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Stylist's Male Columnist

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That’s everyone told then. I appear to have announced my impending parenthood, not via the traditional method of Facebook status or Twitter update, but instead through a sodding full-page magazine article with colour pictures. (I really should have ironed that cardi.) Obviously I’d told my family already, but an embarrassing number of friends and colleagues were still in the dark until two weeks ago. The truth is, you spend so long keeping it a secret that it becomes quite a hard habit to break.

In spite of this, I’ve had a lot of messages of support and congratulations from everyone. And more than a few suggestions that if I want to keep my marriage I should ease off on the flatulence chat. Which is, of course, nonsense. If I can do one good thing with this column it will be to spread the word that pregnant women are windy. Really windy. The truth will set you free, ladies.

By the time you read this, we’ll have had the 20-week scan. Everything is measured in weeks when you’re pregnant – it’s quite confusing at first but when you realise just how quickly the baby is developing it makes a lot of sense. According to the book I’ve been reading, in the last four weeks our baby has grown eyebrows, vocal chords, nerve cells and fingerprints. In contrast, I’ve just about managed to shave twice.

The same book also confidently declares our baby is currently the size of a small cantaloupe. Last week it was a mango. And next week it will be the length of a banana. What’s with all the fruit references? Someone really ought to write a book for men more in tune with the realities of our diet. I look forward to my baby being the size of a large Cornish pasty.

The other big development, of course, is that ‘it’ will now either be a he or a she. Which leads me to the obvious question everyone’s been asking. ‘Do we want to know the sex?’ Unfortunately, we’re a bit split on this one – I’d really like to know, but my wife doesn’t. She wants it “to be a surprise,” which frankly I just don’t get. Is having a baby so boring you have to spice it up with a surprise ending? Is there a danger we might lose interest because we already know what happens? I’ll admit I’ve never watched The Crying Game because I found out the sex of the main protagonist beforehand, but I’m not sure the same principle should apply here.

Is having a baby so boring you have to spice it up with a surprise ending? Is there a danger we might lose interest because we already know what happens?

Anyway, it looks like my wife will get the final say on the matter. Apparently since I’m not carrying any extra weight, neither does my opinion. I’m guessing this is going to be the basis on which I lose all arguments for the foreseeable future.

The next, slightly redundant question everyone has is “Do you want a boy or a girl?” Obviously I don’t get a say in the matter (I can sense a pattern forming) but my answer is always this. Whichever’s easier. At first, I thought a little boy running around the place wreaking havoc like a miniature Wayne Rooney, only more intelligent, would be a nightmare. But then, nothing strikes fear into my heart like the thought of a teenage daughter. I never understood teenage girls when I was a teenager so I doubt I’d be any better at it now. Life would be so much simpler if we could just adopt a 30 year old.

With the scan a matter of days away however, it’s only now dawned on us that we should be better prepared. We’ve always just thought of it as the point where you can find out the sex of the child (or not, as the case may be), but apparently there are loads of questions you should ask. In fact, a friend of ours, who’s recently given birth herself, has just texted my wife with the following helpful list of such queries.

“Is the placenta in the right position? Is the blood flowing properly? How big is it?” And, I’m paraphrasing here, “How does that fit out?”

Fingers crossed we get all the answers.

Read all of Stuart's columns on being a dad-to-be here, and share your thoughts on this fortnight's column in the comments section below.

Picture credit: Getty Images

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