What is it like to be a dad? Words cannot describe how it feels to have this little person in my life, I thought that I could write about it here, but it turns out I really can’t. I can say that she makes these tiny peeps that melt my heart. Skin so soft that I can barely feel it. Big eyes that stare up at me… It’s just like no other feeling in the world, and so I guess, whilst I can’t put it into words, that puts me into the category of one of those people who says things exactly like, “it’s like no other feeling in the world”.
What I have learnt in the last four days is a few practical things about what it is like to be a new dad. For starters, it does not matter if you have vests and sleep suits that fit or look nice, because you just grab the nearest clean one. And our little girl is so small that nothing that we have fits her anyway, but she doesn’t seem to care about having a baggy set of pyjamas on. I have also learnt that I have been able to help out with feeding in much more of a “hands on” way than I could have imagined, so to speak. And finally, I have to boast that I am pretty good at swaddling our little bundle into submission when she begins resisting a sleep.
We may not have had a straightforward to start to parenthood, but then what is? They have kept my wife and daughter (daughter?! it is admittedly quite surreal to say that!) in the maternity ward until our small baby has put on enough weight.
After the birth on Monday it’s kind of like we have been living in a parallel universe; nothing like what real life is like where you come home and live as a family with your new addition. I have however formed a routine of spending my days with them at the hospital, popping out to get some decent food for my wife, leaving when I’m kicked out at 9pm, eating a microwave meal, and going to bed before starting all over again. Always bringing the car seat with me, hoping that today is the day.
I feel like I have already got to know our baby quite well, but then I also feel like there is going to be a few surprises that have not made themselves apparent yet. Considering that I have not spent a night with my daughter yet, I can only imagine at what times those surprises will present themselves. From my perspective, I would say I’m almost a little surprised about how instinctive things feel, and our parenting skills have come along pretty well, which mainly comes down to the great support we have had from the midwives and support workers in the maternity ward.
Good support or not, it hurts every day that goes by where they announce that I can’t take them home with me. My wife knows it’s for the best of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that she so much wants to come home, and that makes it even more heartbreaking. It doesn’t seem rational to say, but it’s just so unfair.
For now I sit in an empty house waiting for the day we can come home with her.