The following is kindly sent in from an anonymous dad with the hope that his situation will not be repeated.
Having a child should be a moment you treasure and I write this in the hope more people will treasure this special moment.
For a long time now, I have wanted to be a dad and share every moment with a son or daughter with a partner who shared these special moments. It is such a wonderful time in a parents life to witness the birth of their son or daughter but have you ever thought about it from the dad’s point of view? Have you thought about it when the door is shut right in his face by the mum of your child? Have you ever considered the feelings of dad?
Things were great, we were in love. It was like a romance story written from heaven. We were engaged and decided the time was right to share our love with our first child. Everything was perfect but soon after we found out we were expecting, the fairy tale turned into a nightmare when at the moment of finding out we were pregnant, I was dumped!
Early on, I thought it was just hormones, and to this day I still wonder if it was and I over-reacted. I tried talking to the midwife, the Dr and more importantly my now ex-fiance but every which way I turned, the door was shut firmly in my face. All I wanted was some advice. If it were not for my friends, I think my head would have exploded. I was not eating, sleeping and went into what I now know, was a downward spiral of depression that was not picked up by the Doctor till several months later.
From the day we split, I knew one thing, I would not let my baby grow up without him knowing that he had a dad that loves him but what can you do when mum decides not to let dad be involved? What are the feelings felt? What can you actually do legally about it? Have you thought about it from the point of view of the dad?
From the day that our relationship ended, I felt a huge range of emotions and thoughts. Some of anger, some of doubt and the constant thought of “what if?” All the feelings you expect to feel after breaking up with the person you love. This is difficult enough at the best of times but with the added complication of an unborn child is something I do not wish for anyone.
My priorities were very simple, to make sure that my unborn child had a dad in his life which, I thought was a simple enough wish. Damn, it is a right for every child to have a dad right?
In the early days, talking to mum was not possible with every attempt to talk met with aggression. I would not be telling the truth if I said I never bit but at times, I lost my temper and swore back but was not long til I realised I needed help. As a result, I decided to try and look up some information online about the rights for a father, ask the midwife to my unborn child and even the Dr. I would love to say I got all the help I needed but I think no help would have been more than I received. I could not find out about the health of my unborn child or progress of how he or she was growing.
There is loads of help for mum’s and mum’s to be. For Dad’s, there is nothing that is easily found and as for rights, none what-so-ever. It is only once your baby is born that you have some rights as a father… if you are allowed on the birth certificate which, there is no regulation to say that the mum has to let you!
Let me fast forward, I had now gone into a downward spiral of banging my head against the wall that I was finally told I had depression and was given tablets to help stablise my mood. The first bit of help I had received other than from my friends. Not help about the situation and only as a result of a friend recognising it and forcing me to ask the Dr.
At first, I did not want to take the anti-depressants, I thought it was a sign of weakness. It was only for the thought of wanting to be the best dad I could be that made me to take them. Within a few weeks, I was sleeping and thinking more clearly. The first positive sign in a dark few months of my life. The search for help and news on my unborn child still was not fruitful with the same message of “there is no help for you”.
Skip forward again. One of the few things agreed before the birth, was that mum would text me when she was in labour, not so that I could be there but just so I knew. This in itself was hard as all you want to do is be there for your new born but, was better than nothing. It was not though, till 3 weeks after the due date and constant texting to find out, that mum finally decided to tell me the news we had indeed, had a baby. Boom! That was a brickwall right there. What a shock to find out you became a dad 3 weeks ago and mum did not have the decency to tell me! 3 weeks where mum and dad should be able to bond with baby. 3 weeks where baby should bond with mum and dad. My whole world fell over around me. What should be a happy occasion was ruined.
Nothing would stop me now from seeing my baby. This is where I shall leave this part of the story ready for part 2 to be written with only 1 thing left to say at this break.
Please mum’s, no matter how bad a relationship is, no matter what the feelings you have towards the father of your baby, please let them be a part of your childrens life. Every child needs parents.