Well well well it’s been a few weeks hasn’t it people? Since I last graced you with my murmurings of wit and wisdom. A few things have happened since then – madonna fell from grace, the British did well at the oscars and.. Oh yeah, I’ve had a baby. Well thankfully not literally me. Wow people said labour stung a little and they weren’t wrong were they? For those fathers to be I can confirm that labour is the most SURREAL time of your life. Fact. First of all I want to put a huge thank you on record to my wife Hannah. Thank you Hannah – thanks for waiting to give birth until after we found out who killed Lucy on Eastenders and after Southampton played Liverpool on telly . Bless you that was so kind.
So, at 1.56am on Monday 23 Feb we were introduced to George James Lush weighing 7lb 11ounces. I have written about how just like for the mothers, pregnancy is an emotional roller coaster for fathers too – and the labour was the steepest part of that roller coaster . I felt every emotion under the sun in those hours in hospital. It still doesn’t feel like real life – I was an actor in a movie right? If so, I feel like I deserve an Oscar. First of all – fear and anxiety. I’m sure my hairs are greyer than a few weeks ago. We arrived at the hospital around 830pm after experiencing cramps ( felt like period pains apparently but were actually contractions !) and reduced movements that afternoon. Those last few words alone once again show how important count the kicks has been to us and many other parents to be up and down the land.
Hannah was strapped upto a heart monitor to see how Baby was doing. I hate that monitor. Constantly looking at it and fearing any shift in noise. We realised that heart beat was falling at contractions and even the doctor was made aware. Scary indeed. I remember doctor saying that he didn’t want to break the waters as theatre was full and if she needed theatre there wouldn’t be room for them. I can’t tell you how I reacted in the next few hours I think I stayed very quiet. Waters were finally broken at 1050pm and the whole evening was very strange – time went so quick. So quick indeed we hadn’t had chance to unpack our bags from the car. I turned ‘grey’ apparently – at one point the midwife was more worried about me than Hannah. I was bought a tea with enough sugar in it to instantly turn me diabetic. And to think this was a hospital made tea which was trying to give me a chronic illness!
George finally arrived kicking and screaming – quite literally, the midwife said in all in her 9 years she had never seen a delivery like it! George bounced out as if he was on a diving board!! Such a lively performance I was expecting Len Goodman to pop up saying ‘SEVEN!’.
It is now 12 days into George’s life and these 2 weeks have been amazing, awful, emotional and everything in between. The truth is no one can prepare you for having a baby. It is still sinking in. As the father it is true that in these first few weeks there is a limit to what you can do. My tip – be there , just be there. I’m cooking again ( Jamie Oliver has nothing to fear ) and generally doing bits around the house to help. There will be times when as a man you get it in the neck completely unfairly. I’ve learnt to be a man and accept it and take it on the chin.
In short being a father for the first time will test you to your limits. You will feel anxious, you will have stress, you will face your demons. You will look back at being scared of a painful chat with your boss at work as a walk in the park. It’s tough, but do you know what it makes you a man. Being a father has made me a man. Thank you George.