Fatherhood

RAISING A DAD – 26 February 2014

Like father…

We’ve been in hospital for too long now.

There’s genuine concern about infection for Kasper and they’re being careful but the move from one day to three days to five days to seven days has taken it’s toll, and last night’s visit from the doctor telling us it was going to be ten days finally tipped us over the edge.

I asked to see the consultant, and then went home and studied.

I’m no scientist.

I scraped through the subjects at school and had no inclination to medicine, dentistry, engineering…it’s not me.

What I am good at is reading very quickly and taking a lot of information in at once, so I went home to read everything I could about the suspected infection and the recommended treatments and hospital stay durations.

I’m not a fan of Google experts or Wiki-warriors. Doctors train for years to do what they do and there’s no way I could learn in a night but I needed to be informed and have a clear point to make.

This morning we were visited by a lovely registrar, a midwife and two junior doctors (I did ask if a paramedic would be joining them – they laughed – good start).

They explained where they were at and why ten days was being considered.

I asked my questions and put across my point of view.

They left and said they’d speak to the consultant.

A few hours later the consultant arrived…not quite true, someone else came in to tell us he was outside…I wondered if I should stand up…

In walked a lovely man, who smiled, apologised for the confusion and assured us we’d be going home tomorrow.

He’d also printed out some guidance, highlighted the important bits and took time to really explain and prepare us for what was ahead.

Before he left he wanted to know if the rumour was true that I’d read the NICE guidelines for infant infection…news travels fast.

As we celebrated in the room I began texting family and friends to let them know the good news.

As I text my dad I realised that the ability to articulate myself, thirst for knowledge and stubborn determination come from him and the way me, and my brothers, were brought up by him and my mum.

And so I text him to thank him and at the end of it wrote this:

“…it’s weird but having stuck up for my little family I feel like a proper dad for the first time”

A proper dad…just like mine.

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Fatherhood

RAISING A DAD – 24 February 2014

A new feeling

We’re still in hospital and the paternal visiting hours of 9am – 9pm mean our days all look, taste, and sound very similar.

We turned the TV on this morning onto This Morning and on the sofa were a mum and dad talking to Phil and Holly about their son.

He had died last year after taking drugs. It was a one off thing, he’d experimented and it had gone horribly wrong.

I’m not one to sit crying at the TV, but today this particularly sad story, and the dignity and courage of the parents was incredibly moving.

And so as I held my four day old son and watched a daytime magazine show, I wept for those parents.

Perhaps it’s a delayed response to the labour, birth and general overwhelming feeling of being a dad.

Perhaps it’s the exhaustion.

Perhaps it’s something that I’ll always feel now.

I gave Kasper a squeeze, told him I loved him and that it’s okay to cry.

I think I’m becoming a dad.