I’ve just read this excellent piece from the Why is daddy crying? blog about hypocritical thoughts about his son and daughter. Before we knew whether we were having a boy or girl I had very similar ideas, and now we have a girl my mind is already racing ahead to teenage years and dating dilemmas. Its a very bad habit of mine, the poor baby can’t even feed herself yet!
Hopefully between me and wifey we’ll have a somewhat balanced approach, but as neither of us were big daters in our teens our experience is somewhat limited!
I really should just concentrate on baby having a full feed without vomiting over herself first though…
Today I saw pretty much everything my baby had to offer – wee, poo, wee over poo, poo on wee and vomit everywhere.
So many changes of clothes, so much sticky foul smelling fluid and mush.
I’m not squeamish but it’s all been pretty disgusting.
The most frustrating part is the time it all takes up. Your time becomes so precious, snatching a few minutes to send a text message or read an email. One explosive vomiting incident and it’s all gone as baby and bedding are stripped bare and replaced with new clothes and covers as if nothing had ever happened except the clock jumping forward 20 minutes.
Today, without realising, I found myself wiping my baby’s face with a cloth I’d wetted with my own saliva.
The moment I realised what I was doing I had flashbacks to my childhood and embarrassing memories of my mother doing the same to clean my face.
What have I become?!?
To summarise the first week of being a dad:
- Hearing your partner shout “I need to push!” when you’re still at home and 40 minutes away from the hospital is terrifying.
- Driving with your partner in the back seat, in labour, chanting “don’t push, don’t push” is almost as terrifying.
- Being in a room with 10 strangers all looking at your completely naked wife is just weird.
- Somehow there was a small part of me that still didn’t quite believe there was a baby inside wifey, but seeing it actually delivered changed that pretty quickly.
- Labour is fucking intense. Unbelievably so. Fucking amazing, but fucking intense. Expletives are fully justified.
- Women are tough. They give everything they’ve got for 15 hours and somehow give even more, for another 90 minutes.
- A ventouse delivery is equally freaky and scary.
- Holding your baby for the first time is absolutely awesome.
- Seeing wifey go through it all is pretty traumatic
- The NHS is awesome. Could not have imagined better care, seriously. Very impressed.
- Having to leave your baby for the first time to go and get some sleep can be quite emotional for everyone involved.
- Sleep will never be the same again
- When I asked new parents about surviving with the lack of sleep, they said “you just do”. I now understand this fully.
- Your relationship with your own parents gets taken to another level of appreciation and gratitude.
- Digital cameras were made for babies.
- You crash and burn spectacularly on the 3rd / 4th day.
- Time flies very fast. “she’s a week old already?!”
- Breast feeding can be a mean bitch of a job.
- Nothing can gross you out any more. I’ve been wee’d on, poo’d on and vomited all over, but the only thought is “is the baby ok?!”
- Modern smartphones were invented to keep geeky dads like me sane during the unsocial hours.
- Driving home with your baby for the first time is almost as scary as driving to the hospital with your partner in labour.
Not a conclusive list but gives you a rough idea of things.
This blog has been quiet because last week our baby finally arrived.
Not surprisingly I’ve had no time to post since, but hope as things settle I’ll be able to give some updates soon.
Wifey and baby are mostly well, and we’re all trying to work out what we do now our little one is here.
The title of the post refers to a lemon jelly track played in the car on the way to the hospital which I found myself humming a lot during the while experience…
More soon I hope…
When Withnail pestered “I” with this question, he got a short sharp “No we’re not, we’re here.” response.
I can completely relate to his feelings. Our baby is now overdue, and the latest visit to the midwife has given us an induction date at the end of the month though I pray we don’t have to wait that long.
We had a few situations last week when I thought something might be happening but they’ve died down recently and it feels like wifey is going to be stuck with her inflated physic indefinitely. She’s not sleeping, which means I’m not sleeping, which means we’re both knackered and trying to keep our heads above the tetchy reaches of sleep depraved exhaustion.
So as tick follows tock follows tick follows tock, we wait…
A photography blog I sometimes read has conveniently just published a list of articles about baby photography which I thought I’d share here, and pick out the tips which I’m going to do my best to remember as I fill memory card after memory card with photos….
- Before baby: “a few days back I realized that all the baby ‘stuff’ that we’ve been buying in preparation for him is actually pretty photogenic in and of itself. Little shoes, tiny socks hanging all in a row, soft toys, books (my partner is thinking ahead!) and all manner of other items present some wonderful opportunities for shots.”
- Go for the eyes: “An infant’s eyes reflect purity and innocence like no other. If the infant is awake, make an effort to engage and pull out expressions.”
- Zooming in: “The technique that produced some of the shots with babies that I found most parents responded well to were those shots where I isolated just one part of the baby.”
- Go for the angles: “Get low down on their level – it means you end up with shots that feel like you’ve entered the babies world rather than you’re looking down on it from above.”
- Identify happy times: “Keep on the look out for those times in your baby’s life when he or she seems most settled and content. They may not smile yet but there are times in a daily routine which are better than others for photos.”
- Take Out the Colour: “experiment with de-saturating the colors in your shots to a lesser extent than going black and white. Leave a little color in your shots and you’ll end up with pastel like images that again soften the feeling of the shots and give it a very different look and feel.”
- Props: Use other items to add scale and meaning to photos “if there are sentimental items (i.e. gifts from grandparents or childhood stuff) that they’d wish to incorporate”.
Hopefully with these tips my pictures won’t all look the same…
Many thanks to the Digital Photography School site for these tips, direct sources are listed below:
- Preparing for a baby photographically
- How to photograph newborns
- Photographing babies
- 5 tips for gorgeous infant photographs
In other news
Sanity level is #2 as baby is now overdue and insomnia has returned. May blog about that separately…
I got some very good advice from my brother today for when the main event does kick off:
“I am sure you know this but when Wifey’s having contractions tell her and I mean TELL HER to look into your eyes so she’s with you and take DEEP breaths together….”
My brother added “turned out to be more useful than the whole NCT course!”
Thought I’d share!