I was asked to write a 250 word piece about being a Dad for Boo Magazine – it’s a quarterly publication that reaches 15,000 families in Leeds. As most of you aren’t in Leeds this is what I’ve written :-
The birth of G was a surprise. After a routine midwife appointment we were asked to go for a scan to check on her. The scan revealed very little fluid around G and a ‘normal’ birth would be dangerous as the umbilical cord could wrap around her neck. We were told the safest option was a cesarean section – that day!
Everything was a blur. Later that afternoon I found myself in scrubs and hearing a baby crying. I was confused, why there was another birth in the operating theatre? I twigged, this was MY baby! My beautiful baby girl!
I was handed G and given a little bottle to feed her. I had no idea what to do or how to feed a baby; I’d never done it before and I felt so stupid – I thought I’d just click into ‘Daddy Mode’. G went back to her mum for the journey to the ward and that was it, we were parents. I didn’t *feel* like a parent, I just felt like an idiot with a baby.
G had a Vitamin K injection, as most newborns do, and I had to take her to the nurse for her to administer it. The nurse put the needle in and G woke up and let out a horrific scream and started crying. The nurse had hurt *MY* daughter! I could feel the adrenaline racing through my veins. I wanted to punch the (lovely) nurse and take my baby away!
I’d never punch anyone, let alone a nurse, but my paternal instinct had kicked in. I wanted to protect her. The nurse handed her back and I thanked her and walked off, still shaking with adrenaline. That was the moment I realised I really was a daddy.
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