Seeing as I’m starting to write blogs now I thought I may as well start with the blog on my list that I feel is hardest to write. I’m not sure how much this one would help another dad but at least any future posts about shit times will probably be a bit easier to write.
For this one you need a bit of back story. We’d spent the weekend in London at a friend’s wedding but driving back C was getting stabbing headache pains. We headed in to A&E at 7pm, got seen, I left at 9pm to get some formula (he’d had breast until this point), feed him (I’d fed him 4 times at this point), back to hospital for 11pm and then left again to take the bairn home at 1am-ish with C still in hospital waiting for a room. She’d been seen and the line of thought went infection so she was on anti-biotics with the next steps of investigation being a virus and then potentially a bleed on the brain (the risk of each happening was explained).
Let’s fast forward a whole 2 hours to 3am in the morning when the bairn next needed a feed. Nappy changed and feed done, he really wasn’t arsed about the changeover to formula, but he wouldn’t go back to sleep. He wasn’t crying or anything, just wasn’t asleep. So, I tried to do what C had been doing and sing him to sleep (ok, go on. Add in a joke about how bad I am at singing. Don’t feel bad, I know I’m bad at singing). I got half way through Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams, which C had been singing to him a lot, and I just broke down.
For whatever reason, ideas of the worst came to my mind and I had this overwhelming sense that I just couldn’t do it. Would I really be able to look after a human who was 4 weeks old for the rest of his life? I convinced myself it could end up just being me and him (although I knew the odds of this were tiny, like really fucking tiny) and just started planning in my head how I’d make sure he knew how amazing his mam was. I finished off the song, still crying. God knows what he thought was going on.
The next 5 minutes was a weird mix of me cuddling him and rocking him to sleep while still crying but at some point, in those 5 minutes, my rational side seemed to come back in to play and I convinced myself it would all be ok. I felt like I realised how unlikely the worst was and just started to get on with it. Put him down, slept a bit and then it was just back in to the routine of feed, sleep, poop, repeat.
I’ve not really felt calm enough again until now, nearly 5 weeks later, that I can start to recognise aspects of what went through my mind properly and start to reflect on it. Now that I can, a little, the depth of emotion and the speed at which my feelings came on then seemed to disappear is something I’ve definitely never been through the before. I think it may well have been a panic attack – I say ‘may’ because I’ve never experienced one before. Also, with how crazy the 3 weeks afterwards were I don’t really know how much I actually calmed down and how much of the ‘calming down’ was just focussing on getting through everything and those emotions getting buried. I’m not sure if I’ll ever work that out.
The bairn has seen me at my most scared, my most vulnerable and the most upset that I’ve ever been. That is a weird thing to know for me, for him it probably just confirmed that his mam is a much better singer than his dad.
**Just as a bit of an update. C is out of hospital and doing well, the bairn is doing really well and seeing him develop and change is the most amazing thing.