An honest account of being a first time mum

Men!

Men!

Gosh the pressure now this blog is being shared publicly and scarily with my nearest and dearest. Anyways, here goes… 

Baby2011 slept the whole night last night. This has never happened before. Me and dad2011 naturally were awake at the usual monkey playtimes. Then the cat came and pranced about on my head for about 20 mins. So we’re rested an average amount. But for baby2011 this is mega!

He also has cut his first tooth. It’s perfect. It’s teeny and white and it’s beautiful. I keep trying to prize his lips open for a look, he thinks it’s hilarious to clamp mouth shut of course. But every time I get a glimpse of the gem I kiss him as though he’s just beaten Seb Vettel in the Monaco Grand Prix (one day!!) When it grows more I’m going to brush it every day (this should be fun!).

More amazing (even than the 8 month awaited tooth!) is that he’s making lots of noises, like he’s trying to talk. And aptly for this post “da da da da” is what he’s “saying”. We, of course, have confirmed that dada is his first word. *heart melts*

I’m thrilled he’s saying dada. Dads have it tough. Dad2011 seriously deserves some recognition. 

There was talk a few months back about more antenatal information being published for dads by the NHS. DO IT!

Give them the option to learn more about what’s happening. It’s a hell of a shock!

Us girls are immersed in information, check ups, witty anecdotes and loads of chats with women who have had children from the moment we get the stretchy maternity jeans on. We’re in babyzone. We also get maternity leave. Men just have a partner who’s tired, grumpy, fattening and in my case rather useless.

They’re shown a black and white image of a cashew nut and expected to bond. 

They then have to pay out loads of money for baby stuff. They then have to think twice about boozing in case mother to be starts contractioning and they have to drive somewhere. The books are clinical and processey and even antenatal classes, which are amazing, still focus on the mum and baby.

But worse than the battered bank balance and one beer rules is the fact that during labour and birth they feel completely and utterly useless. 

Dad2011 was my rock during labour. My labour was rubbish, long, inefficient and it hurt. Dad2011 was sent out for food which I ate hanging over a birthing ball and then threw up (he didn’t do sick). He electrocuted himself on my tens machine whilst I was shouting at him to stick the pads back on my back. He ran me a million baths and then sat with me to check I didn’t fall asleep and drown. 

Then when we FINALLY got accepted into the hospital I got the drugs and he had to sleep on a chair with a dressing gown wrapped around his head to get some much needed shut eye. Some midwives were nice to him, others were complete cows. He also had to pay about £1000 for the parking at the hospital.

Then we ended up having an emergency c section, so after waiting over 100 hours to meet his son or daughter there was a sudden panic, he was given some fetching scrubs, and then was made to feel even more scared/useless as he sat with me for the operation.

Baby2011 was born, dad2011 was torn between me in surgery and baby2011 in weighing room. For those first few minutes of baby2011 he was completely responsible for our baby on his own.

I remember dad2011 appearing next to me holding up baby2011 looking so thrilled. They were both amazing.

Then dad2011 had to return to work. Our bubble was burst.

Men have it bloody hard at this time. They don’t know what to do. We’re too wrapped up in how much we hurt and caring for new baby to pay them any attention. They’re 3rd in importance after baby and mother, when really they’ve been through the mill too. 

They have it hard once yourself settling in as a family. Each week they miss things if they’re working. In this day and age men are expected to change nappies, sterilize bottles, do bath time, cook and clean as well as earn a crust. At the risk of sounding very 1950’s housewife they also come home to (in my case) a mrs who is less than groomed. In fact dad2011 is incredibly lucky if I am not wearing my £2.99 primark pyjama bottoms with a hole and I’m wearing a layer of mascara.

He also works 12-14 hour days and comes home to dinners such as a vegetarian sausage, bread and butter and salad. Or chicken kiev and baked beans. 

I was convinced he was going to leave me when he had to help me the loo at the hospital, leave your dignity at the hospital door when in labour! And even now I think of all the girls who work at the banks looking glam and him coming back to me in my primark specials moaning at him for not putting his plate in the dishwasher. What a lucky man!  

I do not underestimate how lucky I am having dad 2011. He’s amazing. An amazing dad and an amazing husband.

In the words of Deneice Williams in 1984; “Let’s hear it for the boy”     

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