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Parents who blog – update

I’ve just come across a blog by an America dad, called Why is Daddy Crying?

Covering important topics as starting up a conversation about testicles and ill-fitting pajamas, it’s open and honest and worth a read.


Are we there?

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…

7 tips for taking photos of a baby

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….

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.”
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.”
  7. 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:

In other news

Sanity level is #2 as baby is now overdue and insomnia has returned. May blog about that separately…

And I mean TELL HER…

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!

Now don’t worry, but I’m heading to the hospital…

These were the words I heard at about 16:00 Friday afternoon. But not for the reasons I had expected. Wifey hadn’t felt the baby move significantly for almost 24 hours, and feeling worried, she called the labour ward and they told her to come in.

She text again when she got to the hospital with her mum as I was leaving work, and as its almost an hour commute home and then a 40 minute drive to the hospital we’d see what the situation was when I got home and whether to come down and meet her.

Thankfully as soon as she got wired into to monitors the baby started some Kung-fu moves (possibly to do with the fact that she’d climbed the three flights of stairs to the labour ward instead of getting the lift!) and after an hour the nurses and doctors were satisfied that mother and baby were ok and she could go home.

These events are getting closer and closer to the real thing, and although terrifying, the steps do help the mental preparation for what I know is coming.

The rest of the weekend was much less eventful. Some last minute baby shopping preparation and collecting and fitting some new lighting in the kitchen on Saturday, and a bit of gardening and a friends BBQ on Sunday.

Back to work tomorrow and the waiting game begins again…

P&G: Proud sponsor of Mums

I’ve read a lot of comments online about this advert, created by Wieden+Kennedy for Proctor and Gamble.

Personally this advert really winds me up.

Firstly, it suggests that dads have nothing to do with a child’s support and upbringing. Most children are able to enjoy the support of two parents, and it’s often the sharing of support that gives children the most opportunities. But in this advert, it’s all down to the mums. If the dad is around, he couldn’t care less what his son or daughter is up to.

Secondly, I despise “feel good” adverts like this, which have nothing to do with any product, they’re purely about telling you how wonderful the company is, how much they really care about you and how they understand you when others don’t. Utter rubbish. They are a company who recorded $82.6 billion dollars in sales in 2011. They were recently fined 200 million euros for price-fixing. They only care about increasing sales and beating competitors, and so they should.

If they really cared about mums (and dads) they could spend a little more of their $82.6 billion on their social responsibility programs.

Rant over!

I’ve never heard it described in quite those words before

I’ve become quite a fan of the TV series Dexter, about a nice serial killer who only murders bad people (it’s better than i describe). Obviously, the lead character Dexter Morgan, has some social issues but tries to lead as  normal a life as possible.

In the episode I watched last night, Dexter tells his potty mouthed sister that he’s having a baby:

Debra: A baby? A motherfucking roly-poly, chubby cheeked, shit machine? Are you kidding me?

Dexter: I’ve never heard it described in quite those words before, but yeah.

I’ve never heard a baby called that before either, but it did raise a smile so I thought I’d share!

Maybe it’s not the best programme to watch if you’re suffering from insomnia, but my sleep is getting better and watching a messed-up, nice-guy, serial-killing social-reject come to terms with being a father does actually make things a bit easier to deal with!

Is it as simple as sunshine?

Yesterday evening i walked home from the station in warm sunshine, got home and volunteered to mow the lawn, to the surprise of Wifey. Considering that I’d been awake since 4am and had been a real mental slump i couldn’t really explain my good mood but thought it best not to over analyse things and enjoy it while it lasted!

My good mood meant a peaceful nights sleep, and although I still woke up many time I was able to drift back into a comfortable slumber. I was even calm when Wifey was experiencing some very painful cramp-like aches in her tummy (Braxton Hicks?!) – I checked the time to see if there was any regularity but they died down after about half an hour. A few nights ago this would have kept me awake for hours worrying but last night I was able to be my more useful self and accept what could be happening.

This morning I read this from one of the other parent blogs I follow – Dampening the smile which made me think about how much the lack of good weather could have affected my own mood. It’s amazing how only a little sunshine can brighten the corners (also a good album title and good album).

Parents who blog

Since starting this site I’ve had a look at other blogs out there by dads describing their experiences.

Brighton Dad –
This is an excellent well written blog by a dad who’s been through it all. Started in December 2011, he describes life with one, two and now three children and like me, also juggles a commute into London each day. It’s still regularly updated and doesn’t shy away from any topics!

Diary about a daddy –
This blog has been on and off since 2009 but appears to be back in full swing for 2012. It has a lighthearted look at the problems dads are faced with some great stories, including how he unexpectedly delivered his third child himself.

Being a Mummy –
Started way back in October 2007, with over 1,000 posts and rising, this blog gives you the mummy perspective of a family of 5 from St Albans.

Daddacool –
The other half of the Being a Mummy blog, this is Alex who has been blogging since 2009 and had a peice published in the Guardian.

Smile and the world will smile with you, Sparkle and it will smile At you –
A relative newcomer starting in January 2012, this is another Mums view of being a parent with a two year old girl after suffering a difficult pregnancy and labour as well as post natal depression.

Other sites
Please recommend other blogs/sites worth reading in the comments. Thanks!

The difference a day makes

The difference a day can make. There aren’t many bank holidays in the year and so they’re treated with care and attention.

The last few have been different though, usually they’re a real break from the pressures and demands of working life but now, as a parent to be, there is no escape from the pressure and stress of impending fatherhood.

This weekend and been an exceptionally long one, I’d booked Friday off work for a 4 day weekend so I could have a proper break from work but it hasn’t been the rest I’d have hoped as the thoughts keeping me awake at night aren’t thoughts of the 9-5.

I went to the doctors on friday to get some help with my sleeping. It’s got really bad recently, a mixture of mental worries and physical difficulties of an almost 9 month pregnant wifey. I was prescribed 20mg of Tamazepan for a few weeks and encouraging told to try not to worry about things. “just make sure you have time at home and things will slot into place” the doc said.

It’s more the mental exhaustion than physical that I’m struggling with. These 9 months seem to have lasted forever and in a moment of excessive honesty I admitted as much to wifey which made us both feel shit. There hasn’t been a single part of this which seems straight forward or simple.

Giving a bit of history, we’d been trying for about 6 months before wifey got pregnant, but that only lasted 8 weeks and after some worrying bleeding and a trip to the hospital we were told that whatever had been there wasn’t any more. It was another three months before we were lucky again and that brought on 4 months of horrific morning sickness where wifey could barely hold down anything but ice cold water. We had 6-8 weeks of normality before the bump began to slow her down and heartburn, swollen ankles and uncomfortable sleeping set in.

We’re both exhausted from the whole thing, and fuses and patience struggling to cope. Where before a long bank holiday would fix any stresses and strains there’s no escape for either of us anymore and won’t be again for a long long time.

I miss the time I had for myself, the fun I had with wifey and the life we used to have together. Now the D-Day is barely a week away I can’t even enjoy a drink as I don’t want to risk anything when I’ve for to make that trip to the hospital.

I can’t wait for the baby to arrive, me and wifey will be a team again, and instead of the little monster being locked inside, she’ll be out for us both to enjoy.

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