Welcome aboard the good ship, HMS Panic Stations. Crewed by myself and one, but very soon two passengers. Bound on a voyage across the unknown and extremely choppy waters of parenthood. I’ve been warned about the countless perils: mutiny and desertion from friends, piracy from the newest crew member as well as the dwindling treasure supplies.
Anyway, let’s leave the nautical and pirate references there and get to the real issue at hand.
I’m not completely sure it has totally sunk in. You join me around 4 weeks from lift off, or is that not really the appropriate terminology? You get the gist. My girlfriend and I have sat through the courses, read the books and are now the proud owners of a bizarre Google history after attempting to self diagnose a series of issues throughout pregnancy.
I think we’re going into this pretty well informed.
She’s nervous about labour. I’m incredibly nervous about labour, but trying to keep my cool in front of her. Don’t mention it if she asks. I’m trying to maintain the positive mental attitude.
I’ve slowly (probably slower than I should have) come to terms with the fact that my main function during this time is literally to make sure shit gets done. Not necessarily by me, but make sure stuff is getting done.
So hopefully stuff is getting done. I’ve probably forgotten something. Isn’t there a type of party planner I can book to help?
I remember sitting through one of the NCT courses where I was continually reassuring myself I was not like ‘Jamie from Luton’. Who, according to the scenario exercise the class was given, was completely useless through pregnancy, labour and beyond.
Whoever put together the class coursework wasn’t a fan of Luton, as every negative character seemed to be from there. I’ll be honest I’m not really familiar with the town so it could be a fair reflection as the only thing that springs to mind when I think of Luton is the airport. As well as Jamie now. I’ll leave that down to the Luton Tourist Board to sort out.
Jamie from Luton aside, I thought the NCT courses were pretty worthwhile. We only pretty recently moved to the area, so it was a good opportunity to meet other soon-to-be-parents, and I think it focused us a bit more of what to expect. From my point of view there’s a big and understandable focus on labour and the act of giving birth. But what I think the course highlighted (and what was definitely useful for me) was going through what might happen straight after the birth. Immediately after, one day after, one week, one month etc.
Cuts to footage of the midwife handing me the baby with a quick ‘see ya’ before we’re all nudged out the hospital exit labelled ‘Good luck’.
But I think we’re getting there. Fingers crossed everything we’ll need in the first few weeks and months has either arrived or soon will. We spent a chaotic Saturday afternoon in Mothercare a few weeks ago with a personal shopper, which was a god send when it came to making decisions on which pram or car seat was best for us.
The personal shopper bit might sound fancy and expensive but it’s easy to book and completely free, just book through the Mothercare website.
I didn’t really have a theme or direction for this blog entry when I started it. For me it was more to do with getting something down on paper that I can potentially look back on in a couple of months or a year’s time.
Maybe we can call it a somewhat longwinded introduction. I’ve recently joined The Dadsnet groups on Facebook and it has quickly become a great resource.
Apparently I’m what’s called a ‘lurker’, which I’m reliably informed refers to a group member who reads a lot of the posts but doesn’t necessarily post.
The level of reassurance the members of the community, who are either in the exact same position or have first hand experience of it, can’t be underestimated and its refreshing to see a group have open and frank conversations about parenting and life in general.
I think the relationships you start as a ‘dad’ with other dads is different than the ones made pre-fatherhood. They’re by no means better or worse. Just different. I think there’s an unspoken respect there. An imagery doff of the cap which says ‘I know mate, I’ve been there’ but also with an encouraging ‘we’re in this together’.
Anyway, before I take up anymore of your time I’ll leave it there. Off to procrastinate in a garage that needs organising.
Please let me know if you’d like to hear more from the adventures aboard HMS Panic Stations, if so I’ll try and cobble something together along the way.