Being a new Dad
I’ve been wondering what to write today and I thought this post would be a great continuation to my wildly successful post on experiencing Pregnancy first hand with my partner. To say that it was an easy ride I would be telling big porkie fibs.
I remember the moment Alex was born, I was beside my wife shouting “push” at her as we were in the midst of an assisted delivery, Alex was coming the wrong way down and we had to be rushed into theatre. This was all very new for me, and real, and raw, because I knew absolutely nothing about babies and delivery rooms and scrubs. Yeah, I was wearing scrubs, all people had to wear them in the operating theatre. It always surprised me how much Natalie knew about what to expect, what to buy, what to prepare for, what to take in with her. My only experience with childbirth was watching an episode of Friends where Rachel gives birth to her and Ross’ child. And I feel that parents do us men a disservice in our youth, where women have that natural instinct and nurture and us boys get told,
“Here’s a stick, go and destroy things”
And whilst I agree, destroying things with a stick is an immensely fun activity, we need a bit more educating on what’s to come. It was a HUGE wakeup call for me. Natalie was aware of everything, I felt as if I could have been wearing the dunce cap on for not having a clue about anything. I was taking a back step to everything, letting nurses tell me what to do, and my wife, when she was awake. All very real!
I remember when Alex was dropped onto Natalie’s stomach, he didn’t look too pleased. He’d just been cruelly wrenched from his Mum and into a cold and cruel environment where he was being prodded and poked. After he was cleaned up I was the first to hold him. I had never been comfortable holding children before, I always felt like this massive clumpy thing that with one small move and my little boy would smash into a trillion pieces. I hadn’t learned that children were more robust than I was. But he did eventually try and look up at me, it wasn’t like the movies where there was an insta-bond, he sort of looked up at me in a half asleep “what the hell are you?” type gaze. Our bonding took a few days.
It was a strange feeling at first, to sit there, and hold one of my creations, that barely took any effort whatsoever, and was immensely enjoyable to create. I remember him with his closed eyes, trying to pry them open to get a glimpse of the cruel world that had just befell him. I remember feeling numb, that this had all been an extremely traumatic experience for me, it hadn’t been easy for Natalie on the day, her labour lasting for more than fifteen hours. Yet here he was, in all his granduer, our little bouncing baby boy waiting to be lead.
Over the next few days I felt a little lost, I can’t honestly say I had any education on baby’s and antenatal units. Luckily though, there were very helpful nurses on hand to help me every step of the way in caring for my Son, Natalie too, when she was awake. The doctors had to inject her with a spinal tap to assist her delivery, it wasn’t the easiest, and she slept lots whilst she recovered. It had been an interesting few days, and it all felt really safe. I had the nurses on hand should anything happen untoward, it was the travelling home and having a baby there that had me shit bloody scared out of my boxers.
Travelling home, for me, was a scary ordeal. Still of the assumption that I would smash my child into a million tiny pieces I must have driven back home half the speed I would normally, and angering a few drivers on the way. I remember everything feeling rather surreal, out of the ordinary and not quite right. We were home now, and we were tired. But everything had changed. If one wanted to sleep the other had to stay up. No longer could we responsibly do what we wanted anymore. But alas, I did spend a few good nights snuggled up to him whilst watching crap on TV, he slept and natalie had some much needed shut eye.
Natalie suffered from Postnatal Depression for a good while afterwards, it had me wondering if there is a relation to that and difficult pregnancies. Anyway, as she spent time recovering I spent a great deal with Alex when he was a young boy, giving Natalie some much needed time off, taking him walks in his pram and out anywhere we could go! We bonded so much, it was quite a lovely experience, and we were never short of a lady cooing and coming over to see the man with his child. I think women like that, watching men actively involve themselves with their children.
And thus was the start of a beautiful Father and Son relationship.
Oh, and yes, children are robust I found out in the end. I’ve witnessed him come away unscathed after things that would break every bone in my body.
Being a new Dad