Kayne has convinced me that I am not only going to contribute to this blog with my technical skills, but that my writing skills need to be put to good use here too. So what better post to start on than my entrance into the exclusive fraternity of fatherhood and all the joys, perils and adventures that accompany it?
Fatherhood has always been something I have looked forward to, since as far back as my early teenage years. Yes, I’ll admit that may be a little strange, but it is true. I think it may be the fault of all my younger siblings – I felt a responsibility for them as the oldest child. I assisted my parents in the nappy duties, reading bed time stories duties and more duties I seem to have forgotten now. Anyhow, my turn to become a real parent came on Monday the 14th March 2016 when our daughter Aston Sharisa Pilling was born into the world.
It started off like any other day. We were asleep. At 1:00am that is. That’s about when things started to suggest that this wouldn’t be like any other day. I wouldn’t have known though, as only Kayne had woken up with some unfamiliar pains. Her attempts to wake me were in vain, apparently. She even included some friendly physical contact resembling a half-duplex high five… but I still slept through. After an hour or so of pain, and vain attempts at waking her slumbering husband, Kayne finally succeeded. We left the bedroom and the contractions started.
Let me just say, contractions do not look like fun. I know my wife had a fantastic labour (as far as labours go), but even a good labour looks (and sounds) like a challenge. And that is an understatement. Kayne would pace back and forth, hand on her back, or she would kneel over the swiss ball and groan, or she would kneel against the couch huffing and puffing. It was certainly a lot of work – and the whole time all I could do was watch, or hand her a drink between contractions, or hold her and help her sway to relieve the pain. I think my respect for women ( which is already mighty high ) grew just a bit taller.
Before we knew it, or perhaps before I knew it, the time was six O’clock, or near to it, and we decided that since the contractions were so close a call to the midwife may be in order. Good decision there, I must say. Our midwife, Hannah, who is absolutely awesome picked up her phone that early and came around promptly. Hannah performed a quick check to identify how eager this child was to meet us. Kayne and I were sure we had a few more hours, perhaps one or two in the afternoon was likely, but some concerning facial expressions from Hannah suggested otherwise. “You’re going to have this baby within the hour…” was the jurisdiction. Oh. That’s a surprise. Hannah’s next instructions were something along the lines of “Pack your things and go to the hospital. Oh, and don’t muck around.” Boy, that escalated quickly.
So off to the hospital we were, with my wife in agonising pain every minute or two, writhing in the passenger seat saying “I can’t do this! This is so painful!”. Well, it wasn’t even seven O’Clock yet, and the sun was just about to rise, but like our daughter, was still preparing to meet the world. So the exciting drive to the hospital took all of five minutes, which was certainly a good thing. I dropped Kayne off at the entrance, found a park, and then walked to the maternity suite on the second floor. I think I may have skipped the stairs this time.
When I reached the maternity suite, or the birthing area, I was ushered into the birthing pool room where Kayne was already in the birthing pool, and our midwife was also there, preparing everything for the birth of our child. The room was dimly lit – with LED speck lights on the ceiling imitating stars. The room was windowless with a glowing, warm spotlight from the bottom of the pool the only light source. The room had a very pleasant feel to it, soothing and calm. Not like Kaynes facial expression at the time. The intensity of the contractions were obviously reaching critical mass. I knelt next to the pool, with the bottle of water I brought along, trying to be of some use. Kayne wrapped her right arm around me, and with her left hand clung to a rail on the other side of her. She was incredibly brave, and although the pain appeared unbearable she breathed through it. Hannah and I continuously reminded her that she could do this, that it wasn’t impossible, but also that she had no choice and there was no going back now. Past the point of no return really. Although that was straightforward, it was the truth, and sometimes the truth and facing reality is the best antidote to fear.
What happened next is imprinted on my mind and memory and I will never forget it. Our daughters head appeared, this small head with a little fluffy hair sparsely coating the head. I could just see her face, her closed eyes, and cute features. Her body followed very quickly after, and suddenly there she was, right in front of me, resting in Kayne’s arms. Aston Sharisa Pilling was born at 7:56 Monday 14th March 2016, and I couldn’t have been happier. If you have been reading my wifes blog you will probably know I am a rather emotional person (which is surprising for an INTP) so of course I shed a tear or two. I was finally a father, but this wasn’t about me. I don’t know if the rest of my life really will be. It’s now about my daughter. Funny how changes in life’s little details can swing and shift your universe around.
After all of the intense drama, and the majority of the pain ( for Kayne ) was over, we were moved into the larger delivery room, where I had skin to skin with my daughter while Kayne got fixed up by Hannah. So giving birth isn’t just over when the baby arrives… needles and things get stuck in you even after baby is here, and I’ve learnt since that the recovery has it’s difficulties too. But skin to skin with my daughter was special. So special she decided to give me a gift. Meconium all over my stomach. I didn’t mind, in fact I kind of enjoyed the attention – seems like my daughter felt kind enough to share some of her rich supply with me.
Well, that was my experience, in brief, of how Kayne and I had our worlds changed by this tiny little wonder that is our daughter. She’s already caused her mother a lot of pain, and depends on us for everything, not to mention the sleep we no longer get, but I think that all of that is what makes us love her even more. We love her incredibly, for who she is, and that she is ours… and that’s hard to understand when you try and think about it. She’s our little Pilling, and that alone is more than enough of a reason for us to really love her.