I'm setting up this blog so as to keep a memo of the journey my wife and I are about to embark upon. We found out she was pregnant two weeks ago, and even though she was only just over 4 weeks gone, it's been full steam ahead ever since! Caroline and I have been together 11 years, married for almost 5 of those and are so ready for this! We are at that stage in our lives where a lot of our friends are pairing up, marrying off and getting ready to take the same trip! It's an exciting time! A quick bit of background, we met when we were both 18 working in a bar and we've been together almost every day since (we're both 30 now.) We make a good team. Our family consists of Caroline and me (I'm Mark btw!), grandparents-to-be Marie & George and our house-bunny Elvis (looking forward to see what he thinks of a baby around the house, because he thinks he rules the roost!) We like our home comforts but also like to treat ourselves now and again. Lots of saving, no credit card splurges! So, yeah, there's a baby on the way! We've had the chats and decided at the end of last year that 2015 would be the year we expanded our family. Caroline came off the pill in January, but we didn't totally try without contraception until June. Cue one missed period and 3 pregnancy tests later (just to be sure) we've all but confirmed we are expecting, and now we're in the middle of August and around 7 weeks gone! The day we found out, it was George's birthday, so after working out we were already a month down we broke with tradition and told him and Marie that Caroline was expecting - an extra special birthday gift if you like! Now the hard work starts. Caroline has already booked the first appointment with the midwife to check dating and has also booked in for the 12 week scan. I plan to be at every appointment and study as much as I can to prepare myself and be the best birthing partner I can be for my wife! I'm already wrapping her up in cotton wool - "Don't lift anything," "I'll get that for you," "Tell me what you need, and I'll take care of it" etc. We've also started emptying the house of all the crap we've accumulated in our time together! Nesting, I think they call it! Preparing our home for our new arrival (it's still seven and a half months or so away, but that is not a long time at all.) It's exhausting and exciting in equal measure. Caroline likes to study everything to its fullest extent to make sure she is totally prepared for any outcome (She makes itineraries for when we are on vacation!) She likes to know all possibilities. As does Marie! They are a powerhouse of information together! Me on the other hand, I have a head like a sieve sometimes, so I really need to work on this! Hence the blog. I can keep note of any thoughts, questions and revelations and refer back if necessary! I treated myself to "The Expectant Dad's Handbook" by Dean Beaumont, founder of DaddyNatal, and it is proving to be a useful guide so far. Covering everything from bump to baby. I have also signed us up to the Cow & Gate baby club, and this is much more helpful than any current information we could find on the NHS websites. Lastly, I'm keeping a photo diary of the pregnancy. Every week I'll take a front and profile photo of Caroline's tummy so we can have a photo diary of the pregnancies progress. Caroline is currently having a nap (if 4 hours can be called a nap!) but for me this is good, it gives me time to read, study and prepare all that I can for our new arrival and the prospect of parenthood. Feel free to offer up any advice or information you think I should check out. All recommendations welcome!