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She’s arrived, and the new chapter begins

After 30 hours of gruelling labour for my poor wife, our baby girl Amelia Josephine Howard finally arrived on the evening of the 8th April 2020.

It was a happy but tired occasion, as we’re in the delivery room, getting to know our new baby while the doctor and nurses tended to my wife. But then they decided that she was still losing blood which they couldn’t seem to stop, so they whisked her out to ICU.

That was pretty sudden, and then I was there all by myself with the baby, in a cold, empty delivery room, looking at all the blood on the floor that I hadn’t seen before. When a nurse came in to mop up the blood I was thinking to myself, ‘This wasn’t what I was expecting…’

Another nurse came in after a while and told me that everything was fine, that they were just monitoring my wife, and that she’d take me and the baby to our room.

I immediately had to learn how to change nappies and feed her. Something else I wasn’t expecting quite so soon.

I was there for the rest of the night trying to sleep, but not able to, because Amelia was making all these amazing and odd noises that I just couldn’t sleep while listening to them. Little coos, grunts, whistles and pops… It was fascinating.

The next morning I was able to visit my wife. She told me she had lost almost 40% of her blood from internal haemorrhaging and  had 3 blood transfusions. “I almost died.” I was a bit shocked. It really was that close to everything changing.

I was disappointed that the hospital staff didn’t tell me the truth, but I guess they didn’t want me to be one of those panicking husbands. As it was, the doctor was very apologetic for how things were.

But she was ultimately fine, and released from ICU after a couple days. Then there was another 5 days of staying in the hospital to help with her recovery, and we started to get to know our new baby daughter.

When we went to the hospital to start the process of having the baby induced (IVF baby was being induced a couple weeks early because natural births apparently results in more stillbirths), I had woken up that morning from a good sleep, but the next time I’d actually get even an hour’s sleep was 3 days later, the day after Fanfan came out of ICU. I was so tired….

Today, as I’m writing this, it’s exactly a month later, the 8th of May. What a month it’s been, as we’ve started settling into our new roles in life, into our new chapter in life.

I’m not going to lie to you. The first couple of weeks, there was so much shit. So much. Oh my. That’s eased off now, which is good. But I was also happy that she’s more of a whinger than a crier when she needs some attention for something. If she’s hungry or needs her nappy changed, she grunts and strains instead of cries. I hope that lasts as she contines growing older.

So I’ve been a daddy now for a month. And it’s been a real blast. Turns out I’m good at being a new dad. Changing nappies, feeding, getting her to settle… It’s easy enough. And I love it.

Tomorrow we’re taking some photos of her – it’s been a month now since she was born. And I’m going to take photos every month around the 8th, for the next few years until one day she leaves home. And I’m going to turn it into a collage video over time of her growth over the years. I think that will be awesome.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram to keep up with the photos! Or at the least, you can click on the Photos link at the top of the page, which shows you a feed of the photos from my Instagram.

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