Monday, 15 January 2018

Becoming Dad: An Interview with Jordan.

For most men, becoming a dad for the first
time can be a daunting and confusing time. Their partner is going through so much and forming a special bond with their unborn child whilst dad stands in the corner, hands in pocket, unsure how he can be of any assistance. After conception, it's all pretty much mum until baby is born and then dad is handed a wrinkly pink bundle that's screaming at him. It understandable that it can be daunting for men to become dads for the first time so since it's been nearly a month since our son Flynn was born, I asked my fiancé Jordan about his experiences with becoming a (blood) dad for the first time.

How did you feel when you heard the news that you were going to be a dad?

Absolutely scared and panicking about what was going to happen and how we were going to cope. That was after the initial shock and wave of happiness to find out I was going to be a dad. It was really a mix of emotions. Financially we were not in the best of places so finding out your girlfriend (now fiancée) was pregnant when you didn't expect it to happen for many months is kind of a big shocker.

How did you cope with the pregnancy?

It goes without question that the pregnancy had its ups and downs for the both of us. Of course I was never going to go through what Alli was going through so I had it easy in that regard. It was difficult seeing her in pain and not really being able to do much about it, As the pregnancy went on and she could do less and less it was on me to take over most of the jobs around the house as well as keeping up with the day job.

Don't know how normal people do it but for me it was a huge transition regarding being relied upon. In the middle of all of this it did kick start me to finding a new job (One which I can, thankfully, say I'm still at) which is a 50 minute drive one way. Attempting to balance that all did become quite stressful and, admittedly, I don't think I was the best at coping overall. We, however, made it through these stresses and now we have a healthy baby boy. In my eyes all of this has been worth it.

How did you feel seeing your partner go through pregnancy?

It wasn't the best of feelings. I tried to do what I can in order to make it a more comfortable experience for her but ultimately there wasn't a whole lot I could have done with the problems that developed later on towards the end of the pregnancy. I wish I did do some things differently but as they say the past is the past.

9 time out of 10 if she asked for something I would get it in order to make her feel better but this was also pretty draining. I can safely say that I've done the 3 o'clock in the morning trip to McDonalds in order to get her something that she was craving (In this case it was chicken). Seeing the change in emotion from one minute to the next was pretty difficult at times and it was pretty tough seeing her cry for no reason. Also the odd time where she'd be angry at me it was hard to not take that personally.

Pro Tip: Saying "Everything is going to be OK" doesn't help things. Trust me,

What did you fear most about becoming a dad

How, financially, we were going to cope with a new arrival in the house.

Did that fear come true?

It's early days yet but with Flynn breastfeeding that certainly takes a load off. We're going through nappies like it's a closing down sale at Woolworth's so seeing that stock dwindle down is pretty daunting. Luckily throughout the pregnancy my parents have been helping us buy the baby essentials such as nappies, Nappy bags as well as the bigger purchases like the pram and the cot.

If it wasn't for them I think i'd have lost most of my hair by now or at least gone gray. 

What was labour/child birth like for you?

For me personally the birth was a surreal experience. As Alli opted to go for an elective C Section due to all the problems that were occurring she didn't go through actual labour. When we were in the operating theatre they allowed me to sit besides her head and within 15-20 minutes Flynn was crying his lungs out letting us all know that he had arrived.

Hearing your child cry for the first time is definitely a sudden wave of happiness. I'm not ashamed to say I was crying with tears of joy as a result.

What do you love most about being a dad?

Definitely the cuddles. Coming home from a long work day and picking up my son (If he's not sleeping of course) and just laying on the bed with him on my chest. Think every time I've done it so far I've fallen asleep with him. It's a funny thing really but Alli has plenty of incriminating evidence of this occurring to embarrass our son with later in life.

What do you dislike about being a dad?

You know, I don't think I really dislike any aspect of it. Even the nappy changing is somewhat of a good experience because I do feel useful doing it. He has yet to really get me with his stream yet but I know the day will come. He has tried at least 5 times already so I don't think we've got a quitter.

Can't really mention lack of sleep either because, for the most part, I'm actually getting enough of that (Which Alli absolutely detests). I suppose getting him to actually settle in the first place is actually pretty difficult as he REALLY doesn't like being put down in his cot. We've found a little trick which seems to work 80% of the time involving white noise but I'm sure that trick will stop working before we know it.

I can see this becoming a back and forth from now until he most likely becomes a man child.

How has becoming a dad changed your life?

It's definitely been added responsibility and worries. Worrying about every little thing that may potentially be wrong is actually me feeling what Alli felt when she was pregnant with him. As Alli already had a child from her previous relationship living with us I think I was already eased somewhat in the role of being a dad.

In a sense, this is just me living the first 2 years of a person's life from scratch. I've got a lot of learning to do but I'm ready for the journey ahead.

Do you have any favourite memories so far?

There are quite a few memories that have been made already. One favourite memory of mine was when we were showing Flynn off to my old work colleagues. They were pretty much like a second family to me so showing them just filled me with so much joy.

Pretty close to this was the time where we dressed him up in an Elf outfit and put him in a box. What's that? Babies don't belong in boxes? Well he is practically a gift considering the time he was born so why not put him in a box for 10 seconds to forever immortalise that memory in our minds.

My favourite memory though was looking at him and hearing him for the first time. That very moment nothing else mattered to me, all of life's problems just disappeared and it was just an overwhelming sense of happiness and joy. Looking down at him on the table and being offered to cut the cord (Which I initially thought would be incredibly gross. Turns out that it literally is like cutting through a sausage.They even tell you where to cut) is a memory that will forever be with me. Along with the overwhelming sense of love every time I look at him of course.

If you could go back in time and give yourself some fatherly advice, what would it be?

"Step up your game you idiot. You're going to be a father now so it's time to get serious."

Admittedly I did go through half the pregnancy not really ready for the gravity of the responsibility that was going to be bestowed upon me. Up until that time I really had just been going with the flow of life. Whatever happens happens kind of deal. Having that kind of attitude meant that things needed to happen pretty quickly.

If I had gotten serious at the very start it may have been a smoother ride all over.

Anything else you'd like to add for first time expectant fathers?

"Life, er, finds a way". Don't get too bogged down with the details. You're going to be a dad! It's a real moment of change for any man's life but being stuck with your head in the short term won't really help you or your partner. The end result is worth it. You can deal with the money side of things when that comes. Of course I'm not saying to not worry about those kind of things. You are most likely going to be the one providing for the family in that regard but if you get too bogged down in those details you won't be able to enjoy what is a most wonderful period of creation.

Have fun with it!

I would like to thank Jordan for collaborating on this post with me. You can follow him on Twitter: @dante556 or on Twitch!

Until next time,
Alli and Jordan xo.


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