Mates had started kicking things off in the baby arena before us and the first few baby showers had begun easing into a diary that was formerly the reserve of nights getting mashed up in places called The Purple Turtle. There wasn't even a discussion, just an accidental moment that turned into a series of them. Everything else in my life had seemed controllable- GCSES, A-levels, work, even marriage- and then suddenly you're playing Russian roulette with your ovaries centre stage.
We didn't get pregnant for a few months and in that time I started wondering if all the womb-altering contraceptive pills I'd been mainlining over the past decade really were necessary. Getting knocked up is actually quite hard- despite what MTV's enthralling 16 and Pregnant series indicates. Matt four the fact he was trying to get a girl knocked up amusing; I was not amused. I wanted a mewling life-form, I wanted our bits to work and I was going to make them work. Looking back, I had gone to the dark side and was quietly starting to get a little sad every time I clapped eyes on a Pampers ad or saw a scan from someone- I-don't-know-but-accepted-their-request- on- Facebook.
My mate George summed it up: 'Just bonk with intent and see what happens.' She now has three children and I believe her advice is solid for anyone embarking on that spunk-fuelled journey. So we carried on shagging to the point where it became a baby-focused fumble and grunt. Every month unfurled, I'd have fresh hope that we'd hit our target and would soon have a small human who we were responsible for keeping alive. Every month I'd feel that damp signal of disappointment in my undercrackers.
Matt was revelling in spunking without a condom and actually seeing if the swimmers work. I realised it was going to be an administrative and emotional horror how if we had a kid- I needed to train Matt up and that's where Douglas the flatulent beagle stepped up to the plate. In those months of bonking with intent, I handed the beagle over to Matt. It wasn't a clear handover; I just stopped doing things for Douglas in the hope Matt would pick up the reins/lead and see that dogging is hard. He stepped up; he scooped shit off the streets, bathed that little critter and pulled an entire foil-swathed hotdog out of his rectum after a rogue scoffing.
Just as well. I edged out of the bathroom on a grey, insignificant Monday night, clutching the stick of procreational doom/glory. It said three to four weeks pregnant. Matt's response: 'We need to buy a cot.'
The black tears flooded once more. We were ready.
Extract from the most excellent book - 'Parenting the Shit Out of Life,' by Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka, available to buy here;