I somehow naively thought I may be able to grab an hour here or there while Erin slept to update the blog/website and let ye all in on how it's going since Erin got home on Friday the 26th of March more regularly. However, the days seemed to fly by, hours melted into each other and before I knew it I would be sitting down with Ruth attempting to watch an episode of the crown saying, "I can't believe it's 8 o'clock already, where did the day go?". So, as Erin feeds and while I ignore the need to hoover up, I've thrown this blog together. Here's the first 3 weeks with Erin.
Day 1 of the first 3 weeks
On Friday (26th March 2021) I was kind of caught off guard that Erin would actually be coming home that day. As I mentioned on my social media, she was suffering from a bit of jaundice and was being kept in a few extra days. Erin and Ruth wouldn't be discharged until Erin's bilirubin levels were at a certain level.
I had been speaking on the phone to Ruth at lunchtime Friday and the results of the bilirubin test hadn't come back yet. At this point, I reckoned they wouldn't be coming home that day. I resigned myself to this fact but I thought to myself at least I have the France v Scotland game to entertain myself later and sure I might grab a beer or two.
I got a call about an hour or so later, assuming it was just the test results and that Ruth would be informing me, they'd be staying in for another night. I answered the phone to Ruth saying, "We're coming home!".
Well, I let out an almighty "Fucking WooHoo!!" that I reckon rattled the next-door neighbour's dinner plates it was that loud.
It was like I hopped onboard a rocket and went from a 'meh' feeling and wanting to see my girls straight to cloud fucking 9! So I lost the plot essentially, was running around the house screaming, ringing my family and trying to make sure the place was tidy.
I even went so far as to iron a shirt and wear trousers. Two things which I have not worn in a very long time.
It was then time to drive, (responsibily), to CUMH.
Picking Up the Girls
I have never felt more proud or chuffed about myself as I stood outside the doors of CUMH after I had dropped off the car seat to the porter who brought it up to Ruth's room. The wait was torture, being so close and still having to wait.
It's like that feeling when you're dying for a wee and that feeling only gets stronger and more unbearable the closer you get to the toilet. You know it's so close, you just have to wait a little longer. That's what it felt like standing outside the door.
I was watching the doors open, expecting each time for it to be Ruth & Erin. The look of disappointment I must have given so many women, nurses and staff as I waited outside. "You're not Ruth or Erin... fuck sake... move on. Swiftly, swiftly!". If you're one of those people and are reading, I apologise.
When they did finally walk through those doors, I took the car seat in two hands, lifted it to head height and just stared in awe. Video calls and pictures do not do it justice just how gorgeous Erin is. (Yes I'm biased, but come on like, she's so cute).
We took a few pictures outside, made our way to the car and took our first spin in the car as a family. We just had to get around the fender bender at the exit to CUMH first.
When Indie met Erin
When we got home, we unloaded the car, I gave Ruth another kiss and I sat on the couch giving Erin some cuddles while Ruth said hello to Indie. Then it was time for Indie to meet Erin.
Indie was beyond excited and has been great around Erin. A friend of mine commented that Indie was wagging her tail so much and so hard with excitement that Indie's tail could kneecap someone. To be fair she has a very strong tail and many a wine glass has fallen victim to it.
I knew Indie would be great with her but you just don't know for sure until they meet. As much as it's a big change for Ruth and myself, it's a change for Indie too. There is another person in the house and this little person makes a lot of different noises, smells and takes our attention.
I've been introducing them both more and more and they're best of buds now. Indie will sit outside her room when I'm changing her and checks on her any time I'm holding her or if Erin is sitting in the bouncer. My advice for anyone expecting and has a beloved pet is to just take it slow, baby steps and introduce them gradually and within a few days, you should be sweet. But you know your pet better than I do.
The Baby Stuff
Now, I haven't been as active online as I normally am and a lot of you are probably wondering how I got on with everything. I changed my first ever nappy 3 weeks ago and it went better than I expected even if Erin turns into a wriggling version of Houdini trying to get out of having a nappy changed.
Erin on the whole is a great baby and I'm not just saying that. She's feeding well regardless if that's on the breast or by the bottle. Only stirs or cries when she's hungry or needs to be burped. Then sleeps the rest of the time. We've so been lucky.
The days seem to fly by from feed to feed at the moment. This means planning your day is based on those feeds. Then trying to get an appointment in makes it even busier as getting into a car with a newborn feels like you're packing up half the house just in case she decides to go through 20 nappies in 90 minutes and feed 10 times. Then home, another feed and before you know it's bedtime so you get some sleep before a night feed.
The night feeds are going great and I'm surprised by how well I'm doing with being up multiple times during the night. I have had some cranky moments but it's because I just love my sleep. At the moment we're up every 3 hours or so. The only thing I'd love is if Erin was a bit more consistent and the time she stays up was the same. But she's a baby like, I'm asking a lot.
Ruth is breastfeeding and is able to pump a lot of breast milk. Anywhere from 110-130mls which I know is unreal. I've told Ruth I could literally turn her into my cash cow. There are plenty of milk trucks passing up and down the road, I keep telling her. I'll tell them to stop in when they're passing.
Being able to pump this amount is brilliant for splitting the feeds during the night for us and Erin is still getting breast milk. It also gives each of us a better block of sleep which is vital and probably why our families are saying we look so chilled with it all. Also, if Ruth is a bit sore from breastfeeding, pumping allows a little rest bite while still getting breast milk into Erin.
Bath time has been fun, to say the least. The first time she was less than impressed with being bathed. She loves her hair being washed but the rest not so much. It's more down to the fact she hates the cold like her mother. One trick we were told was to wrap them in a cloth when you put them into the bath. It makes them feel wrapped up. And by god, it works.
You stare at them a lot
I don't think I've ever stared at someone or something as much as I have with Erin. This has to be the same with all new parents. You just lose yourself in it. You'll say things like;
"We made this!"
"Jaysus, we made a handsome child"
"Look how cute she is!"
"Oh my god, come here, look at the face she's making" (I think I know which one is her poo face now).
"I'm a Dad... we're parents... us... that's mental like."
"You know she's our daughter? I have a daughter and she's here forever..."
I just love her so much
I'm totally smitten and in love guys. It's such a wonderful feeling and what's crazy is I know that love will only get stronger as the days and months go by. I loved my paternity leave but it flew by. My advice, especially for Dads, is to make the most of it before going back to work and savour those morning cuddles, get out for walks as a family, get to know your little one and be 'present' so you don't miss smiles, faces, sounds and farts.
I've just loved getting hands-on and involved in any way I can, doing skin to skin, feeds etc. But also supporting my wife in other ways. Be it cleaning, cooking, walking Indie or running to the shop for more biscuit cakes from the Old Mill Confectionary. And I don't plan on changing anytime soon, even if I'm back at work, just takes a little more planning and getting a routine down.
Even after my first day back at work. All I could think about was spending proper time with Erin once I was done.
I just love being a Dad.