Wednesday 14 March 2018
It’s not often you hear what the guys think about it all, so I asked Ben what was going on in his mind throughout pregnancy, labour and the start of parenthood.
How did you feel when Emma told you she was pregnant? Did you actually believe her?
Shocked. Didn’t believe her at all no. I think my words were “f@#k off, don’t lie”. We’d been told it would be 1 in a million chance of happening naturally, so automatically ruled that out as a possibility.
How do you think her pregnancy went? What do you think she found the hardest?
First 16 weeks she struggled A LOT. Morning sickness hit her hard, particularly at night. She was tired, run down, and battled to get by each day. After that, she smashed it. Kept up going to the gym, continued to excel at work, and was her normal self. The odd bit of fatigue and sickness crept in occasionally, but overall, I think she was amazing.
Were you ever worried that something was going to go wrong?
Not really. Everything happens for a reason. As sad as it would be if something did go wrong, I’m pretty content in knowing that life still goes on, and we’d adjust as needed.
You’ve seen Emma in LOTS of pain before, what was labour like in comparison?
Brutal. Never has Emma given me a headache while screaming in pain. But, to battle through 6 hours of it without any pain relief, speaks volumes about her mental strength. She tried to give up – I reminded her that it wasn’t really an option and that she had to keep going. Bit of tough love helps on occasion.
As the male and support person, how did you find labour?
Easy. I had one job, to keep her as calm as possible, and be the shoulder to cry on/hand to squeeze. We had no complications, so that was easy. But, we had discussed previously that if there were to be complications, we would back the doctors best advice and not get stressed about decisions needing to be made. The hardest part about labour was not eating for 7 hours.
After rounds of unsuccessful fertility treatments, how does it feel to be a Dad?
Greatest feeling in the world. Riley makes me feel important, and all the small stresses in life just disappear. The love you feel for your child is something you just cannot describe. I am proud to be a dad, and could not be happier. I can’t wait to have more!!
What’s one piece of advice you have for dads to be/new dads?
Get involved. Do what you can, where you can. Whether that’s for the child or to help mum in some way, just get stuck in. Even the filthy stuff - change nappies, give them a bath, burp them, get dribbled on and covered in spew. Do as much as you can, you’ll be surprised at how little you care about being covered in vomit and crap when there is a big smile glaring back at you.
Anything else you’d like to say?
- - We got A LOT of advice from A LOT of different sources prior to having Riley. None of it helped. Listen to your child, they’ll tell you exactly what they need and when they need it.
- - Relax – you’ll figure shit out as you go. No one knows the secret to being a perfect parent, we all have to learn as we go; just chill.
- - Communicate with your partner, make sure you still have your time together, and work as a team. Things are a lot easier for everyone when you work together.
- - Enjoy your time with your child. Your time flies by too quickly not to.