In The Eyes of a Father – Having a Newborn
If you read my blogs you will know that a post I did a few weeks ago was in Dan’s point of view. Well, this is another one. In this one, I ask Dan about actually having a child rather than pregnancy.
I don’t know if it’s the same for you guys that read it, or if I love it so much because it’s Dan talking about our baby. But here goes… In the eye’s of a father – having a new baby…
Q: Was having a newborn what you expected?
A: It was not what i expected at all, I don’t think i was prepared for the overwhelming feeling of love that i felt when i first held her, it was emotional! Also it was at that point that I realised that I have no idea how to care for this little wriggly human. Luckily I have my beautiful girlfriend, don’t tell Anna, to help me along the way. I have learned that you can not prepare yourself for having a baby, its a whirlwind of changes both personal and life, there were times where i felt completely useless and like I wasn’t doing a good job and there were times where I felt like a boss but I think as long as i do my best i cant go that wrong. Hopefully!
Q: How did you find the first week of getting to know Immy?
A: It was hard, being ‘in charge’ of your very own baby is daunting and not really knowing how to hold her doesn’t make things any easier! I will add that I thought I didn’t know but turns out I’m a natural! Having to keep her under a fluorescent light like we’d produced some reptilian being was not fun, being able to look but not touch even if she was crying was heartbreaking for both of us. I dread to think how it really was for Anna but it wasn’t nice to watch! I will always remember how small she was and how much time she would spend staring at me while i was walking around our room with her telling her about her life to come.
Q: What was the bond like for a father?
A: It has grown more now than ever in my opinion, the smiles I get when i come in from work are pure heart melting, eye welling, voice-pitch changing, I’m not crying there is something in my eye type smiles and I can not get enough of them! I’m excited to see our bond grow as she grows, teaching her things and annoying mummy is top of my list!
Q: Do you feel like you were prepared for what was coming?
Q: How did you find the sleep situation to start with?
A: Well this is one thing I prepared for as sleep is very dear to my heart so we had to have ‘the chat’. I’m not breaking up with you sleep, we just cant see each other as often. To both of our surprise Immy is an absolute sleep goddess and we get a healthy amount of us time. You definitely learn to live with less sleep and its amazing!
Q: Did nappy changing, dressing and feeding all come naturally?
A: Immy was my first nappy change and I can tell you she did not break me in gently, she waited for me to undo and fold the nappy under, as I did this I went to grab a nappy, looked down to see she had tried to shoot me with her poop but HA! The cot had saved my t shirt and trousers from a spattering of shit! After you’ve experienced this i feel your pretty ready for anything.
Now as for dressing, I’ve been doing it for years so how hard can it be? Hard, is the answer to that question. Getting outfits onto such a small person who insists on wriggling, crying and getting angry with me is not an easy task. Take the night time routine. After her bath i cream her, stretch her little feet out and put her nappy on. As soon as I attempt the PJ’s she flips her lid, kicking, biting and screaming, shes like an angry naked zombie baby trying to eat anything that comes near her. Anna says its called ‘teething’ but I have my doubts. I don’t think I do anything wrong but obviously I do, still learning there apparently.
All day everyday I talk to her like a baby, silly voice with big expressions, but when I feed her she becomes about 10 years old. No silly voice and no big expressions, “come on now, don’t be silly” and “you’ll be full of wind if you carry on sucking all that air in” are some of my favourites but there are many more! I have no idea why but its just what happens.
Q: Do you feel it changed your relationship with me?
A: Yes! I instantly saw you differently and I will always be so grateful to you for carrying and growing our perfect little girl, it made me feel a whole new love for you seeing you go through the emotions of an emergency cesarean. It was a stressful time and you were so brave, I’m very proud of you!
Q: How did you feel having to go back to work after 2 and a half weeks?
A: I felt like 2 weeks is not enough time for any father, we still have a massive part in our childrens lives so why don’t we get even a quarter of what the mother gets,so much changes in the early months and I just wish I could have had a little longer with my little spud!
Q: Do you remember the first time we went out properly? Were you nervous?
A: The first proper time we went out with Immy was to go shopping and I love shopping!!! I was nervous as it is quite a drive away and your far from your home comforts if she gets upset but as usual, she bosses these situations. She cried less on that whole trip than I did when i saw how much we spent! Also i did my first nappy change in public in M&S cafe, very proud dad moment!
Q: Has this put you off having more children, or the opposite?
A: NOT AT ALL! Even though its hard work and can be very stressful I would still do it again, Its kind of like childbirth i guess, one of the most painful and stressful experiences a woman goes through but people still go and have more than one child. I would like to see Immy grow up with a sibling so I guess we best get some more bedrooms!
Q: How is officially being a daddy?
A: The best feeling in the entire world, I know that we may have our ups and downs as she gets older and I’m sure I’ll get some ‘I hate yous’ but I am so exited to watch her grow. I feel really proud, the fact that she is mine. I love showing her off and talking about. A lot more people are genuinely interested than I expected and that is such a nice feeling. All the things you hear people say, actually are what makes it so great. When it’s your own child it is so amazing. Smiles, when they hold your finger and look up at you whilst you feed them. Little noises, loud farts and smelly burps. It’s all something I would never change.
That’s that, thanks Dan for another night of answering my questions!
It’s so nice to see what ‘dad’ actually feels. Often we are so wrapped up in our new babies, nailing routines and doing crazy amounts of washing that we forget there are two adults who started this whole thing. Adults that also have lives, all be it, a little different now. Times like these, I remember that as well as being parents and a family, we are also still a couple.
Thank you for reading…Anna xx (& Dan)