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.
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…