We wanted to be prepared and we’re chuffed it’s a baby boy, says Leigh Sanders
There was never any doubt in our mind. We wanted to know. People told us: ’No, wait for the surprise’. But as somebody with OCD tendencies and a love of lists that possibility terrified me. As far as we were concerned yeah, we would get a surprise. But months in advance meaning we could then make sure we had all the right stuff for baby’s first few months.
I wasn’t particularly swayed either way. Working in journalism and seeing the stories we do every day I wasn’t sure I wanted to send a young lady out into the world. But on the whole I was happy to be a father to either sex.
The other half really wanted a little girl. But she was just as chuffed as I was when we found out we would be parents to a little boy and she is just as excited as I am to welcome him into the world.
I am a Welsh, football-mad man. So the immediate question everyone asks is about allegiance. I am not just saying this, but I couldn’t care less whether he follows my footsteps, likes the sport or picks up my love for Cardiff City (national allegiance is slightly different). All I know is that I would love for him to play any team sport. Joining my first football team as a 10-year-old opened my world up. New friends, kids from other walks of life you would never see in your school. Then there are the skills you pick up – teamwork, taking instructions, paying respect to a coach which is different again from that required for parents and teachers. These skills help children grow up as much as any classroom lesson. And my other half agrees.
Where we do disagree is music. She is a true chart child. She bows down to Beyonce, worships Jessie Ware and craves Calvin Harris. Myself on the other hand will most likely be found listening to things ranging from Rammstein to Interpol to Armin Van Buuren. We always wind each other up about playing him our favourites on the sly while the other one is out. I think our son listening to Slipknot terrifies her more than it does me thinking about him tuning in to Laura Marling. This is one argument we will never settle though. And on a darker note, my relationship with my father will finally work to my advantage. I had a terrible dad, somebody I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. At least I can use that experience for good now. I know what not to do and how not to treat our boy.
We couldn’t be more excited to meet our son for the first time. And of course there are times we get in a panic or feel sheer terror about what is around the corner. But as a unit, no matter what music we might decide to listen to, we will have the support of our families and friends as we bid to raise our little bundle of joy into the best person he can possibly be.
I couldn’t wait to find to find out and I was happy it’s a girl, says Kirsten Rawlins
My other half was divided over the issue of finding out, but I couldn’t wait to discover what gender our baby would be from the moment we found out we were expecting. And given that we knew from two weeks in, we had a long time to wait.
My partner’s mum, having had two boys, had her fingers crossed for a little girl. My dad, with myself and my sister as his only children, was hoping for a boy; having forever been outnumbered by females in the household.
But truly, my partner and I were happy either way. I think I was in some ways hoping for a little boy for my dad. Also because the thought of a miniature version of my other half running around the house really made me smile. But equally, what woman doesn’t worry that they won’t know how to advise a son, or indeed how to deal with any problems he may have growing up.
Having a daughter, however, means shopping trips, makeovers, treating her to all the toys I wanted as a little girl and dressing her up as my very own little doll. And the idea of being able to bring a strong, independent-minded young lady into the world fills me with excitement and determination.
There is, however, the dreaded knowledge of how much of a rebel I was as a youngster and the trying times I put my parents through. When I was little, I was a ‘proper little madam’ – and this only got worse as I grew up, always wanting to act older and be seen as more mature than I actually was.
But then, my partner has already shown he’ll be a very protective father so that does take some of the pressure off. Though he already spoils our little dog and cat like crazy – so I have no doubt that I’ll play ‘bad cop’ while our daughter turns into ‘daddy’s little girl’. Not that I mind.
My parents and I share a very special, friend-like bond now that I am older. And I truly believe that is down to the restrictions they placed on me, the lessons they taught me, the strict rules I was made to follow and, as such, the huge amount of respect for the two of them I always held. They terrified me at times – something I actually think is very healthy – but also worked incredibly hard ensured I never wanted for anything.
They also made certain I had all the very best of opportunities; forcing me to do my homework, speaking to teachers if I – or indeed they – were underperforming, working with me to make sure I passed my 11-plus and gained entry to a selective grammar school, and supporting me in every way. And though my partner and I have already had the selective-versus-comprehensive secondary school argument, if I can do the job of raising a daughter half as well as my parents did, I’ll be happy.