Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Poo Pants is 1!!!

What a difference a year makes. At 10.40am September 8th 2008, Clare was just an hour away from starting to push. We'd gone into hospital at midnight and she was about 4cm dilated and we were sent straight into the maternity room. The realisation that this was 'it' was a scary and exciting time. As Jake was on his way 2 weeks early, I was in denial right up until the ward sister told us we were in the right place and a baby was happening. I'd been convinced we would be sent on our way to sit it out. I didn't want that so I was pleased with the news.

Clare had an epidural at around 3am and for the next 9 hours we waited, got some sleep, chatted and made a few calls. I think it was midday when the midwife instructed her to start pushing. An hour and a half in I was told to get scrubbed up and into my blues as Clare was busy signing consent forms and being prepared for theatre. The ventouse was an option but they decided she was too far along and needed to conserve energy and went straight for the dreaded forceps.

I'll never forget the emotions I was feeling before Jake was born, quivering with emotion, drained and utterly worried. I hate hospitals and was concerned that things weren't going exactly according to plan. The feeling which will stay strongest with me though, was when he was pulled out and unceremoniously dangled in front of us.

'It's a boy'.

In all it's cliched glory, that phrase spouted triumphantly from me and the pair of us burst into tears while the maternity staff cleaned him up. He was given to me whilst Clare was being seen to and I sat there, Jake - even before he was Jake - cradled in my arms, staring at me and me staring back with utter wonder, exhilaration, relief and love. I remember looking right past the cleft, no longer worrying about what had been worrying us for so long, just concentrating on his beautiful little face.

UPDATE: In the last few weeks I have learned that my darling wife felt my emotional outpouring at the birth of our first child made me sound like, and I quote, 'a pansy'! I'll admit to being overwhelmed and was indeed rather tearful but I am still puzzled at this. I could have been a typical alpha male, defined by my stoicism and simply expected (and therefore got) my son and heir to pop into the world. We'd have all had a cup of tea and been home in time for bed. But, no, I cried tears of joy and relief when my son was born, yet 'er indoors thinks this makes me less of a man. Well boo to her! Women eh?

It's a real rite of passage being present at the birth of your first child. Something which changes you irreversibly forever. It'd been patronising to say it's what changes you from boy to man - many things do that - but becoming a father, for me at least, changed me in a heartbeat. I definitely recommend it, even it is the single most scary thing one can endure.

Since then a wee bit has happened. After all the sleepless nights, crying for hours on end, Clare having to endure the breast pump, the consultations, the horrible operations, I can say it's all been worth it 110% and I'd it again tomorrow.

Over the last few weeks, days even, Jake has transformed. He's like a greased weasel cruising around the lounge, he's making new babbling noises, he's had his first day at nursery and today is 1.

I went to Ibiza at the weekend for a stag do and it's the longest I've been away since he was born. I really missed him, it sounds dramatic but it almost hurt and to get back and see him and Clare yesterday was awesome, felt like a real family home coming. I was very jaded after a weekend of partying though!

So, Jake, Happy Birthday son and thanks for an incredible year - even the sleepless nights - and here's to all the exciting times ahead.

Love Daddy

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