Proud Dad Moments – Baby Addison

A story from a Dad’s side of the great event!

A big thank you to Killian for sharing your story with us and helping us to help dad’s and partners feel more included in the the journey from bump to baby.

We welcomed Baby Addison into the world @ 23.10 on Wednesday 29/08/2020. Her story however, started on Tuesday the 27th when my wife was concerned that there was lack of movement from Addie. We rang the maternity hospital and they said to come up straight away. And this where COVID really made the whole experience worse. All I could do was drop Sarah and then-bump at the door and go sit in the car park. I was there for 3 hours texting Sarah but again every minute waiting for a text for an update felt like 10! They decided to keep her in overnight for observation which again was difficult as I couldn’t come in and just sit there to reassure Sarah everything was going to be ok.

The following morning the Doctor felt that inducing Sarah was the best option. I got the call and I was up and outside the hospital waiting, again, not being allowed in was a killer as all you can do is wait. Sarah was messaging me about contractions and how sore they were but all I could say was “you will be ok, I’ll be allowed in soon”. I waited at Sarah’s mothers house as it was only 5 minutes from the hospital, I waited from 10.30 to 17.30. While I waited I watched 2 Star Wars movies and a series or 2 on Netflix. Again, replying to Sarah every time she text feeling absolutely useless to her as all I could say was “it’s ok”, ”I’ll be there soon” etc.

At around 17:00 Sarah decided she was going to get an epidural and it was at this stage I was called to come in and I was with Sarah within minutes. When I got to her she looked very happy with life as the epidural was working and she was pain free. From then, I was there to offer support and words of wisdom, but mainly there to hold her hand and tell her I was so proud of her. The midwives, Laura (midwifery intern ) and Liz, Sarah’s main midwife were so great! I could write another essay on how great they were! @18:30 they examined Sarah and she was 7 cm dilated. So another few hours to go. At 20:00 we were introduced to Judy who was another Gem of a midwife and was with us until the end. From then to 22:10 Sarah was just resting and then at 22:10 it was time to push…

…And that’s when all the fun started. The midwife’s turned from nice as pie to Sargent major! And it’s exactly what you need. I was ready to be the support partner tell her to push and she can do it but as the contractions came the midwives were shouting “push, push” and they were saying it with gusto! I was basically there to give Sarah water and hold her hand and leg at one stage! The midwife’s were great, they were supportive yet direct!

I recommend that any father to be stay north of the wall! I didn’t and what I saw was unbelievable but also something I didn’t need to see! Lads, keep you self as close the your partners head as possible!

At 23.09 Addie’s Head had popped out and by 23:10 she was up on Sarah’s chest with a look of WTF just happened and where am I! These first few moments when she pops out and actually lets a scream out feel like the longest 30 seconds of your life! It felt like minutes but it was only seconds.

After about 15/20 minutes I was offered to cut the cord again something I highly recommend but a note the scissors they give you wouldn’t cut butter! So make sure to close down hard and often!

The next thing that was offered and if it’s the only thing you opt to do when your baby is born is to do skin to skin! It wasn’t something I had initially planned or thought about (Sarah had but it didn’t cross my mind) but the midwife said it was something they recommend and it’s the best thing I have ever done! They wrap a blanket around you and your baby and you just sit there for 15/20 minutes just holding them! For me that was the moment I fell in love with my daughter! She moved her head and looked at me, now I know they can’t see anything maybe just shadows at that stage but it felt like she was looking right into me and I knew then that I loved this tiny human with everything I had! The love for your wife/partner is totally different than your love for your child! I can’t explain but when the moment comes and it will you will knowexactly what I mean.

From then until 01.10 we just sat in the labour ward looking at our new daughter and realising this was now our family unit! And then once more COVID came to ruin the moment. Once Sarah was ready to be moved to the ward upstairs it was time for me to say goodbye to her and my new daughter. And even though I had only met Addie 2 hours earlier it really hurt to say goodbye knowing I wouldn’t see them for at least 2 days. That 2 days then became 3 due to Sarah having a high temperature during labour so they needed to monitor Addie for 48 hours. I collected them on Saturday the 01/08 and they haven’t been away from me since!

The big thing that is missing for dads outside of books, is that there is no real support that we can reach out to. Sarah has all these Facebook groups like August moms and WhatsApp’s groups, but for dads, there really isn’t much. I’m the first of my group of friends to have a baby in Ireland so I basically have to ask Sarah. I could ask my dad but it’s been 32 years since he had a baby (that was me). So, I hope any dad reading this gets some pointers or takes some of the recommendations I mentioned above. And feel free to reach out, I’d gladly offer my 2 cents if someone was looking for it! The only other thing I would strongly urge and recommend is do the 2 hour free course and the full day course with the baby academy! I would be lost without the stuff they thought me!