Daddy Diary

Brand new dad Sean Falconer kept a diary to record the reality of his first week of fatherhood.

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day one
After 40 weeks of anticipation, not to mention the years before that, during which we had patiently waited for our first baby, an induction had been booked and today was the day. We went into hospital for the 8:00am induction. After that, nothing was really happening so I went for a run in a park near the hospital. I got back to find my wife, Marianne, wandering around the duck pond and it seemed like any other day.

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.



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