Was a lad (easy). Now a dad to Daisy & Seth (less easy).


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Time To Talk…

I really umm’d and aah’d (is that even how you write it?!) about posting this. But here goes…

We lost a baby.

It was last July, 15 months ago.

And it was bloody awful.

I’m writing about it because I noticed that my Facebook and Twitter feed this week has been full of posts about Baby Loss Awareness Week.

My wife and I didn’t really tell many people about her miscarriage, so writing this now feels like a very alien thing to be doing.

And, I should say from the off, our situation was our situation; I can’t speak for anyone else, nor would I ever try to do so.

But there was one thing I realised as a result of the unwanted experience:

Nobody talks about miscarriage.

It was the single most traumatic thing my wife and I have experienced together, yet it felt like it was an experience that should be undertaken ‘behind closed doors’.

My wife rang me when I was at work (this was 11 weeks into her pregnancy) to say that something wasn’t right. I’m an optimist, but even I sensed from her tone that this seemed serious. That night we knew we had to go to A&E… but nobody knew she was pregnant. What would we do with the other two kids?

We rang a close friend who came round to look after them and we went to A&E. The doctor we saw was amazing, although from her tone of voice and the way she was speaking we both suspected that there was a very good chance that my wife was suffering a miscarriage.

She told us to return the next day if there were any more signs of discomfort.

There were.

And it became very obvious during the night that this wasn’t going to be the outcome we wanted.

I had NO IDEA what a physical trauma it would be for my wife. Perhaps I was naïve? I don’t know. But watching her go through the physical side of the miscarriage was heart-wrenching.

The next morning at 6am I rang my mum because we needed to go to hospital urgently. It was the most awful phone call to make as she had no idea we were expecting. In the space of thirty seconds I had to effectively tell her that she was due to have another grandchild on the way… but we were losing the baby.

I uttered the words (quietly) “I think she’s having a miscarriage”.

I hadn’t verbalised it until that point.

I burst into tears.

Sobbed.

(Over a year on and I can feel myself getting emotional about it now).

I hadn’t shed a single tear until that moment. I wanted to be ‘strong’ (whatever that means) for my wife. Saying the words though… that made it real.

By the time we were in hospital we 100% knew what had happened. They couldn’t get us in for a scan to confirm the miscarriage so we booked a private scan as we simply couldn’t wait. We just needed to know.

Watching my wife lie down as the sonographer searched for something we knew she wouldn’t find made us both incredibly emotional. But, at last, we knew.

God, it was shit. Really shit.

We didn’t want to tell anyone but then decided to tell our close family. I set up a whatsapp group entitled ‘Some news’. My brother-in-law, unwittingly saw the group and whilst I was composing the message got in there first with “You’re expecting?!?!”

Everything had changed in the space of 24 hours.

As soon as you see that plus sign on the pregnancy stick, you immediately become 110% emotionally invested and attached to your unborn baby. Even knowing the risks of pregnancy, you can’t help but let your mind run wild with thoughts of the gender, names and what he or she will look like.

It’s human nature.

A few weeks earlier my wife and I were stood, arm in arm, at a Take That concert just hours after finding out she was pregnant.

Gary Barlow was singing:

“Today this could be the greatest day of our lives”…

And as cheesy as it sounds, we swayed arm in arm, with our amazing secret that we’d just found out, feeling like it really was the greatest day.

Now we were sat in my car. Crying. Feeling like there was nobody to share the sadness with.

So I’ll say it again:

Nobody talks about miscarriage.

It’s a solo venture.

But why?

I don’t claim to be a statistician, but the one that kept popping up is that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.

This isn’t unusual.

It isn’t taboo.

The only thing that is strange about it is the silence that surrounds it.

Some people don’t like to talk about things, especially of such a personal nature.

But perhaps it would be better to create a society, in which there is more openness around the subject of miscarriage for those that do want to.

We have been very blessed since then to have welcomed Baby Honey into our lives. I am very aware that everyone’s experiences are vastly different and, as such, I can only speak from my perspective.

This was a pre-12 week loss, the fact that we hadn’t announced the pregnancy meant we didn’t have to tell everyone what had happened, or face the inevitable questions from people weeks down the line who hadn’t found out but wanted to see how mum and baby were getting on.

I just wanted to write this because it would seem strange to be thinking how ‘nobody talks’ about it and then not talk about it myself.

So big love to everyone; especially those who have been or are going through anything similar.

R x

PS Next blog will be slightly more upbeat…!

candles


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The Night Before School Starts

Clothes out,
Bags ready,
Kiss their forehead,
Keep hand steady.

Give the pep talk,
“First days are great”,
Tuck them up,
“You can’t be late”.

“One more book?”
You know they’re stalling,
Cos when they wake up,
The ball is rolling.

How will it go?
Will teacher be kind?
There’s so many things,
Running through their mind.

Just one more sleep,
New class awaits,
New faces, new friends,
Behind those big gates.

But you’ll never show,
You’re nervous as well,
This isn’t about YOU,
It’s their story to tell.

And know when they wave,
As they’re saying goodbye,
That it WON’T be a tear…
Just some dust in your eye!


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Please Don’t Call Me Dad

Hey kids,
There something on my mind,
That’s got me fairly irked,
This new thing that you’re calling me,
It needs to be reworked.
You’ve now replaced my favourite word,
No longer saying ‘DADDY’,
I wish you hadn’t made this change,
It’s put me in a paddy.
I don’t know what has caused it and I’m certainly not glad.
So kids if it’s ok with you,
Please don’t call me DAD.

You see,
There’s something special,
With the way it was before.
You’d greet me with a ‘DAAAADDDDDYYYYYY’
When I came home through the door.
You’d fling your arms out, hug me tight
Your bright eyes fixed on mine.
But now it feels so formal,
And although I shouldn’t whine,
It’s like you’ve lost that childishness, an innocence you had.
So kids it’s one request I have,
Please don’t call me DAD.

For now,
I’d much prefer it,
If ‘DADDY’ can prevail.
At least until your adulthood,
And then you can unveil,
Whichever term you wish to use,
I swear I won’t object.
Even if you use my first name,
I’ll stand back and respect.
It’s not that you’ve been naughty, or set out to make me mad.
But kids it makes me feel so old,
Please don’t call me DAD.

I guess,
(If I’m being honest),
That the reason it’s not right,
Is how it makes you sound grown up,
It’s giving me a fright!
I much prefer you staying small,
And though it has to change,
It’s simply coming far too soon,
It all feels rather strange.
So whilst there’s lots I can’t control, let’s stamp out this new fad.
The one thing that I ask from you,
PLEASE don’t call me DAD.

photo (1)


34 Comments

One Week

Seven days ago, my wife gave birth to our beautiful daughter (and third child), Honey. In between the nappy changes, night feeds and hourly attempts to simply keep my eyes open, I’ve written a little poem – ‘One Week’ – which I hope you may be able to relate to.

So sweet,
Petite,
With curled-up crinkly feet
All snuggled in a little ball,
There’s nothing to compete.

Small face,
It’s ace,
Just staring into space,
And though she hardly makes yours out,
You smile back just in case.

With eyes,
The size,
Of planets in the skies,
One glance and you’re intoxicated,
How they mesmerize.

That cry,
Oh my,
She makes it amplify.
How can you fix her straight away,
Perhaps a lullaby?

At night,
Despite,
The fact there’s no daylight,
Those moments in the dark you share,
Can still be pure delight.

Her sound,
Spellbound,
With snuffles that astound,
The slightest little cough or splutter
Makes you turn around.

And though,
You know,
She’ll only grow and grow,
Right now she’s wrapped up in your arms
With nowhere else to go.

One week.
One week?
A feeling so unique.
She’s closed her eyes, I’ll lay her down
And kiss her on the cheek.

Facebook B W


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Do Your Kids Ever Annoy You…?

Is it ok to find your OWN kids annoying?

Obviously other people’s kids are annoying;

The won’t-stop-whining-in-a-restaurant kind of kids.

The kicking-up-a-fuss-in-the-supermarket-queue-when-you’re-stood-behind-with-only-one-item-to-pay-for kids.

Or the sat-behind-you-on-a-flight-kicking-your-chair-when-you-just-want-to-sleep kids.

We all know those kids are annoying. But your own?

I asked this question on social media earlier this week after a half-term morning with Daisy & Seth where they were totally doing my nut in.

photo (1)

This was just before we set off for the morning. Look! Butter wouldn’t melt…

I expected to receive a wave of shock at the idea of finding one’s own flesh and blood to be a pain in the backside, but to my surprise, EVERYONE THINKS THE SAME!

Hurrah! I was getting all worried that I might be the only one to think this.

Here were some of the comments people offered:

Defo!!! I sometimes ask mine if they are doing things on purpose just to annoy me…

All kids are annoying. Especially when they are your own. At least with other people’s kids, there comes a point where you can say “They have been horrendous. Take them back.”

Your kids are probably ‘broken’ and need some new batteries if they don’t annoy you at least 236 times a day!!!

So with the general consensus suggesting that this is a totally normal thought process, I have decided to note down ten pointers to my kids (and maybe they will apply to yours too) in the hope that they might stop being quite so annoying.

  1. I am your dad; if I ask you to do something it would be simply super-fantastic if you’d just do it. Without a discussion. And at the first time of asking.
  2. You know when we go to a shop or the supermarket? It doesn’t mean you are going to get a present. Stop asking. It’s making me want to buy you… NOTHING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES!
  3. Blaming the other one when you’ve done something wrong never works. I’m not stupid (I don’t think).
  4. Saying ‘sorry’ straight after you’ve been naughty doesn’t mean you can get away with your crime in the first place!
  5. Constant whinging and whining when you don’t get your own way leaves daddy with one thought; boarding school.
  6. Cake and biscuits don’t constitute a main meal; eat your proper food first and then (and only then) can we talk about treats.
  7. Neither of you have a divine right to one particular seat on the couch or at the table so stop fighting over the corner pitch. Even if it is the comfiest spot!
  8. Telling tales on one and other doesn’t put you in the good books. It makes you a snitch. Nobody likes a snitch. Best to learn this at an early age.
  9. STOP ASKING FOR THE IPAD!

Wow. That feels good to say out loud.

And I know what you’re thinking. ‘You said you had 10 pointers but that’s only 9’. You’re right. Here is the last:

10. I know I always tell you that ‘hate’ isn’t a nice word to use, but on this occasion I’m going to make an exception. I HATE raising my voice at you. Honestly. I feel guilty after I’ve done it, especially when I see your little faces look upset. So let’s make a deal; I’ll try not to do it… if you promise to try (just try) to be a bit less annoying!

And I’ll leave the last word to someone who summed it up beautifully on my Facebook page by saying:

The best piece of advice I was ever given “it’s healthy to want to throw your kids at a wall just not healthy to actually do it”.


9 Comments

Dads To Be; Some Advice!

A pregnant woman, you should be aware,
Is a delicate species; so approach her with care.
For one bad move, or a word that is wrong,
And just like that, you might not get along.

Watch out for her questions that are actually a trick,
For however you answer, she will give you some stick.
One in particular, ‘how big is my bump?’
Will most likely end, with her getting the hump.

The bed is now hers, your side is fair game,
You’ll be squished on the edge, clinging to the bed frame.
She’ll be wriggling around, there may be snoring too,
But DON’T EVER tell her, just try to sleep through.

And don’t answer back, that’s just not very clever,
Start smiling and nodding, (at least try to endeavour).
For something bizarre that will come into season,
She might want to argue, for no actual reason.

A pregnant woman, without any warning,
Might get very sad, in the evening or morning.
And the cause of this outburst, it’s not always clear,
Just be there for a hug, and to wipe back the tears.

As for the cravings, some may well be strange,
But whatever’s requested, it’s for you to arrange.
If it’s chocolate she’s after, don’t get one single bar,
Head straight down to the shop and fill up your whole car.

She may be hormonal, irrational (at times!),
But in her defence, these are hardly big crimes
When her tummy is growing, her feet are so sore,
And the prospect of childbirth, is waiting in store.

So before you consider it, don’t think to complain,
Cos this whole childbirth lark, looks a bit of a strain.
Keep smiling, be understanding and try help her through,
And be thankful you’ll never have to get pregnant too.

R x


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Outnumbered

Hold on a second…

If my maths is correct, then this latest development means that there will be MORE OF THEM THAN US!!!

If you missed my announcement exactly one week ago, here is Daisy to bring you up to speed.

Outnumbered.

A post shared by Rich Williams (@richontheradio) on

Yep, inside mummy’s tummy is indeed a baby and come summer (the end of June to be precise) two kids will suddenly become three.

Well, I say kids…

Seth said to me the other day “Daddy, do you know what’s inside mummy’s tummy?” Going through the motions I said that I didn’t and he responded with:

“A baby walrus.”

Slightly concerning.

Scan Photo

Either way, in a few months’ time I am going to be the proud owner of three little humans. Or two little humans and a really cute baby walrus.

I purposely waited a week to write this blog because I noticed something in the first 24 hours after the announcement of my wife’s pregnancy that I found quite strange. Something was different to the other two times I’d told people we were expecting. It was how people were responding to the news.

Responses after Announcing Baby Number 1

Congratulations

This is amazing news

Waaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

So pleased for you guys

Are you nervous?

Better get your sleep in now whilst you still can

Glad it’s all in working order mate (blokes only response)

Responses after Announcing Baby Number 2

Congratulations

You know things are about to get serious…?

Have you got any help lined up?

Good luck!

Responses after Announcing Baby Number 3

ARE YOU ACTUALLY CRAZY?!

That’s it. The sole response to announcing a third child;

Are. You. Crazy?

It’s an odd response when you think about it. Telling someone they are crazy when they are telling you that they are about to become a dad again.

But the more that people have said it, and the more thought I’ve given it, the more I think that maybe I am!

Everything is perfect right now.

Both Daisy & Seth sleep blissfully through the night – therefore, so do I! They talk, they’re out of nappies, they tell me if they need the toilet, they’re happy with nursery and school and they have become fully-fledged, wonderful, interesting, funny and loving little munchkins.

Things are cool. I’ve got my life back in so many ways. And (as every parent does, of course) I really couldn’t love them any more than I do.

So what on earth am I thinking? ANOTHER ONE?!

And there are so many questions now;

Do I need a new car?!

Can we afford this?!?!

Will I remember how you change a newborn nappy?!

I’m going back to the world of bottle sterilising, nappy changing, Babygro wearing, car-seat lugging, twenty four hour crying, baby weaning INSANITY!

That kind of insanity when you’re not even sure what day it is.

I asked some of my more adept friends what it is like going from two to three. Here is one response I received on a WhatsApp message (from a friend who shall remain nameless for the sake of his marital harmony):

“The best analogy I can give you mate is that mum and dad are the two defenders on a football pitch. Currently you have two attackers from the opposing team trying to get past you. It’s tough, but manageable. Suddenly there’s another striker and from nowhere they are coming at you the whole time. It’s impossible to man mark them. Good luck!”

Am I crazy? We’ll soon find out.

I was just about to finish this blog post when my wife called me over from the other room.

“Rich… come here quickly… the baby is kicking”.

I rushed over, placed my hand on her tummy, and for the first time I could feel baby number three making his or her presence felt.

It was magical.

And suddenly, everything feels like it’s going to be ok. 🙂