Firstly, what you’re explaining is wholly normal. First baby is challenging. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Feeding every two hours is hard on everyone – baby included. It is also made even harder after a c-section, as mum may be struggling to produce enough milk unknowingly.
My wife and I discovered this with our first born, who was promptly put on the bottle and all went much smoother.
I too found the sleep deprivation hard, due to work etc. But this will pass. Take what others say with a pinch of salt. You never know how involved they are, how much mum is doing or if they’re saving face. Again – known from experience.
The fact that you want to support mum is mega and shows you care. That’s a step in the right direction. Take pride in being a good dad.
Few tips that may help:
– perhaps introduce white noise to baby to sooth (both our newborns hated silence)
– swaddling and shushing (intervals of 5 as you cuddle upright) also work
– get some good old skin to skin with little one as much as poss. Works wonders for the bonding process.
– make sure you do some exercise to burn off those low hormones from lack of sleep. Seems paradoxical but will get you pumping with more positive hormones to help connect.
Be kind to yourself. Keep up the good work.