Our first day in hospital was spent waiting for the doctor to make sure everything was ok so we could go home anyone who’s been in this position will know it takes ages for the doc to come round, nurse after nurse test after test and still no doctor, patience starts to wear thin, every moment was spent looking out the door to check if the doctors coming. When the doctor finally got to us we didn’t get the news we wanted, Taylor had picked up an infection, his crp levels were in the 100s and they needed to be between 1-10 before we could leave, what a horrible feeling a truly frightening time and on top of that it didn’t look like we were going anywhere soon. On the plus side we had a private room off the ward with our own toilet, shower and nurses on tap for advice, not that we needed it we had so many visitors each with there little bit of advice we had so much advice I could of wrote a book, not that I didn’t appreciate it, I did it was just so hard to retain it all. It was a long first day in hospital and quite exhausting, the day ended and we had some peace a quiet for the first time with our little boy only to be told by a nurse that I had to leave at 8pm, WHAT? Why do I have to leave. I really didn’t understand it and was quite angry, I could understand if we was on a ward but we wasn’t we had a private room away from it, My girlfriend was also shocked, she’d never looked after a new born and now I had to go and leave her to just get on with it, after a 42 hour labour I was going home to get a good night sleep while she had to do everything, I felt awful. I asked why I had to go and never really got an answer. This for me is a policy that needs to change especially for first time mothers that are exhausted from labour and scared. As I said before I wanted to be a full on dad and was happy to stay up all night so my girlfriend could get some well earned rest but no I was getting kicked out I found it utterly ridiculous that the dads had to go, for me it was so wrong and made me feel like a visitor not a dad. This went on for one week my girlfriend was supposed to be resting and getting over it all but it seemed to me she was just as tired, what do you expect she had to do all night feeds on her own without my help. I hope this is a policy that they look at and change, one, to help mums and two, to include dads more. On the 18th of December 1 day before my birthday we finally got the news that we could go home Taylor was fine this was the best news ever, it’s a day that sticks in my mind because it was snowing out side, I remember walking to the car as it snowed the air was so fresh compared to that hospital air and smell. A huge deep breath as we walked in the door. At last our journey begins.
The due date was creeping up and I felt pretty comfortable that we had everything we needed for when we brought our baby home for the first time, my girlfriend had packed her hospital bag and that sat by the door ready for when labour started, before you knew it the due date was upon us but no signs of labour. The next week or so were tense I mean it could happen any moment, what if we were out, in car or something, this kinda limited us to where we went, which wasn’t far, my days were sat waiting and in the evening I went to bed early, again just incase. Nearly two weeks passed and i was getting frustrated it felt like a lifetime waiting for it to happen. That night I decided to stay up for a bit and watch some TV, my girlfriend went to bed early and Sod’s law about midnight her waters broke, at that moment I got a serge of adrenalin and even though we had a plan it was hard to stick to it, I wasn’t very composed, as I’m sure with everyone, we went to the hospital to early and was sent away for a few hours, contractions had started, when we finally got let into the hospital we made our way to where my girlfriend was going to give birth and don’t ask me why but I thought this would be a few hours tops, how naive of me, some pethidine and 30 hours later there was still no baby and by then my girlfriend was exhausted she’d spent most of it on her feet and was also talking jiberish I think at one point she asked for max branning (eastenders)
I began to worry I could remember reading about the risk of infection after 24 hours if the waters broke. Close to 40 hours my girlfriend asked for an epidural but by then it was to late she was 10 cm dilated so they refused, at about 42 hours my little boy was born my mother inlaw was crying in the corner and I was completely overwhelmed, my girlfriend lost over a pint in blood, I tried my best to keep her calm and relaxed but it was quite a nervy and worrying moment, so happy that that my baby was here but scary watching the nurses rushing around trying to stop this bleeding. Then calm, the bleeding stopped, I cut the cord and rang my parents I can remember welling up telling them. Baby Taylor was here a little jaundice but here. 11 days late !
I had waited so long for this, to find out the sex to me was massive it meant we could decide on a name, choose buggy, get clothes and really prepare so I was mega excited, I still hadn’t really chose any boys names but I thought ill cross that bridge later. I actually thought this is how it happens, get scan appointment , go to scan , find out sex , job done, I never thought for one second that my little baby would have his hand in the way so they couldn’t be 100% sure! what they did say was that they would guess at a boy but could only be 80% sure, of course for a little while I clung onto that 20% it could be a girl but soon realised our baby was a boy. Only two names stuck out for us, Taylor was unisex so that was a bonus and Harry. Over the next few months I really enjoyed tracking the development, I used the babycentre website quite a lot it was an easy website to use, I also really loved talking, trying to sing and playing music to my girlfriends bump this was something that a few of my friends thought was strange but to me made perfect sense I wanted our baby to know my voice and getting our baby to kick fascinated me, deep down I think my friends were just to scared or embarrassed to admit talking to a bump, who cares I liked it and I wasn’t going to change. I honestly thought from time to time that surely it’s time for some dads to change there out look and even some woman, I was totally fed up with hearing labels like mummies job and dad’s job. Next up was antinatal classes which if I’m honest was quite nervous about but if it meant I’d learn something and be even more prepared then I was happy. During one of the classes they separated the woman and men into sepperate rooms for an exercise where I learned that out of say 15 men only 4 or 5 were interested the rest just couldn’t be bothered, it’s no surprise to me at this point that some dads get labeled useless and in my opinion only have themselves to blame. GET INVOLED SHOW AN INTEREST AND BE A REAL DAD!!!. It did make me a little annoyed. I was also surprised at how they almost pushed breast feeding like bottle feeding was in no way shape or form an option I can remember thinking surely talk about it at least just in case someone can’t breast feed. This will be something that we would learn about the hard way in the near future.
At last after what felt like a lifetime I could finally tell someone, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop spoilt for choice, I started by telling a few close friends, I’m sure family is first on most peoples list but for me a few mates were first, I think probably because they were easier to tell and obviously I cared more about what my family thought. My mum was on holiday so I thought it would be funny to text her telling her ” your going to be a nanny ” little did I know that my mum would ask someone to grab and read her text for her alerting the whole party she was on holiday with, that little 6 word text certainly made an entrance. Next was my dad and this I had to do in person so I popped around to his house, strangely I froze I just couldn’t spit it out I tried for about 10 minutes. When I finally told him he gave me his usual grunt, it did sound happier than his usual grunt so I was pleased. As soon as it wasn’t a secret anymore we seemed to be flooded with two main questions, do you want a boy or girl and what names have you got in mind. My first thought was just healthy my second thought was I’d like a girl I didn’t know why, I think I liked the idea of a daddy’s little girl and for some reason I found it so much easier when looking through the endless pages of name books to find girls names I liked, finding boys names I liked was a nightmare I just couldn’t warm to any and if I did find any I liked then something put me off, like knowing someone with that name that I wasn’t a fan of. How many of you have been through that or was that just me. I convinced myself the baby was a girl and two names stuck out, I was settled on Summer and Taylor, as for boys names that page was completely blank, Id better start looking just in case. My next focus of attention was finding out the sex, I couldn’t wait 9 months no way I’m not that patient, so many people said don’t find out the sex it’ll be a nice surprise, my girlfriend was even on board with not finding out but to me waiting all that time was mad and not an option, I realise now that this was a little selfish of me and if and when we have another we wouldn’t find out.
Finding out my girlfriend was pregnant was such an exciting time I just wanted to shout it from the roof tops, I wanted to tell friends and family straight away I’m far to impatient to wait 12 weeks but my girlfriend convinced me it was the best thing to do, it literally killed to me be around people knowing what I knew. Over the next 12 weeks the internet was like a second home to me, reading so many different peoples stories, most good but some sad. I found it very easy in getting caught up in the sad story after sad story and problems that people had experienced, in truth the internet put the fear of god into me and the worry started to creep in, at this point the worry was very small but over the next 9 months it would grow. The worry and sad stories never kept me off the internet, I discovered development timelines where you can track your babies development and growth, I thought this was amazing and spent every waking minute checking it, I also searched and searched for a dad’s forum or a dad’s role, how best to support your partner or even a place where dads can just chat like the 1000s of mums forums I found but unfortunately I couldn’t find any, it almost felt like dads never done this sort of thing, was I wrong for doing this, was I not a ” real man ” for showing an interest, Maybe I was just a new breed of dad, a dad that was happy to cook,clean,change nappies and all the things that for so long had been labeled a “woman’s job” so I decided yep that’s me, a new breed and in my opinion a better one. Finally after 12 weeks, that I’m sure felt more like a year, It was time to go for the scan. Sitting in the waiting room with mixed emotions, exited and anxious that everything would be ok, our name was called we went in and heard our babies heartbeat for the first time, WOW what a proud moment I felt happy and to see and hear this little heartbeat was unbelievable and at that moment I felt so much closer to my girlfriend, it’s funny how hearing this little sound just a beat sends shivers down your spine, suddenly the penny dropped, this is real I’m gonna be a dad and at last I can tell people.
Right from the moment I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant I decided I wanted to be a hands on dad I didn’t want to be a dad that couldn’t change a nappy or make up a bottle at 2am I wanted to do everything. I was over the moon with the news and found myself in a fantastic mood every day, Then one early morning around 3am my girlfriends phone rang, it was work with the news that my key child had passed away, my heart sank, I had looked after this little boy for 3 years and the next few weeks were strange. At work it was very sad and at home I managed to zone out and remember we was having a baby. Happy sad happy then sad it was a horrid feeling something had to give so I handed in my notice and left I just couldn’t be there anymore. I was still sad for a time but it was certainly easier not having to go there everyday, now I could focus on us and make plans for everything that was going to happen. As it is the 21st century I took to the internet and started to look things up, finding out every bit of information I could about babies and things needed, What can I say I like to prepare. It was on the internet I felt like an outsider for the first time every website or forum I went on was all mother and baby, pretty much all women even the website names were mother based and in my opinion felt a little uncomfortable signing up for these forums or websites as a dad who just wanted info it did kinda fell like I shouldn’t be on there but hey maybe I was being paranoid.
Hello, welcome to my journey as a stay at home dad this blog maybe a little rough around the edges as it my first ever blog but it’s all true and I will try to get across a true account of how everything happened and how I felt as it happened. A blog totally from my heart,
Before I get to the birth of my son I thought I’d explain my situation and how I met my girlfriend. Ok here we go, I was working as a carer for sick and disabled children a job that was very out of character for me I came straight from a job in a work shop so a massive change and a very scary one It was here I met my girlfriend. The first thing you notice about care is that there are a lot of women and males are few and far between, quite a funny position to be in automatically I felt judged and out of place like I didn’t have a right to be there as a male it appeared to take quite a while for the woman to trust me around the children it was almost like they were there children I suppose this was natural to a woman having that maternal instinct. After the first day I was terrified and wasn’t going to return but i did and started to enjoy it. My girlfriend worked upstairs in management not on the floor with me so it was almost decided for us who was going to stay at home when the baby was born as she earned quite a bit of money more than me. I worked as a carer for 3 years before my girlfriend fell pregnant. I had settled in nicely and had formed a great relationship with staff,children,and familes. The hours in care are long and you can find yourself burning out quite easily it starts to become harder and harder especially as you see these children get iller and iller it starts to weigh down on you. So the news that my girlfriend was pregnant was refreshing news and just the pick me I needed at the time.