As regular readers will know my friend Dan Steel has been expecting the arrival of his first child… Well, a couple of days ago it arrived!… But, rather than write about it myself I will let Dan tell you his story in his own words. Welcome to the world of being a Tired Daddy mate, you are going to be a brilliant dad!
I don’t know if it was the raspberry tea, the reflexology or one of the many other things we tried (probably none of them) but at 7.06am on Friday 5th August Sebastian John Steel was finally born.
It started as the birth we had always planned (and stayed that way for the first 12 or so hours) but finished in a haze of ambulances and doctors. In the end though, I watched the woman I love go through more than I thought possible and come through strong and brave and I watched our son come into the world (fist first) alive and well. That’s all anyone can ask for.
The doctor referred to his exit as “Supermanning” and now after all the jokes made in the months leading up to the birth about possible names, we really do have our own Man of Steel. He is beautiful and perfect and ours. We really couldn’t be happier.
When you watch someone you love go through the pain I witnessed, it hurts you too. I felt so helpless and scared for her. Yet she never gave up and despite no sleep and no energy, she never put herself ahead of Sebastian. My love for Natalie changed during those hours into something even deeper than I thought we already had. And my love continues to grow every time I see her with him. She was and is- truly incredible!
As for my love of our son- I don’t know if I can explain it. In the months leading up to his birth I always said that it didn’t feel real- even when I could see Natalie’s bump growing and feel the baby moving- it just didn’t feel real. Early on the 5th, it suddenly became very, very real. Now, I feel a wave of emotions: fear, anxiety, joy but more than anything- Love. When he lay on my chest for the first time and his heart beat started to match my own, I felt a love like no other, a love that makes my heart hurt when I leave him or when he cries or when he just lies there peacefully.
For every step of the pregnancy and birth we have been in the care of the AMAZING midwives, doctors, nurses, paramedics and staff of the NHS. Of course there are issues with the system and we experienced some first hand. Yet, despite not enough staff and not enough money, the NHS is a wonderful thing and we would like to thank every single person we came into contact with. Especially:
➢ The exceptional staff at the New Forest Birth centre, whose care and support has been invaluable.
➢ The doctors, nurses and midwives at Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton who delivered Sebastian and who always put us first.
➢ The ambulance driver and paramedic who broke protocol to let me go in the ambulance (as well as the midwife) when they saw how upset we both were.
And…everyone else in the system that, along the way, made the safe arrival of our son possible.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Long live the NHS!!!
Okay, nappy changing time I think (it certainly smells like it)- let the fun commence.
Guest Author: Dan Steel