Brand new dad Sean Falconer kept a diary to record the reality of his first week of fatherhood.
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I left the hospital that evening as it looked like nothing was going to happen any time soon. I dropped a friend off in the city, then planned to go home for a good night’s sleep. However, on the drive home, Marianne’s mum rang to say “Get here now and bring the Swiss ball”.
Marianne’s contractions had started at 7:15pm. In my leisurely manner, I took this instruction with a grain of salt, thinking it was my mother-in-law being over-zealous. I went home and fed the dog before heading back to the hospital. When I got to the ward, Swiss ball in tow, Marianne had already been moved to the delivery room. When I finally caught up to them, the midwife jokingly told me to put the Swiss ball back in the car. It was no longer required.
The labour was a speedy two hours which made it exciting, like a thrill ride of ups and downs, a mixture of screaming and then calm between pushing. My hand was getting a thorough crushing, yet me squeezing Marianne's hand back was not appreciated, and she made it known.
I was amazed at Marianne's tenacity and pure will. I wasn't so sure she was going to get through the labour without drugs, but I was surprised; she pushed with a determination I had never seen before.
Before I knew it, this strange blue creature was being coaxed out into the hands of the midwives, looking lifeless initially. But, within seconds, she gurgled and started to breathe. It was a flood of mixed emotions –joy but also disbelief that she was actually here. Only a few hours earlier, I'd been dropping off a friend in town, thinking this moment was going to be another day away.
When I had my first hold of our baby, I ogled over every part of her. I didn't feel a strong instant bond but more of a longing to know and discover this creature who would become my daughter.
I sent a text to my mum, with a photo of Marianne and the baby, saying "Job done". Mum couldn't believe it as we hadn't even had time to tell her that Marianne was in labour. It was a pretty proud moment for me.