Fatherhood week 1 – magical moments

Fatherhood week 1 – magical moments

Five things I learned in Fatherhood Week 1: the birth wasn’t as bad as feared; midwives are wonderful people; the first night at home is terrifying; you won’t believe how much you love your baby; never leave a nappy off for long!

    I’m terrified of blood, gore and anything involving pain. I’ve passed out plenty of times at the sight of blood and was worried I’d be a liability in the delivery room, and as a result a terrible birth partner. But for the most part I was fine, mostly because I was in absolute awe of Sonny’s mum. The way she dealt with the pressure and the pain (he was born back-to-back, which isn’t good!) was incredible, and I was able to stay calm and support her all the way through a delivery lasting over 3 hours. The second I saw Sonny I fell in love, and fell to pieces in tears. It was the greatest moment of my life, and I immediately forgot all about the stress and worry of the preceding hours, days and weeks. Although I’m sure it will take Gemma a little longer to forget what happened…
    From the second we arrived at the hospital, they couldn’t have done more for us. They comforted Gemma, comforted me, never left our side during our two days in hospital and safely brought our little boy into the world. Nothing was too much for them and I could never speak highly enough of the job they do. They are so skilled, so dedicated, so caring and so selfless with their time. They delivered Sonny, taught Gemma to feed him, kept both of them comfortable and even constantly made sure I was OK during the entire process (as if that matters). And they were there for us as soon as we got home too, calling at the house whenever we needed them and always at the end of the phone during that terrifying first week. They are genuine heroes.
    The drive home is bad enough, but nothing compares to that first night alone with your baby. You won’t know what to do, you won’t know what they want or need, and all of a sudden there’s nobody there with you. You’re on your own! I think I lay awake that entire night, watching every shake and tremble in Sonny’s Moses basket, listening to every breath and whimper. At around 4am I remember peering over the edge of the basket, and there he was: wide awake, eyes wide open staring back at me. We just gazed at each other for around 15 minutes while Gemma slept, and I remember thinking it was probably the greatest moment of my life. And all of a sudden I didn’t feel scared any more.
    We’ve never been baby people. We’re barely even kid people. But as soon as Sonny came along we changed completely. Not only was I completely besotted with him – kissing his face at every opportunity, gazing at him all day long, taking endless photos and bragging about him to everyone who will listen – I immediately became interested in other people’s kids too. His birth flicked a switch in me that I don’t think will ever turn off. It took about 2 seconds for him to become the most important part of both of our lives.
    I’d never even held a baby before Sonny’s birth, never mind changed a nappy, so I was thrown straight in at the deep end. Some of those early nappies are apocalyptic – a horrific mixture of black, green, yellow, orange and just about every other vile colour you can think of – but it’s your baby’s complete lack of toilet manners that will astonish you most. Being just a matter of minutes old, they think very little of farting, pooing or weeing all over your hands, their own clothes, the wall, or even their own faces (if you have a boy, you’ll know what I mean). The only advice I’ll give you is this – wipe up fast and get the next nappy on quick!

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