Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Daddy Brain!

I HAVE daddy brain! That's official

Spoke to a lovely couple yesterday who tragically lost their daughter soon after birth due to a condition known as Edward's Syndrome.

In short they discovered the problem at the 20 week scan which threw me because I have always understood the first 12 weeks were the most dangerous, to find out bad news at 20 weeks must and clearly was heartbreaking.

They have gone on to have another little boy to join their family which includes a four year old boy and had no problems in the third pregnancy.

As a local journalist sometimes you have delicate interviews, previously I would empathise of course but because it was out of my experience zone it would not affect me

However after saying goodbye yesterday I felt incredibly sad, so much so that instead of driving back to the office I parked in town and went for a walk to clear my head.

I felt so sad it could have been Jacob but almost guilty that here I was having a so far healthy little baby and this lovely couple had gone through heartache.

But I guess that's pregnancy, anything can happen at anytime and to anyone, I admired her courage for refusing a termination and bringing her little girl into the world.

I have foregone names as it's not my place to reveal them on a blog when it was something I did for work but do visit their Facebook page and the SOFT UK charity web page, both are linked at the bottom.

Pregnancy is very precious, I made sure I gave Mummy Smurf and Jacob an extra cuddle last night

Ayla's Legacy


He likes to move it, move it!

I THOUGHT fans of rubbish 90s music would love the blog title!

So we had a weekend of movement, nothing on the outside yet but I think it's fair to say Jacob is Feng Shui ing his living quarters now!

Not a night goes by (yes our son chills during the day) without Mummy Smurf interacting with bump while we are watching TV, she wants me to feel the movement but I can't yet.

However, I did discover a treat at the weekend, listening to her tummy! What an incredible experience! Gurgling and bubbling away you can hear the little one going about his work.

What a lovely feeling, I came downstairs afterwards and felt so moved, it still blows my mind that my little boy is living and growing inside my beautiful and glowing wife (I know I should grasp it by now but hey come on I'm a first timer!)

I feel incredibly attached and involved with the pregnancy, Pam is always encouraging me to listen and interact and I could not be more prouder of her.

We also got a whole host of appointments through as well, including two more scans! Great for us as we can take a peek at Jacob a couple more times before his arrival.

Bad for Mummy Smurf and her bladder though!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

From balls to breast...feeding

IT'S all about the anatomy tonight but reading a link Me the Man and the Baby posted earlier got me very angry.

Basically a woman was kicked out of Sports Direct for breastfeeding her child, now I probably shouldn't get as worked up about this but I do as it seems blokes are the main objectors to this.

Yes blokes find something wrong about mums breastfeeding in public, the very same that probably buy a well known national newspaper, probably admire ladies walking past and have detailed conversations about breasts and other things to admire on a woman.

My point being is I have never encountered a mum yet who sits there, top off, bra off, feeding her child. There is nothing remotely 'indecent' about public breastfeeding and I hope Mummy Smurf (who wants to breastfeed) will feel supported and confident to do the same.

I spoke to a couple of mums a few months ago from the local NCT group in my role as editor of a local newspaper and one mum was breastfeeding.

Now I am not stupid, I knew what she was doing, but there was nothing wrong with it as far as I was concerned and I certainly wasn't 'offended'. What really delighted me, as a man, was at no point did she feel she had to 'apologise' or even worse run to the toilets.

(Would you like to eat your lunch in the toilet? No, so why ask a little baby to do so?)

It's a natural process that is more natural than admiring pictures in a newspaper or checking a girl out as she walks past.

So guys (and some girls), stop being dinosaurs, otherwise local newspaper journalists like me will hunt you down and expose you

Me the Man and the Baby

Why this men and childcare debate is just 'balls'

I realise I am new on the scene with this but after reading Miriam Gonzalez Durantez defending dads who took a majority role in the childcare, I felt a blog coming on!

The lady concerned is the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, but don't let that put you off the rest of the blog nor her, she seems a pleasant lady and also Spanish so errr, don't wind her up!

Ms Gonzalez Durantez made a passionate defence of the role of fathers and then, in quite possibly the best use of the word, said the men who did the childcare and treat women as equals had the 'most cojones'.

Basically she was talking balls, no not rubbish, actual balls, the dogs danglers, the two veg sitting below the meat.

Because apparently since some daft bit of research showed 'hands-on' dads had smaller testicles, everyone has been seeking to comment on it.

Apparently, non fathers somehow squeeze testes the sizes of wrecking balls in their pants and once you have fathered a baby, they decrease in size due to a reduction in testosterone and ensure you won't stray

Well, to me that research is balls and yes this time I am saying its rubbish.

Since January,  I haven't felt less of a man, less virile and definitely not noticed anything shrinking!

To me, any man who takes a huge role in childcare, either as a stay at home dad or just someone who shares the childcare equally as I intend to do is a big hairy mass of man.

I've often thought of the phrase "Anyone can make a baby, it takes real man to be a father" and that is what every dad to be should think.

We as men have to get away from this archaic and frankly crap thought that mummies stay at home and daddy goes to work.

It's not like that for everyone, for us it will be as a) I earn more than Pam but most importantly b) Pam WANTS to stay at home and be a mum.

I grew up with a dad who went to work while mum stayed at home with me, he came home and immediately became hands on dad, allowing mum to have a break.

They shared everything and I appreciate them both, if I can be half the man and dad he was and still is then my little boy will be very loved indeed.

It's not about the size of the balls, it's how you use them! That's how we got here isn't it?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Let's talk about hormones

Right hormones, what have you done to my wife?

Before pregnancy she was normal, was able to keep a lid on her emotions and wasn't er, what's the word which won't get me in trouble? errr Ditsy?

Before we got married in 2011, I mentioned I was more than likely going to be a bit damp around the eyes (I cry easily ok get over it I could have been an actor!)

Her response? Don't as you will set me off which is Pammy code for I am feeling the same but if you can take the lead and be strong that will be great.

Goodness knows what will happen during the labour, can't exactly take the lead with that, but I digress.

Now we have moody days, rather ditsy days where she forgets something you told her seconds before and rather worryingly, openly crying days.

It all started when we started watching One Born Every Minute, from the first daunting episode when it was all a bit scary to the mum in waiting who now watches it, empathising with the mums!

A little boy on the most recent episode we watched, struggled with his breathing and off she went, tears rolling down her cheeks.

The thing about OBEM is they carry on the storyline until the end, this week appeared to take a turn for the worse. I was there holding her praying the little boy would come though (he did)

In short I now have no control over her eye-based waterworks, she's gone native, she's becoming a mummy!


SO we now definitely have movements, its as if the star of the show planned this weekend all along!

First of all our little blue bear put on a show for the scan and since Good Friday, Pam can feel little fluttering feelings in her belly or movements to you and me!

I feel a little left out but on the other hand its really nice to know mum and baby have a little private time together, her baby letting her know all is well in there!

Emotionally, Easter break has come at just the right time as things are really hitting me now. For some reason I have been focused on the pregnancy and the birth and gave no thought to day one....

Now we know we more than likely we are having a boy though, loads of thoughts are going through my head. Will I be a good dad? Will my son actually like me? Will I cope being a father and a husband?

The future is both awesome and bloody frightening at the same time, knowing a little boy will be part of our lives later this year is getting me through a pretty crap time at work.

And I know the baby will make us both happy, it's what we have both wanted pretty much since we met and certainly since we have been married.

The fear of the unknown is pretty scary though,  I guess all first time dads to be feel like this though?

Friday, 18 April 2014

We're having a boy! (Probably)

SO there we have it, it's a boy for me and Pam sometime in August.

The 20 week scan was always something we look forward to because we wanted to know whether bump was blue or pink!

But as time drew closer you realise how much more important is.

We were again in very safe hands at the hospital with a male sonographer this time. 

As first time parents we need calm reassuring words and have to thank both sonographers for their wonderful way the handled us.

Following checks on baby bears' skull, spine and limbs the sonographer even checked the blood flow - mind blowing stuff!

Ah but hold on the magician had more tricks up his sleeve! He even showed us our little baby's thigh bones!

And not content with already wowing mum and dad he gave us a close up of the little heart beating away.

This got me emotional again! From the little black dot at 12 weeks to this tiny little heart the size of a fingernail (apparently) baby boy bear's heart is the thing that makes me cry with pride

After letting a bursting wife go to the loo, it was time for the sex...no you dirty minded so and soes we weren't THAT happy with him!

Although not 100 per cent he searched and said he was pretty confident it was a little boy! A son and most probably a little Jacob for us to love and cherish.

And as you will see from the picture, after spending the scan moving, our little boy settled to give his mum and dad a lovely picture of the day!

It's another day which will live long in my memory, awesome experience!

What's next? Oh yes, the birth....

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bump Love

OK it's only tiny but I love Pam's little tum, always want to hold it.

I worry I am not normal and perhaps want one of my own, well I do but that is down to eating naughty things! 

But I guess it shows how attached and involved I feel. Understandably there is a bit of umming and arrrring from Pam who feels 'she going to be huge'

I've told her I love her for her and not whatever changes take place in her body.

But it's lovely to see a little shape emerging already, scary too when you think we are almost at 19 weeks.

It's fair to say I already communicte with bump, feeling it when I can but also say goodnight to it.

What is going to happen when we have kicks is unknown. Really don't know how I will feel, happy or concerned he/she isn't kicking enough?

In short it's a beautiful time, something I know I must help Pam enjoy. Lots of praise and compliments will help!

Scan in just over a week to see boy or girl? How did the last two MONTHS go by so quickly!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Another wonderful moment!

Just when you think pregnancy is already wonderful and amazing, it continues to make you smile with the littlest thing.

Another fab moment for us was the midwife appointment on Tuesday with Helen Kirby, a lovely midwife who clearly cares for her mums.
Everything is fine, bloods, wee, etc etc, gory etc!

We had a lovely appointment and then it was time, time to try and listen to baby bear’s little heartbeat.
Helen explained that sometimes it proved quite difficult to locate the heartbeat as not all babies are obliging and lying in a good position.

Well baby bear soon put her right! No sooner did the equipment go on her belly but that sound appeared, a sort of wavey like woo woo woo woo.
I didn’t quite cry this time but it was still a wonderful moment to hear him or her in Pam’s tummy and know he/she was so obliging. Apparently little one can hear us now so I can’t help wonder whether baby bear was being helpful to ensure we didn’t worry!

I know it meant a lot to Pam as well, she beamed the moment it appeared and I was delighted for her, another example of just how fantastic she is growing our baby and managing the pregnancy.
I just can’t get over pregnancy, it’s like Christmas ever few weeks as there always seems to be a treat for you to rejoice at.

Three weeks from now there will be another visit to see baby bear and find out whether we have a winky or no winky!

Until then baby bear we shall leave you in peace!

Are dad’s really excluded?

A lot has been written about dad’s being excluded in appointment’s and indeed in pregnancy itself.

I have read some books and daddy bloggers posts to get a sense of how other people feel and how I should feel.
And honestly yes we are ‘excluded’ but not in the way you think.  We can’t carry the baby, we can’t experience those hormones and how things grow and change, we can only understand and empathise as dads to be.

We won’t feel the baby kick inside us and we will not go through birth. So there is an exclusion of sorts but I don’t feel left out because I have tried to learn what Pam is probably feeling at all stages so far and if it’s good I get involved and enjoy.
If it’s tiredness, nausea or wobbly hormones, I support. I can’t feel it but I can help and that means more to me than anything!

I had the perfect result on Tuesday when she told me that she could only do it with the love and support she has gotten from me! That will do me fine.
And in terms of appointments, we dads are again ‘excluded’, midwife did so on Tuesday but again, it’s not about us! Pam gets all the attention and I was virtually ignored, but that’s ok as we aren’t there for me!

If I was made to feel uncomfortable then yes perhaps it would really be exclusion but truth is while the midwife hardly said a word to me, my presence was not unwelcome.

I am a newbie in the dad’s club so granted I might not exactly be an expert but fellas, always go to the important appointments, understand what she is experiencing and support her.
The truth is blokes, our ladies are the stars of the show until d-day and then we all know who then takes the leading role.

But you can’t put on a play without an excellent support cast, so don’t be afraid of the role.

Embrace it and enjoy it!