Dave Laurence, 33, shared his experience of becoming a first time father with Men’s Health. Baby Lily was born by caesarean section one week after her natural due date, weighing in at a mighty 4.4kg.
“We were impatient up until the caesarean was scheduled. When we got to the hospital we were just nervous for two hours and then bored waiting.
I watched the operation and took photos. I’m ok with blood and guts so it never crossed my mind not to be there. You know what, I don’t even remember holding it for the first time. Oh, yes I do. I was just so nervous because you want them to do the checks and be healthy and know that everything will be ok. So I carried her over to be weighed and I was still worried about my fiance who was waiting to get stitched up.
We stayed in hospital for three nights. We were offered to go to Birthcare but Nicci was still in a bit of pain and we liked the midwives so we stayed. The baby has a lot of bile and mucus and is vomiting up in the first days, so you’re worried it’s going to choke. Even now we find ourselves checking her breathing when she sleeps.
Yeah, it’s what I expected. I’ve been around a lot of newborn babies. People talk about how exhausting it is but I think the constant reward of being a Dad totally outweighs that. Every time she does something new you’re pretty happy.
I had to go back to work straight away. I’ve got a mortgage to pay and I’ve been in my job less than six months so I’m not eligible for parental leave. But we’re really lucky, ‘cos we’ve got a super strong support network of family and friends.
I’m looking forward to coming home every day and seeing what’s she’s learnt. You can see when she opens her eyes now that she’s absorbing everything like “What’s going on in this world?” although she can’t really see anything.
She’ll fall asleep on anybody’s warm body, anything with a heartbeat. She doesn’t like her bassinet so we’ve started putting a hottie in to warm it up before putting her to bed. She cries every time I change her nappies. She gets very hangry – she got her Dad’s appetite. She didn’t like her first bath. You get annoyed when she’s not sleeping but she’s just so cute. When I look at her I just feel love. It’s unlike anything else. It’s very fulfilling.
I want heaps of kids. My partner said she would have agreed to that a couple of days after the birth, but now she’s back to wanting just two. The amount of children we want in the future is directly proportional to the amount of sleep we’ve had.
The biggest advice I can give is to try and not worry as much as possible. Like, humans are designed to be parents, so if it’s not sleeping, it will eventually sleep, so don’t lose your shit. Just roll with it.”