The highs of a new parent is only a heartbeat away

A place for anyone who is supporting a breastfeeding mother - partners, siblings, friends, in laws, parents, etc.
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The highs of a new parent is only a heartbeat away

Post by Bandit » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:48 pm

I wrote this at around 1am, the night of the birth of my last little boy over 6 months ago. It's a raw and emotional view after a very long day and I believe it is in the current Essence magazine. I have posted it here as well in the hope that it can be shared among dads or dads to be.

I hope it might inspire more men to step out of their comfort zone and REALLY become involved in birth and feeding of their children. I don't ever remember my partner saying why don't you just take a back seat in all this baby / woman's stuff. But for some strange reason that is what a lot of men do. Your child began 9 months prior to you holding it. We seem to actively participate, then have a 9 month break, rather odd when you look at it like that.

I hope you all enjoy my journey

I am now the proud dad to baby number 6! Was is special? yes. Was it better than the previous five? Yes! A surprising answer I know, but the most amazing life changing thing happened to me today. But first i need to go back 24 years ago when I was a proud father of my first little boy who was born by caesarean section. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. The memory of me holding my son for the first time thinking what if he cries? what if I don't know what to do? My partner is in the recovery ward and I'm alone. Heeeeeeeeeeeeelp.

I'm a bloke so toughen up I hear you say, your right! so I did, and I stayed "bloke tough" for 20 years, but 4 1/2 years ago something changed, it was the birth of my 5th son. I helped and supported my beautiful wife bond and breastfeed our son, this was an amazing journey in itself but that's a storey for another day

While watching this amazing bond develop between a child and it's mother. A bond I have read about and now seen first hand, I was curious if I could share a bond like this? It had such a strong impact on my life that I have spent many years on and off researching the bond that develops between a mother from skin to skin contact and breastfeeding. The problem is I'm selfish! I'm a bloke, my 4 1/2 year old son will cuddle me but it's not the same as he cuddles his mum. it's that bond that us "bloke tough" guys will never have. I long for that bond with my children. but it's not possible unless something extraordinary happens. I can only imagine what that bond must feel like.

Well today that extraordinary thing happened. Don't worry I didn't attempt a feed, but as I sat in the sterile operating theatre for the sixth time I had a thought. I stood up and blurted out that when our baby comes out and mum has had some skin to skin contact It will be my turn. look out everyone! I was also wearing what I have been calling my "birthing shirt". HUH? yep you heard right, it's a very soft button up collared shirt and I have had my eye on it from the day my wife fell pregnant. There should not be a dad to be without one of these shirts. I'll tell you right now a bloke with a "birthing shirt" on is not to be messed with and I'll tell you why.

I stopped my little boy being weighed, measured, wrapped and man handled. There I was standing in front of complete strangers with my "birthing shirt" wide open and I was about to pick up my baby. He was crying, he was franticly moving around and totally surprised by the outside world. He was alone and needed to know that someone loves him. There I was having flashbacks to 24 years ago and that feeling of complete isolation and uncertainty I had, this was probably how my baby felt now.

Well not any more, I had my little boy firmly in my arms and brought him straight up to my chest. I held his little body against mine, chest to chest and heart to heart and I closed my eyes. And then the most amazing thing happened. His crying stopped. his restless body went into a state of calm and I could gradually feel my heart and his beating as if it was one. I had disappeared into a place I have never been before. Was I calming him? or was he calming me? Could this purest little heart be calming my body and creating a bond that I have longed for since my first child. The feeling of total and utter contentment was mine and it only took 24 years to happen.

For over 1 1/2 hours we remained motionless in this position. I can't sit still for 5 minutes let alone settle a newborn baby but all that was gone. I remember nurses coming in to check on us but they never asked if we were ok they just stopped at the door then left again.

Once my wife got back from recovery it was now her time. I placed the most incredibly calm baby I have ever seen onto her chest and watched in ore as he latched onto her breast. The hours that followed were the calmest experience of my life and when he started to cry, simply holding him to my chest would settle him. For the first time in my life I felt complete.

Have I created a lifelong bond? only time will tell. Have I taken away any bond from my wife? absolutely not, her ability to breastfeed and comfort our child has secured that bond until the end of time. Will I love this child any differently than the others? defiantly not.
Even though my beautiful little boy won't remember, I will, and I will hold that moment of my life in my memory and call on it whenever I feel alone or disheartened.

I hope this may inspire up and coming parents to clear their minds and cherish the opportunity to bond with their children in a way no man would think is possible.

Skin to skin is also a daddy thing

And finally.... don't mess with a bloke in a birthing shirt :D
A male partner’s attitudes towards and willigness to assist with breastfeeding is the single biggest determinant of whether a woman will continue to exclusively breastfeed once she has left hospital.

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Post by JMc » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:57 pm

Beautiful! Made me cry a little bit!
DD - November 2009 (Breastfed 19 months)
DS1 - August 2011 (Breastfed 2 years and 8 months)
DS2 - November 2014 (Breastfeeding happily)

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Post by Ezekielsmummy » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:11 pm

wow beautiful I'm going to share this with my DH. Thanks
DS1, 3 Angels & Precious Matthew with us for only a short time & left me with a heart full of love & ocean full of tears!

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Post by pseudo » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:12 pm

That's just beautiful!


Storked by the lovely Lu!

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Post by Em's mum » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:30 pm

JMc wrote:Beautiful! Made me cry a little bit!
Me too!

Definately going to get DH to read this. Thankyou Bandit for posting your story...


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Post by snowie » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:40 pm

I read this in Essence - I think is an absolutely beautiful idea for Dads :smt049 . Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
Never forgetting our angel babies

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Post by flutterbye » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:02 am

Bandit, that it is truely beautiful and I really hope it does reach other dads/dads to be. Thank you.
DD: 6/2007 BF for 23 months
DS: 3/2010 BF for 26 months

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