Quick Lessons after 1.5 Weeks of Being a Dad

Home birth is better - so definitely investigate the option. Not everybody can do home births, so don’t feel bad about it.

Midwives are awesome [1]

Labour is crazy - it’s unbelievable to see the ebb and flow of the contractions like clockwork

A new way to love - the love for your child is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. It’s an intense love. Imagine the moment that you’ve been angriest, just absolutely filled with rage that your blood is boiling and your fists are clenched. The love for your baby is the positive version of that

Get the Vitamin K shot

Don’t get the eye ointment  - unless you have gonorrhea

Don’t get the Hep-B vaccine - unless you have Hep-B or never plan on going to the hospital again

Breastfeed if you can - BUT IT’S OK IF YOU CAN’T!! [2]

Newborns are less than useless - they give nothing back. Their bodies are just barely attached to their brains, and their brains are just getting wired.

Changing diapers isn’t a big deal at all

The mother needs A LOT of support - she just went through this crazy labour process, and is now primarily responsible for keeping this new human being alive. That’s more than enough responsibility.

Prepare for the first minute -when the baby comes out that’s when you’ll know for sure if there are any super obvious problems. I didn’t realize how anxious I would be until it actually happened.

Prepare for the first day - the first 24 hours are also crucial in establishing a bunch of important metrics. Can they see? Hear? Are they going to survive?

Prepare for the first week - Lack of sleep. Tons of emotions. Still relatively high likelihood baby won’t survive. New class of issues get sorted out. Can they digest milk ok? How much do they cry? Are they gaining weight?

Parents are awesome - you don’t appreciate everything your good parents have done for you until you become a parent yourself and realize how hard everything is. Now I look at other parents and give them mental high-fives.

[1] - We ended up having a hospital birth for medical reasons, but it was still a million times better having our midwives there. We trusted the life of our baby to Jaime Shapiro and Nile Nash and we couldn’t have been happier. I can’t recommend them enough.

[2] - Nobody says you shouldn’t breastfeed, so I don’t understand why there are so many pro-breastfeeding groups and stuff out there. The problem with many of these breastfeeding advocates is that they make mothers who can’t breastfeed feel inadequate. I just saw an article posted the other day with the title “Good Mothers Breastfeed” implying if you don’t breastfeed then you’re a bad mother. For mothers that want to breastfeed but can’t, it’s already a super emotional thing (just read people’s stories on the Internet). So adding this judging aspect to it just makes it all the worse, particularly in the time when the mother needs the most support.