Monday 18 December 1989, this day is etched into my memory, I will never forget the long, lonely, almost painful walk home. Trudging through the dark, rain soaked, early morning streets of Coventry. It had been a long day and night, waking up in a soggy bed, the aftermath of Diane’s ‘waters breaking’ had happened almost 3 days ago now and sleep had become a distant memory.
When I say it felt painful, any pain I felt was against the colour wash of elation, Amy, my ﬁrst child had been born, and as I bring the memory to the fore as I write now, tears of joy are moistening my face. What a fucking wonder, to say it was a transcendent moment for me sounds cheesy, but is an understatement.
I am a 24 year old man as this drama unfolds, my ﬁrst wedding anniversary was yesterday, having spent all my life until a year ago living with my mum. Now, I am a father, what is expected of me now? What do I do now? What am I expected to know? Nothing in my life seems to have prepared me for this moment. I remember feeling similar feelings when Diane conceived and I had managed to get through the pregnancy and birth, but this feels different.
Arriving home didn't help to alleviate this emotional storm. I had just been, what felt like, kicked out of the hospital. Having given birth in the ‘labour ward’ in the early hours of the morning, Diane was being moved to the ‘post natal’ ward and I wasn't welcome.
Hey, I understand that our beloved NHS ‘has’ to have rules, a man’s presence on a post natal ward was probably difﬁcult to manage back then and this was long before the even more stringent rules that are now in place in many NHS maternity hospitals. But in that moment I felt alone and in the wrong place. My partner and baby needed me right? Well, that’s how I felt in that moment, and to cap it all the fucking Indian take away had long since shut.
A lot of water has pasted under the parenting bridge since that bleak coventry early morning. Six children, ﬁve of which were born within 6 years, and nine grandchildren later, I sit reﬂecting now on over 24 years of experience, having juggled, fought and lived through many parenting crisis, I’m ready to share what I have learned with you.
The early months of being a father to a new born baby where ﬁlled with many questions and quite frankly worries:
- How do I change a nappy?
- What is expected of me when she has chosen to breast feed?
- How should I support her feeding choices?
- How do I handle what seem to be her irrational mood shifts?
- How can I ensure that I develop a deep bond to my baby, when she/he spends so much time against my partners skin, either breast feeding or just sleeping?
- Is there a ‘right’ way to hold my baby?
- How do I know if the baby is crying because she/he is hungry, needs changing or is pain?
- How do I know the baby is getting enough breast milk?
- How do I know when the baby is well?
- What are the kind of signs to look out for if the baby has an infection?
- What is a ‘normal’ sleep pattern for a new born?
- When will it be ok to make love to my partner again?
- What do I do, and how will I know, if my partner is suffering from postnatal depression?
- What are the signs to look out for in myself regarding postnatal depression (men experience it too),
And the list could go on.
Over the coming weeks and months I am going to be offering you answers to these questions, but for today I have included a video which includes information which is foundational to your life as a father.
What every father needs to know……….
Babies are never being manipulative & how to know your baby is warm enough!
We offer a Freemium Membership where you get access to premium quality content for free, like e-books that answer the top 3 questions expectant fathers ask Mark, the first module of our Premium Online Course
and much more!
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