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I think the subject of unexpectedly becoming a father is not often talked about amongst men. You hear a lot about women falling pregnant unexpectedly and their thoughts and emotions, but what emotions do the men go through?

At this point, between the two of us, Tahlia and I had 10 nieces and nephews so we were no stranger to what comes along with babies. But, it’s true what they say, you never truly understand until it happens to yourself.

Written by:
Tom Burgess

The day we found out Tahlia was pregnant, I was with some friends in Bondi having a beer and Tahlia messaged me saying, “You need to come home now!!”. Most men may have thought they were in the doghouse, but as soon as I saw that message I knew what was going on. For whatever reason, I knew, even though we were trying so hard NOT to fall pregnant.

My initial thoughts were, “WOW this is unexpected,” but very quickly I was pretty calm about the whole situation. I took on the thought process that this had happened for a reason and a surge of excitement came over me. As much as we wanted to wait until we had ticked a few more things off the bucket list, and selfishly be able to do as we pleased without the thought of others, I knew if I was anything like my dad was a father that I would nail this new job title.

For myself and Tahlia, we definitely weren’t planning on becoming parents anytime soon -but someone out there had other plans. I always knew I wanted to become a father, the best father I could be, but for some reason I envisioned myself being at least 30+ and married before I thought about having a family. That being said, Tahlia and I had been living together for over a year and we were so happy just going on holidays and exploring as much as we could, both content that we would settle down ‘one day’ and start a family.

Pregnancy is full of challenges, for women, it’s their changing bodies, hormones, and morning sickness. For the men, it’s being at the brunt of all those raging hormones, learning to keep your mouth shut, and saying, “yes dear”, to the foot massages and late-night food cravings. I found communication was definitely key for us, being open and honest in everything we did, and checking in regularly with each other really helped us understand one another and how we were feeling. Taking part in weekly birthing classes really allowed me, as a future father, to understand and comprehend what Tahlia was going through and what she was yet to endure.

What can I say, the day my little girl was born was the best day of my life. To be able to be there to witness the miracle of childbirth for the first time and welcome my daughter into the world was surreal. Tahlia was, as all women are in that moment, unbelievable.

Writing this now I find it hard to imagine a life without our little girl. You do realise that the happiness and joy they bring you is what life is really all about. It becomes about the simple things in life. People tell you children change your life forever, but they forget to mention that it’s the best change in the world. You realise the squabbles you have in your relationship pre-babies are laughable, and the only argument now is about how many kids we want to have.

For me? I can’t pick a number, as I would have an army of them.