One month in and the learning curve has been sharp and steep, thankfully our ante-natal class was top notch so the basics were firmly in place for when bubs arrived.
The Baby Journey http://www.thebabyjourney.co.uk/ are so slick and knowledgeable that I’ll be honest I thought they were a national ante-natal provider, not a little business run by two Gloucestershire based midwives. So it was an honour to be asked back as ‘special guests’ to discuss all things baby to those expectant wide eyed pregnant parents.
I started thinking over the little tit bits of advice, thought processes you have as an expectant Dad and then as a real life grown up father, responsible now for a little bundle for whom the world is a brand new place. There are tonnes of books, websites and blogs that provide lots of great information… my blog will likely resemble a brain splurge of thoughts and occasions of mirth and despair.
First up I wish I had brought shares in Costa coffee before our trip to the hospital, shares in coffee and shares in NHS multi-storey car parks! All those that have spent any time at hotel NHS will know the costs build up quickly. Before you know it you’ve remortgaged the house for a long stay and a large americano.
We had four days in hospital once baby arrived (cup feeding, high temperatures and jaundice keeping us in) I was not allowed to stay the night, so there were many trips back and forth to the maternity ward. As I entered the birth centre every day and saw the sleep deprived dads resembling zombies shuffling the halls in the opposite direction carrying bags ready to pack the car to head home I had an immense sense of jealousy!
The first drive home from hospital at 3.30am without wife or baby was a strange one. I have never ever been one to drink and drive – but I assume that my concentration and ability to react to anything on the road at this point would have been similar to that of a sozzled commuter. High on emotion of witnessing the birth of my baby, exhausted mentally and physically aching by being on tenterhooks for many an hour the whole journey is a confusing mist. (I realise this is nothing compared to how my wife was feeling)
When I was finally allowed to bring my girls home I did the dad zombie walk through the corridors, past the Costa coffee franchise (muttered about those blummin’ shares) and past other fathers and gave a knowing nod. Your time will come fellas… and it will be worth the wait.
The conversations you have as a new father generally revolve around sleep patterns and poo filled nappies – this started before bubs arrived, those all knowing parents making useful comments like “ohh top up on sleep now” because sleep works that way right? You bank it up ready to use at a later date, like groceries!
We were asked what technology or gadget has made a difference and so far my Virgin Media app for my phone has come in handy. Pinned down by a sleeping baby and the TV remote out of reach, this app allows me to change channel with out waking the beast. Speaking about the sleeping baby Ewan the Dream Sheep deserves a knighthood – the relaxing noises you can choose by squeezing Ewan’s feet not only send bubs off to the lad of nod, but he can help parents slip into sleep mode quicker than normal. Ewan now comes everywhere with us!!
To think we were sat with our ante-natal group listening to the advice from the guests just over a month a go is a real head spinner. Our baby has changed so much already, the adventure sure has begun…