Jon Nickell-Turner was adamant he never wanted kids ever so had a vasectomy (Picture: Supplied)
You’re reading How I Parent, where Metro.co.uk gets a glimpse into how the nation is raising their kids.
To kid or not to kid? It’s a hotly debated topic in the current climate.
Musician Jonathan Nickell-Turner, 43, from Berkhamstead always knew the answer to that question right from the beginning – a resounding NO – to which he decided to seal the deal by having a vasectomy five years ago.
‘In 2018, I was married to someone else and having kids never crossed our minds,’ Jon explains.
‘Sure, my friends had kids, and I have a couple of amazing nephews that I love to bits, but having kids of my own just didn’t seem very ‘me’.’
His vasectomy wasn’t a decision taken lightly, but at the time, and in the marriage he was in, ‘it felt like the right thing.’
‘Nobody ever goes into a marriage as a short-term thing so I had no reason to believe I’d ever find myself in a position with kids,’ Jon says.
‘So on May 19th 2018, the day of Prince Harry’s wedding to Ms Meghan Markle, I put my bits through the mangler.
‘By 2 pm I was home watching the end of the wedding, with a packet of frozen Tesco petit pois on my lap, completely content I’d made the right decision.’
Jon says that special occasions had ‘lost their sparkle’ before Amy and Freddie (Picture: Supplied)
But all that changed when he met Amy Nickell, 34, a TV Broadcaster, at a local pub in Woburn.
Jon, whose marriage had ended in divorce a year earlier, says there was an instant attraction.
‘Amy and I met on a dating app called Hinge, and I instantly thought she was fit,’ he tells Metro.
‘It’s the first time I’d ever used a dating app, since my divorce, but a friend of mine had had a lot of success and Amy was my eighth date. I have to say, I absolutely loved my time using the apps, despite the horror stories you commonly hear!’
‘But none of my dates had given me the “F-yes!” vibes until Amy walked through the door of the Black Horse pub.’
Amy had a six-year-old, Freddie, from a previous relationship which she informed Jon about straight away. For Jon, this was a huge surprise as he’d set his dating profile to strictly no kids.
‘My dating app was meant to filter out anyone with kids. A glitch, it would seem, had brought six-year-old called Freddy crashing into my world.
‘When she told me the news, it did blindside me somewhat, but I quickly resolved this in my mind with one simple question: Which is better, Amy and a kid, or no Amy? It was a no-brainer.’
Jon originally set his Hinge profile filter to date someone with ‘no kids’ (Picture: Supplied)
The dates continued to flow and after a couple of months on their third date, Jon met Freddie.
‘I won’t lie when I first met Freddie I was quaking inside,’ Jon says. ‘Kids had never, ever been on my agenda. What about the snot? What about late nights out at gigs? What about spending MY money on just ME?’
‘When I met him he seemed like a super-happy, super-engaging little lad and we had a fun moment when he mistook me for a delivery driver and showed me his toy Lego car.’
As the relationship progressed, Jon who had always sworn he never wanted kids, felt something begin to change.
‘The time we spent together felt really wholesome with Amy and Freddie, and I started to feel like maybe I’d been hasty in my previous choices about fatherhood,’ he shares.
‘Maybe there is something to this “being a dad” thing. Sure, it’s scary knowing that there’s this miniature man who’s starting to look up to me and rely on me to read him bedtime stories and drive him to playdates. But it was a really, really nice feeling to find that I’m the missing piece in a very cool family jigsaw.’
The more time Jon spent with Freddie the more he began to change his mind about kids (Picture: Supplied)
After a few months, things were getting more serious and Jon sold his place in Northampton and moved into Amy and Freddy’s place in Hemel Hempstead while they started hunting for a new family home.
Spending their first Christmas together was a real eye-opener.
‘Previous to being with Amy, big occasions such as Christmas had lost their sparkle,’ Jon says. ‘Having my young nephews has served to bring a bit of that back but they live 170 miles away so my time with them is always fleeting.
‘Suddenly, with Freddy in my life, Christmas became about the magic and wonder again. The three of us wear matching Xmas pyjamas to put up the tree, sickening to some, I know, and I’ve enjoyed every second of our annual Christmas movie marathons – Home Alone, Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
‘The only grumpy person in the room is my bank balance, lightsabers don’t come cheap, but I’ll cope.’
After they found the perfect new Hertfordshire home, Jon took things one step further and purchased an engagement ring.
Jon and Freddie wore matching outfits on the wedding day (Picture: Jordanna Marston Photography)
They were wed in July last year at Camden registry office, completely by chance on the same day as the London Pride march, and with 18 of their nearest and dearest in tow.
After a ‘colourful, intimate, special and unforgettable’ day, Jon now wants to reverse his vasectomy.
‘Five years post-vasectomy, having developed a firm bond with Freddy, Amy and I are discussing the possibilities of having a baby of our own,’ he says.
‘I feel a bit stupid and fickle for making such an about-turn, but I’d never really had the chance to experience fatherhood until I met Freddy, and I never met someone I’d like to create a new life with until I met Amy.
Jon feels much pride with Freddie in his life (Picture: Supplied)
‘I always thought fatherhood was just about trying to herd screaming kids around a supermarket and making food that no one wants. To be fair, it is this too but here’s a whole new side to it that I hadn’t considered.
‘The pride when he scores his first goal, or when I introduce him to friends and he bursts into life like some hilarious stand-up comedian – telling fart jokes and doing these crazy, unhinged dances….’
In February 2024, he’s booked in to have the procedure reversed, at a clinic charging £4,000.
‘It’s not cheap, but I don’t think I could put a price on the level of disappointment we’d feel if we didn’t try,’ he says.
‘It might not work. There are a lot of factors at play. But when I think about Freddy, who is now nine, sitting there with a little brother or sister, showing them how to make a den for the cats, or laughing at Amy’s mad little stories about Freddy’s birth, I get hopeful that we can make it a reality.’
Jon advises single men should not be dismissive if they meet someone who has kids (Picture: Supplied)
For those who are sure they don’t want kids, Jon says there is plenty to consider, even if you are adamant you don’t want them.
‘A messy house is better than an empty house. A loud house is better than a boring house. A car full of squished Haribo and mystery goo is better than a lonely drive…okay, that one’s debatable,’ he jokes.
‘But if, during this mad, loud, messy new life, you can find time to laugh together, then you’re halfway to cracking the code.’
He says he made a ‘hasty decision’