I was just your average, typical guy. I lived a normal life; I enjoyed living alone and the freedom to play hours of guitar each night. Well I did until I received a call one night from my mother-in-law (to be!) summoning me to the hospital after I was told my girlfriend had been rushed into A&E with suspected appendicitis. She was in fact having contractions, was 6cm dilated and was actually in labour! This was the night my world changed.
I am Adam, and I am a believer in fate. Lyndsay and I were school sweethearts; we drifted on a silly mis-understanding and met up a decade later when our stars re-aligned. It was literally a case of hitting the un-pause button and the rest is history! We enjoyed getting to know each other again, we went to lots of gigs together and we spoilt ourselves with holidays and short breaks. By 2015 we had been together for three years and were very happy. Both sides of the family had accepted us as an item and Lyndsay was in the process of moving into my house. I had the engagement ring sorted and was planning to propose at Disneyland on New Year’s eve to mark out third year anniversary. We had not had “the talk” about having children apart from the occasional brush off when quizzed by immediate family who were desperate for the patter of tiny feet. I had always been brought up on traditional values and thought that if we did eventually have children then we would do in the “right order”. How wrong I was….
Some people say to me that buying a house or getting married “is one of the most stressful things you can do” in life… This always makes me chuckle. I can 100% (hand of my heart) promise you that receiving a call out of the blue to confirm you are shortly going to be an unexpected parent makes buying a house a walk in the park!
This is what happened to me: It was 11th May 2015 and I have never known shock like it. In fact it has taken me nearly three years to even talk about it in any detail. Sure, when it first happened we were featured in a magazine, but that was actually in desperation for extra money as my family had grown overnight. We were meant to be going to Florida a few months later and thanks to my organisational skills and desire to pay off the holiday ASAP, I missed the little, hidden caveat in the T&C’s that stated any voluntary payments would be considered our deposit. This meant that we lost the money on our holiday and would need to recoup emergency funds.
Needless to say, the article was a great success and opened up other avenues to speak up about our story. The local news wanted a scoop and press agencies wanted us to feature on TV. This was not my plan, we just wanted to hide and reflect on what our new reality was going to be like. We thankfully made the holiday money back and could concentrate on our new priority which happened to be a new baby daughter.
If I could go back in time, I would have told the “old me” that everything was going to be okay, not to worry that I had never held a baby(!) and to embrace the spotlight to make some positive change. But as I said, I was and have been in long-term shock – well wouldn’t you be?! My daughter turns three next month and I think the turning point for me was Christmas 2017. Something inside me woke up and pulled me back. I had a family. We had been blessed with a wonderful bundle of joy and it was now time to tell my story.
If I had been given £1 for every time someone asked the question what it is like to be a three hour dad, how I reacted etc. I would now be floating on my boat in St Tropez (okay not quite, maybe an inflatable dingy?!) But I had never really answered anybody. Most of these amazing stories are focused on the mum and the wonderful mechanics of her body and how it could hide a full term baby in there?! The dad does not really feature… How could that even be? I have been equally impacted, in fact in some respects more so. I have had to change jobs, use all my life savings to move house and get my family by on a single wage. This isn’t a time specific adjustment, this is something that is life long and will remain as my number one priority.
So on the 1st January 2018 (in line with my new year’s resolution). I decided it was time to let go of the shock, release those anxious feelings that I had kept under lock and key for the last three years and write an eBook. Fittingly called 3 Hour Dad The words simply poured out of me and I took sheer delight reliving the emotions of that fateful night. It is easy for me to now see that my daughter was coming either way and was meant to have been sent to us and I invite you to read my short journey into fatherhood and see for yourself how the great powers of the inevitable came for me.
My eBook is available on Amazon, iBooks, Google Play and all good retailers of eBooks. It is the price of a coffee and (available in all territories) for every sale I donate 50p to a good cause. It would mean the world if you could join me and check my short book out. It has short chapters and you can hear about what it is like to be a 3 Hour Dad from the Father’s POV. By purchasing you are automatically giving back and what is better than lifting other people? It lifts yourself, makes people smile and you make their day. My book has received some lovely feedback and unbeknownst to me, it turns out I am a quite good dad and it is safe to say I am no longer babyphophic!