The best year of my life
No one speaks to an expecting father, I mean you get the banter from your mates “say goodbye to the pub” “you have no idea what you are letting yourself if for” I’m one for banter and a good piss take. But…. I had really no idea what to expect.
The best bit is being in that birthing suite and supporting your partner after waiting so long for this new little person to enter your life. Two of the proudest moments happen in that room.
1. The strength to carry that baby for how ever long and then give birth no matter which is way and to bring this gloopy, slimy precious bundle of joy in to the world is the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed and I was the proudest husband in that moment.
2. You become a dad and you get to cut the cord, see your new baby, 1st cuddles. See the exhausted but happiest new mummy lighting up the entire room.
So that was it, after a bit of banter, listening to lots of advise for new mummy’s. And getting told what to do for the last 9 months… you are now parents and you are a dad.
As parting ways with the midwife and go and start your parenting journey you will probably get asked is they anything you want to know. I had one question:
How do you know if the baby is getting to hot or cold?
“Well are you hot or cold?” said with a bit of a smirk.
This is when I knew I was doing to be out of my depth and realised that all the support had been for the Mum. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great that the expecting mum has so much support. Hospitals, midwife’s, mums, nans, sisters ect.
Maybe it was just me and I just went with the flow supported the best way I could listened and tried to help as much as possible. We planned to have a baby and with a few issues along the way we finally managed to get pregnant on holiday.
Once the baby was here. I personally found the first couple of months really hard. Felt pretty damn useless. The baby needs cuddles and milk! Lots of milk… and since she was being Breast-fed. I was on feeding mum duty and nappy duty. Apart from this I felt I was in the way, or being a burden on mum and baby.
I would burry my self in work or go upstairs and pretend to do something useful. I remember this one time I sat on my office chair and watched a spider and a fly have a flight to the death that lasted for about 2 hours.
I loved my wife and baby more and more everyday. But more and more I felt useless. My wife had post natal depression so I focused on that and tried to help as much as possible, I didn’t want to bring up my mood or how I was feeling. She got the help and support that was needed and then I lost all focus.
One night I just started crying and I had no idea why. It made no sense to me.
I had a beautiful wife and healthy beautiful baby. We have everything we needed, a roof over are heads, job, maternity pay, family, everything we needed to look after a baby.
But I was numb.
I knew I loved my new family but I really thought they would be better off without me. Not in a I’m going to end my life kind of way. Just a I need to give them space so they can be happy.
I eventually broke down in front of my wife and she cuddled me and assured me that I am needed and wanted and that I was the best husband and dad. In that moment I agreed with her, not having a big head but I know I would do anything for them, and I decided it was time to speak to the doctor. Mental health is something I never really thought about with myself.
I wrote down everything I needed to say so I did not forget anything.
Wanted to stay in bed
Feeling randomly sad
I was prescribed anti depressants. This made all those feelings go away and I felt kind of normal again. I’m not saying this is a answer, I do not want to be on these tablets forever. But it’s our baby’s one year birthday today and I am still taking them.
So if you ignore all of that some of the best bits are as follows:
Watching your baby
Seeing them everyday
Watching them grow
Seeing them sleep, so you can!
Soothing the upset baby
The smile you get when you get home from work!
The joy you get from watching your wife sing, play chat to the baby.
Honestly there is too many things to list.
This was the best year of my life so far. Even though it came with challenges, the best thing to do is to talk about how you are feeling before and after you had had the baby. You are not alone as the father, and after speaking to other dads without so much banter. Almost every dad has experiences like this…
It’s important to give the mum her time and it’s just as important to have your own time aswell. This does not need to be watching and spider and a fly.
Get on the phone, FaceTime, messenger. Write a massive essay of why you think the 1st year of your little girls life was the best year ever and how amazing everything is! Maybe share it so other mums and dads know that the dad might of been left out of the support on the lead up to the birth of the baby. Especially if you have been going through all of this during a lockdown!
Happy 1st Birthday my beautiful princess, you make up part of my world and love you with all my heart x