Dad’s newborn experience

Rick LottieThis post is an interview with my husband Rick so he could share his experience of being the parent of a newborn.

How did you feel when you found out Vic was pregnant?
I was ecstatic. I was very ready to have babies. Looking back, I think I’d been wanting to have a baby for quite a while so when I found out we were going to be parents, it was really exciting.

Describe the moment that you watched Lottie being born?
It’s a very emotional experience. People tell you the love you feel for a child is unbelievable, but you don’t understand until it happens and you see it. You get overwhelmed with emotions. The whole labour experience seemed to fly by and didn’t feel like 16 hours. All I really remember now is the moment Charlotte arrived.

How have the first 3 weeks been so far?
Things have been going really well considering we have a newborn. There is a lot we need to learn about, like when she’s crying what she’s crying for. It was hard when Vic was in hospital because I could only visit during the day and couldn’t stay the night. The nurses were helping out but I really wanted to be there too. I wanted Vic and Lottie to come home so I could get more involved.

The night times aren’t that bad. Well obviously they’re much easier for me than Vic because I don’t have to get up. I wake up whenever Lottie wakes up and Vic gets out of bed. I hear stories of babies waking every hour for feed or attention. Apart from one night so far, Lottie seems to be an ok sleeper. If she sleeps for 3-4 hours, I find I can get back to sleep. I used to sleep really soundly but since she arrived, I wake up easily when she makes a sound, as if I’m asleep but listening out for her. I enjoy helping with feeding by giving her a bottle and bathing her, taking my fair share of the burden so Vic can get some sleep. And I love having cuddles with her. Going back to work was OK but it would have been nice to have more time off to spend with her. I’m working 4 days a week for the next couple of months which gives me an extra day to spend with Lottie, which is good.

What is the best part of being a father of a newborn?
The pleasure of looking at her and thinking I’ve brought this beautiful child into the world. I want to do everything I can do to bring her up as a strong and confident child and adult.

What is the worst part?
Worrying about whether you’ve done things right – have I wrapped her right and put her down to sleep right. It’s a learning process and I’m feeling a bit inexperienced and anxious about making sure we’re doing the right things.

When I help out, Vic keeps saying thank you to me as if I’ve done her a favour. But I keep telling her she needs to stop saying thank you because Lottie is just as much my responsibility as she is Vic’s. Vic has taken time off work and is the only one who can feed but when I’m there she is just as much my responsibility. It’s patronising to say the husband is helping his wife with their child. No, he’s not helping, he’s doing what is his responsibility as a parent. Vic and I are a team and we support each other.


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