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Becoming A Father – Fatherhood

by David McSweeney

“I’ve just been to the Doctor’s and told I’ve only got nine months to live!” “Really, what’s wrong with you?” “My girlfriend is pregnant….”

When you first find out you are going to be a father a number of emotions cross your mind. Joy, fear, anticipation, fear, pride, did I mention fear? Being the Peter Pan like figures that we are, we digest the news as if the Wendy Lady herself has just told us that it’s finally time to leave Neverland and grow up. The reaction from your friends, your fellow lost boys is mixed. Naturally they are all delighted for you, but one or two have that look in their eyes that simply says ‘your life is over mate’. Others say that they didn’t think you had it in you. You are not sure, which you prefer. And so the nine months of waiting and preparing begins. For the first few months nothing changes much, apart from the odd scan, increasing visits and phone calls from family members and the odd moan from the expectant mother (actually, no change there ;-).

As ‘B’ day draws nearer though you start to clear a space in your life and your home for the impending bundle of joy, and soon realise that for something so small, this baby is going to take up an incredible amount of space. OK, you’re no Jesus, but replacing that pool table with a cot, or your Roland digital drum kit for a dresser and changing mat certainly seems like sacrifice at the time. It will all be worth it though… won’t it?

For the final three months of the pregnancy it seems like everything is on hold. The baby could come any day now, in fact your family seem disappointed on a daily basis that he, or she is not out, walking, talking and thinking about a family of it’s own yet. Any twinges? No. Any sign of her waters going? No. You’ll call me as soon as there are any developments. Yes. The cravings of your partner reach their peak. In her normal, unpregnant life, my other half is a vegetarian, except for chicken and fish. Although I often joke that this is like claiming that you don’t smoke, except for cigarettes, I accept that it is quite common. In the final month of pregnancy however, she became a vegetarian, except for chicken, fish and steak pies. Now, I’ve not double checked on wikipedia, but I do believe this is stretching the concept somewhat… And finally, the day arrives, although not always on schedule. Our big day was in fact, 9 days later than originally forecast, my unborn child it would appear inheriting my punctuality, or lack thereof from the word go.

After an 18 hour labour, this baby seemed reluctant to meet the big bad world and eventually had to be delivered by section. Although we had decided not to find out the sex of the baby before birth, my partner was convinced all the way through the pregnancy that it was going to be a boy. They say a mother’s instinct is never wrong? well, not this time, as our baby boy turned out to be a baby girl and Holly was born at 7.15 on Friday 30th January 2009. The feeling I had when the Doctor declared ‘congratulations, you have a daughter’ was quite incredible, like nothing I had ever experienced before. I guess it is a real ’spec of dust in the eye’ moment for any new father and when you hold your baby for the first time it just gets better.

It’s now 4 weeks since the birth and already I feel like a veteran nappy changer, feeder and burper. Life becomes a whirlwind, with days merging into sleepless nights, indeed I write this while waiting on a bottle to warm for the 2am feed. Life may never be the same, but far from being over, a wonderful and exciting new chapter is just beginning, which gets better every day. So what is my male perspective on becoming a father? Quite simply, it’s the greatest thing in the world.

Author Biography: David McSweeney provides a male perspective to girlznight magazine and is the proud father of baby Holly.

2 Responses to “Becoming A Father – Fatherhood”

  • Ken:

    good article, i am having a baby boy in two weeks and cant wait to go home and see my child for the first time. thanks for the article….disregard what that other guy had to say

  • fatherofthree:

    I was intrigued by this article, but I was disappointed because of the lack of real content, and the phrase “OK, you’re no Jesus”. Why do you need to do that?

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