I can’t believe just how quickly the past five weeks have gone. Our little boy is five weeks (and one day!) old already and he’s changed so much in that time. He’s gone from tiny little wrinkled newborn to a tiny little boy who’s only just starting to interact with the world. He stares contentedly at his musical mobile. His eyes beaming with delight each time one of the colourful animals makes a pass before his eyes. Sitting in his chair, “Mr Chicken”, a brightly coloured plastic animal attached to the chair, catches his attention and with all the concentration he can muster, he attempts to swipe it with a fisted hand. It’s fascinating to watch this blank canvas start to take colour.
I think I finally feel like a parent. Once the visitors have stopped coming around, the congratulatory balloons have deflated and the celebratory flowers have withered and gone you realise that this is now your life. It is not a joyful but momentary interruption.
The first weeks were the hardest. It took me a while to really get into the swing of things and really bond with Luke; through no fault of his. I was very ill when he was born. Debbie didn’t want me really doing much for Luke until I was better. This was not only very altruistic but also protecting Luke from taking a tumble if I collapsed again. The result was that I felt that I wasn’t yet a parent but merely an observer. She was expertly changing nappies and dressing him and I stared at him knowing that I could do nothing for him. It wasn’t until the end of the week and I finally felt that I could take care of his basic needs. Then we stared at him a lot wondering what we were supposed to do.
Night times were a battle. His feeding was erratic and painful for Debbie and he wouldn’t settle on his own. He had to be held all the time. This is not actually a chore. I love holding him and feeling his warmth but there are occasions that you just need both of your arms to get things done.
Now, I feel that we’re making some progress. His feeding has settled down with only the odd fussing here and there. Night times are better now that he sleeps between us in his own little “Snuggle Nest” and will happily settle in the evenings in his rocker chair.
I wake each day and look forward to what it may bring. I know we have many more challenges to beat along the way but I finally feel like a dad.