His arrival means I'm a DAD!
It was such a surreal, out of body type experience. Being a blogger and having to write about the birth of your first born child is an almost impossible task - how can you put something like that into words? It's not possible to do the experience justice. What I can say though, is that everything about life changed in a heartbeat!
Luckily, we were prepared well in advance. The hospital bag was packed, we had ample coinage in the car, the fuel tank was full and we'd been to all of our classes. We drove to the hospital on Thursday evening (he was born in the early hours of Friday May 3rd) for what we thought was a routine check up and planned to go to a local bar for mocktails afterwards (thats pregnancy friendly, alcohol free cocktails for those unfamiliar). We didn't leave the hospital for another 4 days! By the time my wife was being checked over by the midwife, it was apparent (to her, not us) that Dianas waters had already broken and she was having contractions. I could hear what sounded like a dying cow in the room next to us, and yet my wife couldn't even feel her contractions? How was that possible? Diana was so incredibly calm. Not me. I thought I still had 22 days to mentally prepare myself, and yet it was becoming increasingly apparent that I was just hours away from becoming a Dad! And hours was all it took. 4 hours and 40 mins of sweating, looks of anger and hatred, possessive behaviour over the gas and air pipe and plenty of hand squeezing. Thats all it took for life to change.
(Tired, emotional, PROUD!)
I watched my son enter the world, and before he was even placed on my wife's chest I was in tears. We all were. For any Father to be that may be reading this and is questioning whether or not he wants to accompany his partner to the delivery suite… do it. Being right by my wife's side and watching her deliver our son, and cutting the umbilical cord so he could be free, and become his own little being was without doubt the greatest moment in my life to date. I very much doubt that it is something that will ever be topped. I told myself, I wouldn't actually glance down and see the messy part. I told myself that the business end was for people with business being there, and that I would stay at the head end and support my wife and that's all that I would need to do. Curiosity, however got the better of me (many times) and I am so happy that it did. I wouldn't take back a single second of our experience. It didn't quite happen as we'd planned it, or imagined it but when you finally get chance to catch your breath, and you hold that baby in your arms and look into his eyes together as a new family… nothing matters. Nothing matters but that little circle of love you have between the 3 of you. The love I felt was overwhelming. Every moment felt more magical than the last as reality tried to set in.
(My absolute everything!)
My wife had to have a couple of stitches after the birth, and I sat in a chair beside her holding onto our son. He was minutes old, wrapped in blankets and slowly looking around, attempting to take in his blurred surroundings. I shielded his eyes from the bright light on the ceiling and whispered words to him that I no longer recall. My heart felt like it might burst. My eyes were wet and my throat dry. I looked into his eyes and realised that all of the things I had let stress me out recently were so insignificant that it was laughable. I realised that most of the things I wanted from life could wait. My whole outlook had changed without warning. I had a new priority. I had expected that, and had already made sacrifices as the pregnancy journey progressed, but not to the extremes that I felt in those moments. The closest words I can use to describe the change of outlook, is that I suddenly realised why I was living; what my purpose was and why I was put here on this planet. Even that doesn't seem to come anywhere close to doing the feeling justice. Life had just… changed, and changed for the better. So much better.
When I set out on this blogging adventure, I said that I would treat it as a way of expressing my thoughts and putting them on record. I'd like to take this brief moment to let the world know just how proud I am of my wife (insert screwed up, soppy, vomit face here). She was absolutely amazing. No pain relief, no screaming, no cursing - just a whole lot of will power, determination and strength. That night, she gave me the best gift that I could ever hope for and during those hours, I don't think I've ever loved her more. She may have looked at me like she wanted to remove most of my vital organs with her bare hands from time to time, and she may have attempted to cut off all circulation in my hands, but what she did? Delivering a life so precious safely into this world? Nothing that I or anyone else can do will ever come close to that.
Clayton Lucas Costa Costello was born at 01.40am on Friday 3rd May, 22 days early. He weighed 6lbs and 6oz. I cant wait to share his journey with you all. This is going to be the wildest rollercoaster I've ever come across...