'I hope my experiences will be helpful to others': Meet the Northampton dad who turned his pregnancy diary into a book

'I assumed it would be a personal book project for my family and me - I never envisioned publishing it'
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A Northampton father has turned his daily journals about his wife getting pregnant against the odds and the nine months of ups and downs into a book.

Tom Kreffer managed to write down enough of thoughts, tips and observations about preparing for having a baby to create Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon-to-be First-time Dad.

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"We were on the waiting list for IVF when, out of nowhere, she fell pregnant," he said.

Tom Kreffer's debut book Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon-to-be First-time DadTom Kreffer's debut book Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon-to-be First-time Dad
Tom Kreffer's debut book Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon-to-be First-time Dad

"But I’d already made up my mind that unless we got lucky with IVF, we would never have children unless we adopted, so on the day we found out – let me tell you, the emotional response I felt was the most intense feeling I’ve ever experienced.

"And a few hours after my partner took the pregnancy test, I began writing some notes in my journal about how I found out I was going to be a dad, and what that felt like.

"I ended up doing this every day for about a week, at which point I decided I would keep up with the practice all through the pregnancy.

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"But then, after 10 days, I realised I had 5,000 words, and that I was averaging about 500 words a day.

"I calculated that if I continued at that pace every day, right up to my partner’s due date, I’d have approximately 122,000 words, and that would be enough for a book.

"But I assumed it would be a personal book project for my family and me. I never envisioned publishing it."

Dory was the name Tom and his wife gave their unborn child and the soon-to-be dad would write all of his entries directly to her, which he found made him share more.

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Tom started looking into the possibility of publishing his memoirs towards the end of the pregnancy, which he described as a 'nuts' experience and very different to what he expected.

He researched pregnancy books for dads and found that there was not much out there, especially in the form of a journal.

Coronavirus forced him to work from home, which gave him the time to turn his daily scribbles into a manuscript

"I didn’t write Dear Dory as a guidebook. That said, I experienced many of the things that new soon-to-be parents go through: fear, anxiety, excitement, financial worries, the challenge of making working arrangements for when the baby arrives, deciding on the dad’s role during labour," he said.

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"I wrote about it all, and I think people will find value in that.

"Readers will see how I worked through all of those challenges, learning important lessons along the way, and I hope that my experiences will be helpful to others."

Tom also thinks the book will make people laugh as he found his pregnant wife's behaviour hilarious and did not pull any punches in his notes.

The now-author has not stopped journaling either with hopes of publishing an already-written sequel to Dear Dory and plans for a third.

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"Who knows what will happen if they take off? I love the format, and I love the response to Dear Dory that I’ve had from readers – it’s motivating me to keep typing away," he said.

Dear Dory is not available to buy yet but the first chapter can be requested at tomkreffer.com/dear-dory