What on earth has just ht me? Where am I and what time is it? …. And how many days have I been wearing this T-Shirt for?
OH MY GOD! He weighs less than 4Kg, I can hold him in one arm, and he has completely taken over. Like all new parents we have had good days and very bad days. A screaming baby is bad enough, but when that screaming baby is YOUR screaming baby, and your biological imperative is to do everything you can to keep him safe and happy…. It’s hard. The Wife is finding it especially hard to tune out the noise. It drills into your head, in a way another baby’s crying doesn’t. I had heard about this phenomenon before but I am surprised at how strong it is.
Aother change is that I have become Dadzilla. My life perspective is now quite bizzare and polarised. My facebook feed is full of revolting offspring photos, all I talk about is The Boy, I am boring all within earshot with tales of my cute amazing offspring, despite the fact that he can do nothing and keeps us awake all night screaming. the number of conversations I have with The wife about breasts has increased exponentially, but not in a good way. I’ll spare you the whole breast feeding saga bu needless to say, lots of time and energy is being devoted to it.
I can now see how important that oxytocin I mentioned in my earlier post is. You immediately fall in love with them in the first few hours and that feeling and that cuteness is what keeps the little sod safe when he is screaming at you for no apparent reason at 3AM. On a more unpleasant note I can really see how hideous things befall the infants of agressive, maladjusted, inarticulate men.
Standing there at my wits end in the small hours of the morning, not knowing what on earth to do to settle this little guy who has taken over my life (in a good way) I had a thought. I manage cardiac arrests, I calmly deal with life threatening asthma attacks, I deal with people at trauma calls with bits of their face missing …… but it’s a healthy screaming baby that has reduced me almost to tears and made me feel a useless failure. I’m sure all you other parents out there will agree, your living room at 3am with an inexplicably screaming child is an unexpectedly dark and unpleasant place.
The “Healthy” thing is another problem. The worst thing I could possibly imagine at the moment would be for something bad to happen to The Boy. North Korea launching nuclear war would be nothing in comparison! Every time he coughs the over protective new parent in me twitches with anxiety. Every spot on his face, every time he doesn’t feed well, I am convinced he has some hideous problem. I am a classic case of a little knowledge being a very dangerous thing. I know virtually no paediatrics, I spent 6 weeks out of my depth on a paeds ward as a student and that is the sum total of my experience. Children are not just small adults from a medical perspective, but inevitably I worry and invent problems in my head. Is there such thing as “Hypochondria by proxy”?
Everybody you speak to has advice, all conflicting, all “the only way to do it”. In my experience in Medicine, if there are numerous strongly expressed opinions there are inevitably no right answers. I will just comfort myself with that thought as I slink off to address some more nappy issues.