Monday, March 27, 2006

Long overdue update

I know, I know. I'm slack. I haven't really done a decent blog since Andrew was born (despite my best intentions) but I do plan on fixing that right now!

There's been way too much that has happened in the last five months to go through here, so you'll have to forgive me if I steer you over to Julia's Blog for all the details. For now you'll have to be happy with a recap of the big day, and a quick catch-up on what life has been like since Andrew James Beckitt entered my life.

B Day

Even though we had both been preparing for this day for, well, at least 9 months, it still kind-of hit me by surprise. Jules had been denying her contractions all day and I'd been doing my best to pretend that they weren't happening all the way through dinner that night. While we were doing the dishes I suggested that perhaps we should look at finalising the choice of baby names. You know - "just in case". That's when we finally came up with the option of Andrew James Beckitt. We'd tried both Andrew and James in different combinations in the past, but this was the first time we'd tried them together and it just felt right somehow. I had been having trouble settling on a name up until then. You could imagine how hard making a decision that will stay with someone for the rest of their life would be for a bloke who took as long as I did to decide to propose.

Anyway... by about 11pm that night I was still in denial and frantically trying to get to sleep for the next day. Meanwhile Jules' "contractions" seemed to be getting worse. By just after midnight we had called the hospital (I had finally realised that this might actually be the real thing) and let them know what was going on. They suggested that we stay home for as long as we could, but we were on the road not long after 1am.

After being dropped off at the hospital by Jules' parents the rest of the night was a bit of a blur. We got settled into the birthing room and Jules was into the shower to help with the pain pretty much straight away. We were expecting to be in there for quite a while - the midwife thought at first it would be another 6-8 hours before the final stages of labour. It felt like we were both sitting there in the shower for ages, but I guess it was really only a few hours. Jules even joked at one point about it was a bit boring just sitting there in the shower.

We eventually got the midwife back in around 4.30am to give her another exam and it looked like it was all systems go. She was ready to give birth!

Looking back I still can't believe how amazingly strong Jules was through the whole process. To think that she went through the whole process at all is just incredible, but knowing that she did it all without any drugs is even more amazing.

Apart from a few scary moments when Andrew's heart rate dropped, and excluding the slightly 'messier-than-hoped' final stages, everything really went pretty well. Of course, I can say most of that fairly confidently given that all I was doing was some hand-holding and a bit of photo-taking at the end. Jules was doing all the hard work.

So... at 5.01am on Friday the 14th of October, 2005, Andrew James Beckitt arrived.

Life with AJ

You can read all the books you like, and go to all the classes you like, but I think the best preparation in the end was just to 'expect anything'. Mind you, I think having a missus with the maternal instincts that Jules has is a definite advantage. ;-)

It's definitely been a ride thus far with the new addition to the household. A huge learning curve for me, too. Even though I have four little nephews I've never had a whole lot to do with babies. Everything from holding them through to changing/dressing/feeding has been a new experience for me.

It's amazing how much he has grown and changed in the last 5 months, too. It doesn't seem that long ago when he could nestle into the crook of my elbow, but now he fills up most of my arm.

So... what have been the highs and lows so far?

Lows: The initial sleepless nights (although getting some quality 'Daddy-time' was nice in the early days), discovering that I have a low tolerance for the sound of crying babies - I can get a bit cranky sometimes, being demoted to third in the chain of command in the house and being able to go to only one movie in the last five months.

Highs: Holding my baby boy for the first time, realising that I might actually be able to handle this after all, seeing him smile at me when I get home from work, making him laugh, hearing his first words last night - "Dad-dad-dad-dad".

There are plenty more highs and plenty more lows, but I think the highs are definitely winning out so far.

Might leave it at that for now, but will try and keep this thing a bit more up to date from now on.

To finish up, here's a recent photo of my Little Man:

I know I could have posted one of him smiling, but this one just seemed so 'him'.




At 3/28/2006 06:03:22 PM, Margie said...

Hi Daniel, It is so nice to hear things from a 'daddys point of view'.. us women are so good at sharing our feelings - I love hearing about yours. Keep up the good work.

At 3/28/2006 07:44:53 PM, Sven said...

Looks just like his dad :)

At 5/18/2006 01:38:28 PM, Hogan Hilling said...

Dear Daniel,

I didn't know how else to contact you. So I'm doing it via this blog.

My name is Hogan Hilling, husband to wife, Tina, and father to three boys, Grant (18), Wesley (16) and Matthew (12).

I’m co-writing a book with a mom, Jesse Rutherford. The tentative title is What Dads Want Moms To Know.

Jesse and I have already received some great input from many fathers and are looking for other fathers who would like to contribute their experiences and/or opinions on fatherhood. And more importantly share comments on what they would like moms to know. My email address is - Subject: Proud Dads.

Feel free to forward this message to other fathers in your social circle.

Here is your chance to voice your opinions and thoughts. Anonymously if you like.

We have several publishers reviewing our proposal. One has already made us an offer. We hope to have this book available in the bookstores by summer of 2007.

I posted a brief bio at the end of this post.


Hogan Hilling

Hogan Hilling, is a 1995 California Courage to Care Award recipient; author of The Man Who Would Be Dad, Capital Books, 2002 and Motivational Speaker.

For 15 years Hilling has served as an instructor for expectant father classes at various hospitals in southern California; as a facilitator of open discussion groups with fathers; and conducted workshops for mothers on fathering issues throughout the United States.

Hilling has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s The Other Half and Unsung Heroes, and in an ABC “Fathers and Sons” Documentary. His writing has been featured in newspapers such as the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Portland Oregonian, and Christian Science Monitor. Hilling has also worked as a guest columnist on fathering issues for the Orange County Register.

Hilling has also been a featured speaker at the Lamaze International Conference,
Northwest Area Childbirth Educators Forum, Conferences for Parents of Children With Special Needs and other Parenting Events.


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