I had a really good Father’s Day 2015, my third as a Father but my first as a Father of two with the arrival of our little Freddie just ten weeks ago. We had such a lovely day together as a family and I received a wonderful present which I will treasure forever.
It got me thinking. The past two and a bit years really have gone in a blur and it’s true what they say that kids grow up so fast. My eldest, Archie, is growing fast and he’s become his own little character, very cheeky at times but also a lovely polite and well mannered little boy. It only seems like yesterday that he arrived.
Nothing can really prepare you for what it will be like becoming parents. You may think you are prepared, after all, we had read the books, we’d spoken to our own parents and friends who were already parents themselves, we’d attended every antenatal class but until it actually happens you just have no idea at all and the mixture of emotions can be truly overwhelming.
My wife always wanted a natural birth. She laboured for well over twelve hours with Archie before being told that he was “back to back” and that the only option was an emergency c-section. Again we’d planned as best as possible for that eventuality but when a doctor suddenly shoves paperwork into your hands ultimately signing away your wife’s life it is truly scary.
So, the twelve hours prior had passed somewhat slowly and the c-section was very swift. Before we knew it our baby was here. At this stage we did not know if we had had a boy or a girl, we’d decided to go with the “surprise”. All I knew from where I was standing (in my fetching gown, cap and shoe covers) was that something was not quite right. They had quickly moved our newborn over to a small table and I could see that they were administering oxygen from the tiniest of little face masks. I was petrified. My wife was asking me “Is everything OK?” and I was trying my best to stay calm as to not worry her. I just remember staring at our little baby and praying with everything I had and in my head just saying “Come on, breathe…” over and over again.
It could have only been a matter of seconds but it felt like an eternity but then all of a sudden there was a tiny cough, almost a splutter, and then that lovely sound of a newborn baby crying. At this point I was crying to, I am not afraid to admit that, part sheer joy, part relief and with that our little baby was here!
I was beckoned over by the midwife “Would you like to see what you’ve got?” and we then knew it was a beautiful baby boy. It was such a special moment. My only disappointment was that I had wanted to cut the chord but with everything that happened with the emergency c-section and the fact that Archie initially struggled for breath and had to be whisked away it sadly did not happen.
Our journey as parents had begun and for both of us, at least I think my wife will agree, it has been the most exhilarating, emotional and challenging journey we have ever embarked upon. We’ve made it through sleepless nights (thankfully not too many actually) and blurry days and emerged with our marriage (and sanity) still intact.
The sudden realisation that you are completely responsible for another life can be overwhelming. It’s sometimes chaotic and stressful but also so very rewarding. It also really makes you take stock of everything and things that you used to worry about just don’t seem so important any more in comparison.
I am watching this little person grow and develop everyday and it is an absolute joy and flash forward two years and we now have our little Freddie to. Again not an easy birth, Nicola was determined again to go with the natural birth and thankfully she got her wish, albeit with a little help from the ventouse, but Freddie arrived safe and sound and in around half the time she laboured with Archie, and guess what? I got to cut the cord this time!
What an incredible two and a bit years it has been. I am so so grateful to have two such amazing little boys and a wonderful wife. Nicola is truly incredible and I thank god each and every day that she was stupid enough to get stuck with a sentimental old fool such as me. We have a lovely little family.