Daddy Diaries, Vol. 1: Per Speaks

(Editor’s note: In an effort to include thoughts from both members of the Svendsen family while still requiring minimal effort from the male member, we’re launching a series of interviews with our favorite husband and pappa-to-be. The thoughts below are exclusively from Per, but the typing and witty editorial comments are courtesy of the author herself.)

M:  How did you react when the big announcement first came your way….
P: Marguerite told me about the pregnancy over the phone from Stavanger. She was still commuting at the time and couldn’t wait to tell me face-to-face. (NB: this is true, I can’t deny my inability to keep secrets from my husband….). I sent her the photos below to illustrate emotions I found hard to put into words:

Per's reaction to the Big News

It was really a surreal moment, kind of like falling in love – you know you’re happy, but not really sure WHAT you’re happy about yet. I felt a kind of victory but, at the same time, I wondered – what am I actually cheering for?

M: Has it hit you yet that there’s going to be a B-A-B-Y in the house?
P: Not really. We’re still in “chores-mode” at this point. I was raised as an only child and I’m quite selfish, so it’s good that I’ve had nine months to adjust. I think most fathers-to-be feel a bit disconnected from the whole pregnancy thing – we see our partners growing and we get excited at the ultrasounds, but it’s not as much “in our face” all the time as it is for our partners. The hardest struggle for me is to put aside my selfishness and try to empathize with what you’re feeling everyday. (NB: Per’s being too hard on himself here – he’s been an outstanding source of support for the author, even waking to tuck her back into bed after her midnight waddles to the toilet.)

M: Any thoughts about the pregnancy thus far?
P: I think I’ve gotten off a bit easy actually – not too much sickness or emotional outbursts, and no forced trips to London to satisfy cravings for Marks & Spencer egg salad. Maybe I’ve missed out on something there, but still I feel lucky that we’ve had a pretty easy go of it. (NB: In all fairness, the M&S egg salad is definitely crave-worthy. Trust me, I know all about it….)

M: Tell everyone about the new car….
P: I love it! It’s got all the gadgets a man could ever want, plus now also the (somewhat strange) addition of a baby seat in the back. It’s a typical Svendsen purchase made with the heart rather than the head, but driving is now a pleasure rather than a chore.

M: What are you most looking forward to right now?
P: I’ll admit that I’m a bit scared of the actual birth. My father managed to escape my own birth and I’d probably prefer to follow in his footsteps and get pissed in a pub somewhere. But I can appreciate the effort involved in holding hands with your wife and giving support when it’s needed the most. I’m really looking forward to bringing the chap home and having him sleep on my chest for the first time. (NB: A collective “ahhhh, how cute….” will be heard from women around the world at such an image.)

M: Any thoughts on actual parenting?
P: I assume I’ll make it up as I go along. I’d much rather prefer a few “pee-in-the-face” moments rather than attending a diaper course or having some nanny tell me what to do. I want to bring some of the strengths of my own father into the mix — leading from my heart and the rest will fall into place. (NB: This is a welcome balance to the author’s own approach, which involves a stack of baby books with highlighted passages and sticky notes throughout…)

M: So where do you fall on the Prosecco vs. Pampers spectrum?
P: Right now I’m unfortunately limiting my Prosecco intake in preparation for an emergency drive to the delivery ward. Following the birth, we’ll just have to wait and see….

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