I was so excited when I found out I was going to be a dad. For as long as I can remember I have wanted a family of my own. To meet someone who had chosen to love me and to make a child with her who would be a bit of both us. That is all I ever wanted in life.
As soon as I found out Lyndsey was pregnant I started to feel nervous though. What if I turned out to be a rubbish dad? What if I didn’t know what to do, or how to look after the baby? What if I couldn’t teach her the things she needed to know, or keep her safe like I wanted to? After all, dads are supposed to look and act a certain way. They are supposed to be wise, strong and capable. They are supposed to be able to do anything. I felt like none of these things applied to me.
Lyndsey’s pregnancy and delivery didn’t go to plan and before I knew it I was stood wearing scrubs in the operating theatre, crying, terrified that I was about to lose my wife and my child. Terrified and knowing there was nothing I could do. Less like a dad than it is possible to feel.
Then it happened. My daughter was born. She was wrapped in blankets, a little pink hat pulled over her head, and I was called over to cut her umbilical cord. With Lyndsey out of action I was handed our baby for the first time. I could hardly see her face through the tears that were now flowing freely from my eyes. She seemed buried in the blanket and far too small to be allowed. As I looked down at her I felt the most important thing to do right then was clearly to start counting her body parts. One head – check. Two arms, two legs, 10 fingers, 10 toes. Two eyes, a nose a mouth, 2 ears. Nothing looking like it shouldn’t. So far so good.
I don’t think I will ever tell Erin that the first thing I did when I held her was to make sure she wasn’t deformed. I don’t know if other dads have ever done this but it seemed very important to me at the time!
After I had been holding her for a while she started to cry a bit. I decided that the best way to calm her was to rap twinkle twinkle little star. She seemed to like it.
Four months on from that day and I cannot remember ever not being a dad.
Being with Erin and looking after her feels as natural to me as breathing. I hate the fact I have to work so much and only see her in the evenings but I have bathtime, storytime and bedtime with her and they are our times.
She smiles when I come home and she sees me now. She likes my singing and my silly games I play with her.
It is impossible to describe the feeling of being a dad or the love you feel for a small little person who depends on you for everything. Suffice to say that I feel a gaping hole in my heart than filled whenever I hold her in my arms.
There is no such thing as a typical dad and perhaps no one can feel like one until they actually are one.
I feel like a dad now, and I love it. I adore my family.