If you and your African Dad are really cool, as in you can talk to him about anything then this post is not for you. If however your dad is like mine, African to the original degree then you might find this useful.
In the first couple months of my pregnancy I was anxious about many things that most new moms to be worry about; will I have a miscarriage, will I give birth to a healthy baby, how will my clients deal with my pregnancy etc. All of the usual ones I was able to find something on the Baby Center and What To Expect When You’re Expecting apps I downloaded on my phone. The one thing that I couldn’t find how ever, that caused me great anxiety, was instructions for how to tell my African Dad that his only daughter is unwed and pregnant.
To most people I would be an adult because, I’m no longer in my 20s, I have an advanced degree, live on my own, and run my own business. None of these things that make me an adult on paper however, could quell the anxiety I felt about telling my dad that I was pregnant.
I assumed he knew I had a boyfriend as he had met him, but I never made a formal introduction. The only man I feel I will formally introduce to my father is one that has proposed to me. Unlike my Dad who lives in oblivion to my dating life, my mom has met every Dick, Tom, and Harry or should I say instead every Sorie, Kojo, or Wale that I’ve dated. Growing up it was mom who was my friend, the keeper of secrets. Daddy however was just Daddy. The one who set the standards I was to meet for academic success, meaning if it is not ‘A’ please don’t even bother bringing your report card. As my Ghana friends would say, Daddy dey give pressure rough. The man is also very blunt, he doesn’t say go and come, he will verbally address any wrongs in an instant, he no go watch your face.
So here I was pregnant with no answer on Google on how to best tell him. I contemplated not telling him at all until the baby was born, and then sending him a Whatsapp photo caption: ‘Orh ya meet your Grandson’. We don’t live in the same country so this was actually possible.
I told my mom I was pregnant after 20 weeks. I still wasn’t showing and I hadn’t gained much weight so she was really shocked and of course thrilled that her only pikin was finally going to give her a grandpikin. I took a couple more weeks to maul over how I would tell my Dad and eventually I realized that I just couldn’t tell him. Not because I was afraid he would reject me or anything but it just seemed so awkward to call him and tell him I was pregnant when I hadn’t even introduced a boyfriend.
So I did what all grown African women do when they find themselves pregnant, and unmarried with a no BS taking African Dad do, I asked my mom to tell him. HA! Damn straight. For all my GoWoman, I can do this, that, and the other, yes when it came down to telling my father I was pregnant I chickened out.
My mom called him and told him over the phone. His response was basically ‘Okay’. I had just gotten back from the US so he asked her if that is the news from America. I then waited for my Dad to call me to say congratulations, ask me a question, or comment about the pregnancy. One month, two months, three months, I am talking to my father every single day on Whatsapp and every week on the phone and not once does he ask me anything about being pregnant. He comes to visit us in Ghana we hang out over a two week period, and everything is normal with us, except for the fact that I am pregnant, he knows I am pregnant and he doesn’t ask me anything.
Finally in the eighth month of my pregnancy I decided I had had enough. I know I started the I cant talk to you about this game but I desperately wanted to know how my father felt about my unwedded pregnancy. So I sent him a message on Whatsapp with tears in my eyes, “Daddy you know I am pregnant but how come you haven’t asked me how I am doing, or said anything about it to me.”
This was my father’s response:
“Let me tell you my approach to that…it is supposed to be dealt with by your mother, if anything is not right she should be able to tell me to correct it, to talk to me about it. We also talk and if you want me to know anything you will tell me. I don’t have any negative thoughts. I believe and know your mom is in control. You are also grown and will do the right thing at all times and if there is any misunderstanding you will come to me.”
So while I had been anxious for months that my father may have had some misgivings about the pregnancy dude was confident I could handle my own business. I beamed when I read the “do the right thing at all times” bit and now know that my father knows that I am a correct pikin.
The way my African Dad handled my pregnancy really impressed me and in a way totally increased my love for him. I felt like he had my back the whole time even though I wasn’t completely sure he would. In the last couple weeks of my pregnancy I thought about him a lot, I thought about how he made sure to drive me to high school every morning in the US no matter how many jobs he was holding down at the time. I thought about all the little and big ways in which he had contributed to making me who I am. I realized that while he hadn’t been there with hugs, and kisses to baby me through the teenage and young adult years, he had been like a big wall of support on which I could rest on as and when I needed.
So when my son was born, I knew I had to name him either Victor or Remoe, my African Dad needed to know that to have him as my father and my guardian was nothing short of an honor.