So this is going to be a bit of an honest post with you guys. I had planned on doing a Black Friday sales post today, and I may end up missing the boat because of it, which sucks because we need the money…. but I need to say this, and I wouldn’t dare burden Heather with how I’m feeling right now! She’s going through pretty much the same and it’s my job to protect her right now.
This post is going to be a live in stereo sort of thing. No major editing, no external links, no images, just me talking. It may come off a bit waffly, but this is my raw feelings right now. A bit of verbal diarrhea, but I need this now.
This is fucking hard
We’re on day 10, 7 of those have been spent at home, and the first 3 in the hospital. The first 3 days, he cried twice – for 3 seconds immediately as he was born (definitely announced his entry into the world!!) and the second was for 10seconds the next day because he was cold. We thought we were nailing this parenting stuff and had the best, quiestest baby in the world. However, since we have been home, he is forever crying for attention and crying in pain.
Last night was the second night in a row where he just screamed the entire night; baby Ezra has colic and it is causing him a lot of pain. Because of this, he was inconsolable and I didn’t get to sleep until 5.30am.
Lack of sleep
A bit of my backstory – I fell ill when I was 20 with an extremely rare stomach illness that caused me a lot of pain. I’ve had to take a fairly high dose of morphine for the past 7 years – it is the only way to be pain-free (or reduce the level of pain to a point that it is at all manageable). I’ve also had to take a lot of different medications over this time to help with the pain, and many of them helped me to sleep (one medication, called Nortriptyline, led me to sleep most nights for 11-14hours!!).
But about 4 years ago, I reduced my medication and stopped taking some pills, as I found more natural ways to fight the pain (if you think about the way that your baby momma was breathing to fight labour pains – breathing like that is the best pain killer I take!) This caused me to have some major sleep problems. I run off about 6 hours a night at best, but it usually takes me about 4 hours to fall asleep every night.
I thought I was going to be fine with the lack of sleep once baby Ezra arrived, but this is another level. I’m not just tired – I’m exhausted. And this is causing me to not just be physically tired, but mentally too. With Ezra just screaming and wailing every night, I’m also emotionally drained. It is so painful to see my son in so much pain.
Proud to be a Dad
I love being a dad; deciding to try for a baby is the single greatest decision we have ever made. I love Ezra, and there is nothing that he can do that would make me love him less. These sleepless nights, 2am baths, walking for miles to calm him down (according to my iPhone, I walked 2 miles around the house last night with him on my shoulder trying to calm him down) are all worth it for those moments where he stares up at me with nothing but love. It is just really hard regardless; my love for him will keep me walking throughout the nights, and my love for Heather will keep me taking on as much of the burden as possible.
When I look at him, I see a person with no hatred, no anger, no lust, no greed, nothing negative; just love and compassion (and a desire for breastmilk!) and this is why I think he is perfect. He is just fantastic, and this makes it all worth it.
I am definitely starting to feel a little alone. Heather and I are working together and keeping communication open, but I wouldn’t burden her with all of my pains and worries and stresses. I can’t even imagine how single dads must feel when they don’t have the support system I have (my parents live close by, we have a very good group of friends near us too, all willing to drop whatever they’re doing for baby Ezra).
Even with all of this support, there are definitely feelings of loneliness and isolation. It is probably a mental health situation, and tiredness, causing me to feel like this. It is so hard to function off such little sleep and it is just making me feel shit.
That is why I want all dads to feel comfortable and supported – no one should have to feel like this, whether they’re married, dating, living with baby momma or a single parent.
Get in touch
Please, use my blog as a way to join a community and have the support system around you. You can comment on this post to start a dialogue, or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – I will reply to every post and every email to help dads who are feeling alone and struggling with the lack of sleep and horror of watching their baby in pain.
You can also follow me on Twitter @upcomingdad, or check out my facebook page at facebook.com/upcomingdadblog. These are all safe spaces where we can talk about what’s going on. I am dedicated to helping new dads, so please lean on me. You never know, you might be able to help me too!
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