Posted by: Moon | September 12, 2010

How a Dad feels after a couple of weeks ..

So, the euphoria has settled, and the routine of hard work has started. Matej is doing OK, and we are learning that every single noise over the baby monitor is not a sign of certain distress, but just a little baby getting comfy in his sleep. He sleeps OK at night, sometimes taking a little longer to sleep after his feed, but we really can’t complain.

Mrs M is doing an amazing job, keeping pretty calm, patient and loving. Coping with the lack of sleep remarkably well, and despite the obvious highs and lows of emotion, doing a great job. So that leaves me.

People always ask how Mum and Baby are doing, people rarely ask or even know how the emotions are or how the Dad is coping. We go through some really strange feelings that are logical, sensible, rational… but really hurt ! When he cries, he cries for a reason. More often than not, it’s because he is hungry. Now, I can burp him, change his nappy, sing and rock him to try to comfort him. When I look down at this tiny little boy who is screaming and screaming….. (all parents will agree here).. it hurts… so much when you cannot do anything to help solve this poor little mans hunger. I can tell you now … it hurts so much when all you can do is give over to someone else. I know that I cannot feed him, I know that is life and logically I can accept this. So, why then, when I have to give him over to someone else to comfort and calm him, do I leave the room feeling useless and hurt. I can’t even help my own Son.

I do all I can, I get up to give Mrs M much-needed sleep in the morning, I do the washing, ironing, and cook the dinner when I have to. I take him when I can, in fact, we are so lucky that we are both at home, I do all I can. I too need my sleep, and Mrs M is wonderful at letting me take naps when I can. She never moans at me, and we just get on with our roles as parents. That doesn’t take away the hurt of always having to pass over the burden when he needs to stop crying. As I write, he wakes from his night sleep, crying, I go in, collect him, and hand over the crying Grumpysaurus to hi Mum… quiet ensues. I understand why… my emotions don’t. I sit here…. feeling shitty

Another thing came to light yesterday which has confused me, and again, I don’t think the ladies of the world will understand. Sex… (I bet you ladies just rolled your eyes and say “What does he expect” ?)… well, this isn’t going to be what you expected then….. Having witnessed the birth of Matej, I have a huge respect for any woman who goes through that Car Crash. I have seen it first hand, and you are incredible girls !. Remember though, the  men that have also been there have also been through a very traumatic experience (yeah right, how tough can it be you all say..) Bloody tough … I have seen my beautiful wife go through it all, emotionally and physically. So right now, I am doing all I can not to put any pressure, guilty feelings on her about sex …It’s not fair, and it’s not the kind of man I am. So… when I now get accused of being distant and away from her. I guess I am… but.. here’s the thing… Having seen the Birth, I don’t think I am ready for anything at the moment. You see, it’s all about how the Mum has to recover physically (of course rightfully so) before those bedroom (or kitchen table) things resume, but also, at least in my case, so does the Boy’s emotions and brains. We also have been through so much, and it’s all about the Mum… well, this blog is written by me, a Man, a Husband, and a Father.. so it represents my feelings over this….. We have been through a huge trauma, and those mental images, noises and experiences have to heal as well. I am sure my red-bloodiness will return, until then, it’s a tough time for both of us……..

I am lucky that Mrs M can talk about this, open and honestly…. with that done, we can rebuild our side of the relationship, whilst building Matej’s life.

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Responses

  1. I think it is great that you share your feelings through these early days. We so rarely get the man’s perspective on it. By the way, your feelings are exactly that – so it doesn’t matter what readers think – if they disagree etc – it doesn’t change the way you feel.
    After a couple months I started expressing a couple of times a day and it was wonderful because I got the benefit of feeding the little one, but the hubby (and others) also had the fun of being able to feed her.
    I am sure you will reach a point where the Mrs can do this and the first time you give Matej a bottle it will be a wonderful moment for you and will give your Mrs a break too.
    Hang in there, you will be able to get more involved as time goes on.

    • Thats kinda why I am doing this, most of my Twitter friends are Mums, so very few of us Dads, and none as open with their emotions as me ….. We will see with the expressing, so far, Mrs M needs that time to ‘fill up’ again.. there isn’t much spare, but that might change soon.

      • I would say I never had a plentiful supply by any means. But I used to let her feed on one side and express on the other. She could then have the expressed milk straight away after her feed if she wanted it but obviously in the hubby’s hands. We found there was gradually some left over so some feeds we could do totally with expressed milk from last time. It will work out.

  2. I think you are spot on with the impact that seeing. Your wife/significant other go through a traumatic birth can have on the father. Our first child was a stressful delivery, I am sure it was as hard on my man to witness it all as it was on me to go through it.

    There can be much healing in cuddles.

  3. Awww you know, your time will come when you get to feed him and there will be times when he wants to do things with just Dad and your wife will go through those same emotions of useless that you have!

    You will pass responsibilities back and forth as he grows and changes and has different needs. You will find his needs will be put before your own and that can definitely be tough on the father.

    Your wife will have days that your son has done nothing but tug and hang on her all day long, so much so that the though of anything sexual is farthest from her mind.

    However, things will resume and the trauma that you both have gone through will turn into something that wasn’t so bad and you’ll more than likely try for another.

    Hang in there! The rewards are soooo worth it! xx

  4. You are doing a great job. Just BEING there as a supportive, enabler is an accomplishment for which you are NOT giving yourself credit. Soon enough there will be days when Matej will need his dad and you will have all the practice in the world to give a sweet little boy all the love in the world. Two thumps up to you!


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