What was your favourite thing about the pregnancy?
Seeing my baby grow at the scans, the reassurance that she was growing, and everything was going in the right direction. Seeing the difference in the little bean from the 7-week scan (private reassurance scan) to the 12-week scan to the 20-week scan.
What didn’t you like you/find hard during the pregnancy?
I didn’t like seeing you in discomfort with the aches and the broken sleep, especially nearer the end. I didn’t like that it was you going through the pain and I couldn’t do anything about it.
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to a dad-to-be about the pregnancy process?
1. Help out wherever you can – round the house, tying her shoelaces,
2. Expect the occasional telling off……for nothing!
3. Go to the shop for whatever she wants, whenever she wants.
What were your expectations about labour and did anything surprise you?
I was expecting the moment contractions arrived we’d go straight to the hospital; I didn’t realise they had to be a certain frequency and length. I thought the labour would be 10+hours long and I thought you’d be lying on a bed – but actually we had a water birth and it was 6 hours start to finish (we got lucky!)
How did you support and what was your role during the labour?
I was by your side, giving you reassurance and keeping you as calm as possible. You didn’t really yell at me which I expected. Helping you in and out of the pool when needed. Making sure you ALWAYS had your gas & air to hand. Fetching you drinks and snacks when needed.
Did you cut the umbilical cord? What did it feel like?
Yes, I would describe it as cutting a gristly piece of meat. I always knew I wanted to cut it and I’m glad I did it.
What was the first night like at home with baby?
I didn’t sleep as I was constantly checking that the baby was breathing. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I felt like I couldn’t help you because you were breastfeeding so there wasn’t a lot for me to do.
Does anything surprise you about what life is like with a baby?
No. I knew there would be lots of nappy changes, disrupted sleep and I’d hate having to go back to work after paternity leave.
Is dad guilt a thing? If yes, what do you/have you feel guilty about?
I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to help you breastfeed, so I felt relieved when we switched to bottle feeding. I felt guilty that I was getting a lot of sleep whilst you were breastfeeding.
What are the top 3 things we bought for the baby in your opinion?
1. Definitely the Tommee Tippee bottle prep machine 0- it’s a god send early in the morning
2. Sleepy bear (similar to https://www.mamasandpapas.com/en-gb/sit-play-wish-upon-a-cloud/p/7599wc100) – she loves it and its handy to put her down in
3. Activity mat from John Lewis, I love watching her on it.