Becoming a Father

Published 13th May 2016

On the 23rd March 2016 at 10:31pm my life changed. I had spent months pre-empting what it would be like to become a father. What would the experience of labour be like? How would we handle looking after a child 24/7? How would I feel when I first saw my child? As anyone who is already a parent will tell you it is an amazing, life changing experience.

We spent the previous 2–3 years trying very hard to have a family. It was a long haul with many struggles, praying hard and lot’s of failed patience involved. However when Joshua John Pellegrom was finally born all of that faded into insignificance. He’s is now seven weeks old and it still feel’s surreal that he is here.

Reflecting on the experience of the last seven weeks here are some things worth noting:

  • Disclaimer: There are entirely my opinions and if there is something I have learned from being pregnant/having a baby it’s that everyone’s experience is totally different. So don’t treat this as gospel.
  • The one thing I didn’t pre-empt was how I would feel watching Fiona in serious pain during labour. It struck me because I wasn’t expecting to feel like I did when I witnessed it. It was tough seeing someone you love in that much physical pain. One of the midwives later told me that seeing your partner in that condition can actually be the source of postnatal depression in fathers.
  • My initial thought after Joshua was born was “I hope he’ll be OK”. I don’t just mean OK in the short term, but throughout his life I hope he doesn’t succumb to some kind of tragedy. I assume it’s quite a natural parental reaction to have concern for your child in this way (despite seeming a bit morbid).
  • Joshua has slept pretty well from the get-go so I can’t comment too much on this, but lack of sleep is not something that has bothered me. People always talking about lack of sleep after having a child as a really negative thing. I like to think it’s just a change in routine. It’s different not bad.
  • Working from home with a baby in the house hasn’t been as distracting as I thought it would be. It’s actually pretty neat being around and able to witness his growing first hand.
  • One thing that is true is that you don’t have any “free” time after having a baby, but that’s ok as having a baby take up your time is pretty great.

He is a miracle. I could just sit and watch him for hours. I can feel my love for him welling up inside of me. There is nothing better in my life right now than when my seven week old son smiles at me. At this point I’m beginning to understand just how much of a gift from God a child really is. And for that I am so thankful (we both are). We truly believe that God has given us the gift of new life and everything that comes with it. What an awesome privilege and responsibility.