Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Our due date has arrived!

On 21st August 2011 our beautiful baby was due and although it felt like forever, the date finally arrived!

Surprisingly however, our little baby boy was able to celebrate with us because he was already here! As most of you know Baby Benjamin (BB) was born 5 weeks early.

What a strange 5 weeks it has been.
I am not sure whether its because I have wanted a child for a long time and have imagined every scenario over and over again, or whether it’s just because if I was any more laid back I would be horizontal, but these 5 weeks just seemed ‘normal’.

Now I must confess, my life doesn’t seem to have changed a great deal. I still go to work, still come home, still do a little housework, the main difference is I get a little less sleep and have an extra kiss to dish out when I get home...the dog loves a snog.

The reason I have had it so easy, is because of my partner in crime. Christine has fallen into the role of mummy so well. She has been breastfeeding from day one and because of that she is the one who has been woken every 2, 3 and now 4 hours for dinner to be served. She uses the rational, that as I have to go to work in the morning, I should be able to get some shut eye and boy, am I grateful for that!

I know that in the past, I have dribbled on at how much I love Christine and what an amazing person she is. Well I am not ashamed of doing that and since she pushed BB into our lives, my feelings for her have only got mushier.  She has dealt with anything mum related with the swagger and technique of a seasoned professional and if you knew Christine you may be as surprised as she probably is.

I’m not surprised. There is no occasion that springs to mind where Christine hasn’t been able to overcome a problem. If there is a problem she can’t solve, she finds somebody to help her solve it. (very rarely me)

Because of this, she has made the first 5 weeks of fatherhood a dream and I hope that if there is anything I can do to make her life easier, I hope I can do it as well as she can. (I am sure she will get her own back when we eventually start bottle feeding)

Just incase you were wondering, YES, we did have cake...Yum!

Friday, 12 August 2011

For Christ(ening) sake!

There is a tradition of sorts in this country that once a baby is born, friends and family of the new arrival need to get together and “Wet the baby’s head”. Personally I just think its people looking for the next excuse for a party! The more common way to do this is a christening.

For those that don’t know what is entailed in a christening, the below is an explanation from the Church of England’s official site, which can be found here;
What is baptism?
In baptism, you as parents are: thanking God for his gift of life, making a decision to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from all that is evil, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.

People are also given the title of ‘Godparents’, which means if the parents for whatever reason are unable to care for the child, they promise in front of the lord to take care of the child as if it was their own. The ceremony normally takes place in the church normally frequented by the parents of the newborn.  People still have this even though they themselves are not religious, which I find VERY hypocritical.

This is where it becomes clear this is not something I would like to do for Benjamin.

With regards to religion, I would consider myself an Agnostic Atheist. I don’t believe in god, but I don’t disagree that it isn’t a possibility. So the reason for not wanting a Christening is not based on a religious belief but why would I want to enter my child into a belief that I don’t hold myself?

I do, however still want to celebrate my son’s birth and the beginning of our new family.

There are, with most things, an alternative to religion. You can have a civil ‘Naming Ceremony’ where friends and family get together, say a few words and celebrate the new arrival.

Either scenario still seems a little odd to me.

What did you do to welcome and celebrate your new arrival into the world?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Sleep is for the weak...or the lucky.


Even if you don’t have kids, you know that sleepless nights come with the territory. What you don’t know is how frustrating they can be.
Since BB was born he has been fed straight from the breast. This is something that both I and Christine feel strongly about.
The problem with that of course is that I am unable to feed the little man. Which means Christine has to wake every 2-3 hours to feed BB and I can do nothing but try and sleep through it, or help her in any way I can. (Dean over at DaddyNatal did an awesome post about us fellas and breastfeeding. Check it out HERE.)

Unfortunately if you believe Breast is best this is something you just have to deal with until you feel you need to go onto bottles. The advice seems to be, to only go onto bottles when you can no longer deal with the rigours of feeding from the breast, because BB will find it easier from a bottle and won’t put the effort in when it’s time to drink from the source.

Christine, as with everything has been amazing. She wakes up, feeds the boy when he wants it and happily goes back to sleep. The problem lately is that BB doesn’t do the same. We don’t know whether it’s the Moses basket he doesn’t like or not but he just won’t settle.

We only seem to have had 1 really bad one night where he woke around 1am to feed and didn’t settle back don until about 3am, all the time keeping Christine awake. That was until tonight!

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that he won’t just simply flick a switch and go back to sleep, but the frustrating thing is he doesn’t cry as if he is unhappy. He just makes a lot of other noises, stretches and kicks out a lot. After consulting my Encyclopaedia of everything (Google) it’s pretty clear that this is common amongst newborns.

So tonight, he is kicking off big style and if Christine has to be awake so often, she also needs to get some sleep. So I have brought the little man downstairs so his mamma can get some un-broken sleep and he seems to settle in his little swing chair really well. Can it harm him in anyway him sleeping in a swing chair as opposed to a bed?

So, BB is fast asleep in his swing chair, the mummy is asleep in her bed and daddy is sat flicking through the channels, trying to find something to watch.

Anywhoo, its 4:30am and I am probably, nope definitely rambling on and I think I can smell my son is awake...goody!

Night night, sleep well...those of us that can anyway!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My Birth Story.

While we waited for BB to arrive into our lives, we both read ALOT of other people’s birth stories, hoping they would give us a little insight to what we should expect to go through when the time came.
So now BB is with us and the dust has settled I thought it was my turn to give you my experiences.
So here goes..

04:30: Christine woke me worried that either A) She may have become incontinent during the night OR B) Her waters may have broken. I had read numerous times that if it is waters breaking, if you can; go back to sleep as it may be a long day., so we did. GOOD TIP!
07:30: I am woken again by Christine, telling me that she had spoken to the hospital and they have asked her to come in.
08:00: We arrive at the hospital and when they do an examination they say that it is very likely that it was her waters and that they would like to keep her in overnight for observation. Christine is given a steroid injection to help baby’s lungs in the event of his birth and her first dose of anti-biotic
13:00: Christine started feeling a few twinges but nothing she couldn’t handle.
14:30: Pain increase and it started to become clear that these were in fact contractions.
15:50: Christine could take the pain no more and asked for her first set of pain killers. These were accompanied by an anti-biotic to avoid infection.
16:30: The pain killers returned accompanied by the anti-biotic and anything else in Christine’s stomach!
17:00: Christine gets an anti-sickness tablet and another pain killer but is told if they come back, they won’t be able to give her anything else.
17:10: Turns out the anti-sickness tablet didn’t work!
18:00: At this point the doctor and midwife were disagreeing that Christine was even in labour. They explained they didn’t want to examine by hand as this can lead to infection.
18:30: After speaking to her superior, the midwife decided to find out for sure and do an examination. She looked up at Christine and asked her how dilated she thought she was? Christine said 3cm and I said 6cm....she was 7cm!!
19:00: After being admitted to the delivery suit and introduced to her new friend ‘Gas  & Air’, Christine was prepared for labour and generally monitored.
20:15: Christine has the urge to push and the midwife gives the OK. 
20:27: Baby Benjamin enters the world. Welcomed by a mum who doesn’t know what day it is cos she is as high as a kite and a dad who can barely see through the tears.

We know and appreciate that the whole process went amazingly smooth and we have been very lucky.
 It wasn’t all perfect as BB was taken down to the special care baby unit, but more about that in my next post.

Once again thanks for reading and all the well wishes from you all.