**Edit: This is an old story. I’ve never posted about how we found out about our first born, Preston. However, it was sparked by my wife being pregnant with our second :-)**
A lot of preparation goes in place, or it did for us, when telling family members that you’re expecting for the first time. We gave my parents an “early Christmas present” which was baby booties. We told my wife’s family at her sister’s birthday party (we had her permission to do so). But for guys, there isn’t a lot of “prep time” to find out. You’re wife/girlfriend doesn’t exactly go out of her way to make the moment special, and why would she? No matter if it’s expected or not, her life is changing as well as yours. She wants you to know ASAP, and you should want to know ASAP. And my case was no exception; here’s what happened.
My wife calls my cell as I’m getting ready to park the car at a local golf shop. As I come to a rolling stop I answer:
Me: “Hey, what’s up?”
Her: “Hi, can you…pick something up for me?”
Me: “Sure. What do you need?”
Her: “Well, I need a pregnancy test.”
Me: “I thought we had one left?”
Her: “We did.”
Me: “…Okay? So why do we need another one?”
Her: “Because I used our last one this morning.”
Me: “……..Okay? So why do we need another one?”
Her: “Because I want to make sure what it said is correct.”
Me: “……………What did it say?”
Her: “It said I was pregnant.”
Her: “:-) Yes, but I want to take another to be sure.”
(She didn’t actually say smiley face emoticon but I knew she was smiling)
Me: “:-) Okay, I’ll go get one after I pick up my brother’s present.”
Me: “Okay, bye”
As I parked the car a feeling of excitement came over me, then the weight of responsibility hit me like a ton of bricks. I walked into the golf shop dazed in an out of body experience. One of the shop managers approached me:
Shop manager: “Can I help you sir?”
Me: “I..uhh, need a pregnancy teerrr. One of those Taylormade rescue clubs you have on sale.”
Shop manager: “Hahaha! Need to hurry home do we? Is it expected?”
Me: “Yeah, just wanting to confirm with another test.”
Shop manager: “Well I hope its congratulations for you. The clubs are over here.”
I quickly picked out the club I needed and proceeded to the checkout. As I took the receipt the shop manager said, “Again, congratulations!” I smiled, nodded and left the store.
As I sat in my car I contemplated where in the world I could go purchase a pregnancy test where I’d have the least chance of running into someone I’d know. It’s not that I didn’t want to tell people, heck an entire golf shop full of strangers knew before my immediate family did (sorry mom). But I knew my wife wasn’t ready to tell others until we were sure. And then I saw it, CVS Pharmacy. “WE NEVER SHOP THERE!” I thought as I navigated the conjoined parking lots.
Inside I made a beeline to the candy aisle and grabbed some candy bars, then to the cold medicine section and browsed a little and picked up some Band-Aids while I meandered to the small “grocery section” they had to get a bottle of Dr. Pepper. My thinking was that if I could put enough items in the basket the pregnancy test would be over looked. But then I realized you can’t exactly say at the checkout, “Oh how’d that get in there? Oh well might as well get it.” You can’t accidentally place a pregnancy test in your shopping cart while reaching for the milk. After stalling as long as I could I headed to the section that had the pregnancy tests. I walked by quickly to read labels and prices. Then finally I stopped and grabbed a test.
At the checkout everything was going as planned.
1 Snickers Bar – $1.09
1 20oz Dr. Pepper – $1.49
1 Box of Band-Aids – $2.79
1 Pregnancy Test – ****scanning error****
1 Pregnancy Test-****scanning error****
Cashier: “Can we get a price check on First Response Pregnancy Test”
Guy behind me: “So are congratulations in order?”
Me: “Trying to find out, but hopefully.”
Cashier: “Oh I hope it’s positive.”
Me: “Yeah, thanks. Hey, I’ll pay $20.00 for the test to speed things along.”
Underpaid Stockboy in the distance: “7.69!”
Cashier: “And that brings your total to $15.67”
Me: “Okay, thanks.”
Guy behind me: “Good luck!”
Cashier: “We have diapers here too!”
Me under my breath: “Not at those prices”
Me: “Thanks! Hopefully see you guys in nine months!”
I drove home as quickly as I could. I was really excited to see the results of the test. We’d been trying for almost a year. It was all down to one measly pee stick. I can’t even imagine how people used to tell how women were pregnant during pre-historic times (pre-historic buffs feel free to comment on that, inquiring minds would like to know).
After walking the eternal flight of two stair cases I had finally made it to our apartment. My wife was there, with her sister who was so giddy with excitement you would’ve thought she was ready to take the test herself. So my wife, Tara (it’s about time I told you her name right?), took the test and…well she took the test. Then we waited the infinite minute it took for the result to show up. It was positive. I couldn’t even begin to express in words the excitement/stress/joy/responsibility/elation/fear/happiness I felt in that moment.
No matter how much you prepare for the time, or how much you think you need to prepare, when you find out you’re expecting to become a dad for the first time; nothing you do before can get you ready for what your child will need most: You. It would be a lesson I’d have to learn the hard way, but one I don’t plan to make again.