to kick a rugby ball, how to fish, and do all those other manly things. The reality is, though, that I'm still looking forward to teaching my daughter how to do all those things. Plus, given our slightly nerdy predilections, she is probably going to grow up as a bit of a geek, albeit one that can wield a fearsome cricket bat :)
The odd thing about being expectant parents is that it seems to give friends, family and sometimes complete strangers carte blanche to share all their gruesome stories and experiences about birth, poos, vomit, and so on. It is as if they take a perverse delight in frightening you when it is too late for you to do anything other than grin and bear it. It all seems to be pretty good natured stuff though, and we've had plenty of laughs, tempered occasionally with trepidation, fear and disbelief. I've also heard that it isn't uncommon for little old ladies to approach heavily pregnant women in the supermarket and rub their bellies approvingly, although so far this hasn't happened to my wife. Mind you I've had a big tummy for years, and no complete stranger has approached me for a belly rub either, so perhaps reports of this behaviour are grossly exaggerated.
The other really gratifying aspect of impending parenthood is the incredible generosity of those who have already travelled down this road. People have not only been free with their horror stories, but also with advice, offers of assistance, and vast quantities of baby gear. I think we probably have enough clothes and other bits and pieces for several Peanuts, although I'm assured that babies are pretty good at getting their clothes dirty, especially during a poo explosion.
So I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the folk who have been so generous, be it with gifts of clothes and other baby gear, or with offers of support. We both really appreciate your generosity, and you've helped smooth the road untravelled. Becoming a parent is a scary thing to contemplate, and we are very fortunate to have such awesome family and friends. Thank you.