The dawn of fatherhood
Imagine a young man not ready or equipped to deal with any of the emotional trauma that was about to wing its way into his life. Sitting there as the doctor smiled happily at his wife, “You’re 6 centimetres dilated Mrs Baxter. He’s on his way.”
Imagine my terror as the colour gushed out of my face and the panic set in of what was about to become my life. Dad. My Dad wasn’t there. And when he was, he was an abuser, a user and a manipulator. My Dad made my life hell. How in Gods name am I going to be any kind of father whatsoever? Yet there was my wife, sitting there, facing her own emotional trauma as the doctor beamed away knowing that a child was about to be born. She must really love her job I thought.
The run up to the big day was brilliant. I was able to rooster call from the roof tops that I was about to be a dad. I told my family, my friends, anyone I met. That was me that did that to my wife. Aren’t I great! But this was D-Day. He was coming and he’d wait for no one. My Son, my beautiful boy was about to be born.
The financial, emotional and physical responsibility that dawned upon me that day was quite overwhelming. It’s one thing having a child, but to be there for a child is completely another thing. I was going to take on this responsibility. I was wasn’t I? The commitment, emotion, the numbness. It was overwhelming. Powerful.
Alex was a difficult Birth; after longer than 18 hours of labour, a spell in the operating theatre and a blanket ban on any emotion whatsoever I held my son in my arms. He looked up at me and screwed his face. I was emotionally numb, couldn’t feel a thing. The stress, the emotion, it was overwhelming. But at last, our little pride and joy was in my arms, and just… just fell asleep. How cute.
A man needs to bond with their child. No matter what anyone tells you they need to spend a certain amount of time with their child before bonding can begin. The nurses knew this; they had me changing his nappies and cleaning his bottles and all sorts. I hated picking him up because I’m a big brute of a bloke and he was such an eensy tiny little person. The slightest movement and I’d smash him into a thousand pieces. It was scary. For a while. Until I learned that he wasn’t so fragile after all.
Bonding was quite quick with Alex; it was barely any time at all before I found him the absolute cutest little boy in the entire world. He was mine. My sweet, little boy.
The first night was the hardest for us. Having that extra little body in the room, hearing his little breaths and his little coughs. We were petrified, we kept checking on him. It was scary. Until of course we heard his food cry; which rattled the doors and windows and woke the neighbours up. Sheesh! Sleepless nights ahead.
Alex is nearly six now and it’s been a long ride. I’ve always wanted to write about fatherhood so this will be in a new fatherhood section of my blog. You can thank Pinterest for this and all the lovely Dad writers that’s had me a bit thinking about the earlier days and days yet to come.
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