Fatherhood: Thoughts Of A First Time British Father

fatherhood : first time father

And Red Bull. Lots of Red Bull.

(Written by Halit Bozdogan) 6 weeks ago, I joined that proud fraternity of men who all share one thing in common; fatherhood. Alfie James was born healthy and he was born happy. I’m not going to go through the entire labour. It was an intense experience and I was a mixture of things at that point. Tired being the majority. Unshowered also being right up there. Of course, I’m not saying that my partner had it easy. Of course not, she was a trooper. What she did was amazing. She pushed a little person out of her and into the world. That takes more than courage. It takes character.

So it’s 6 weeks on. And I know it sounds like a cliché but it’s really flown by. A good solid night’s sleep is now a teasing mistress who infrequently calls. But I’m still pumped on the whole experience. I’m ridiculously happy. It’s difficult sure. Those night time feeds can really take it out of you. Luckily, when you’re in a relationship, you can deal with it because your workload is often cut 50%. So we take turns. I’m happy to do 2am feed as I don’t get to sleep until around midnight anyway, so it feels like I’ve not really gotten any sleep. After that, my partner takes over, allowing me 4-5 hours rest.

It’s definitely not true when they say you don’t get any sleep. You really do. It’s just broken up. Intermittant. Sporadic. But you learn to deal with it.

becoming a fatherOften, since we brought Alfie home, I find myself standing over him. Just watching him sleep. At 3am in the morning. This isn’t just because I think he’s adorable. No, I’m also worried out of my mind about him breathing. I stand there with a ear pointed at him, sure that something is wrong. I prod him occasionally in the middle of the night because I am certain, certain he has stopped breathing. He hasn’t of course. He’s dreaming of milk and wondering what that warm feeling is that happens down below several times a day. But I never thought I would worry so much about something.

It seems I’m not the only one like this. Recently, three of my friends have had children for the first time. I thought I might be overreacting but overreacting seems to be the norm. They do the same; think the same crazy thoughts and worry about the same things and this actually makes me feel a little better. That I’m doing things right.

When I do have him on my chest and he’s snoozing soundly, I think about all the possibilities for him. All the things he’s going to get to do. Like taste chocolate for the first time. Play basketball with his old man. Watch the Batman trilogy and let me explain why Heath Ledger’s Joker was the defining interpretation of the character.

I may be tired, but I’ll never tire of him.

{Images courtesy of Author}

About the author: Halit Bozdogan spends  his nights bottle feeding, nappy changing and baby rocking and  his day writing.

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