For Daniel the birth of his baby daughter was surreal.
Daniel was 33 when he became a father for the first time. Although Lisa and Daniel were living together, the pregnancy was not planned. Lisa and Daniel found out they were having a little girl and named her Myla Alabama.
I had absolutely no thoughts whatsoever about having a child. It was not in my agenda at all. I’d been doing the usual thing, saying I’ll do it one day. Then Lisa told me she was pregnant.
What I realise now is that I was always ready to have children with Lisa but I didn’t know it at the time.
During The Pregnancy
I found the pregnancy far too long and very boring. Apart from the fact that I thought Lisa looked amazing and very sexy, the whole process didn’t interest me. I’m very impatient. I wanted it all to happen immediately.
Lisa’s emphasis was on the baby; my emphasis was on Lisa. The mother has a relationship with the baby from day one…with a huge belly and amazingly large breasts…
But for me it seemed surreal. I couldn’t really comprehend the thought of us having a baby at the end of it. I was still in the role of bachelor in that my responsibilities hadn’t really changed. All along people were asking me lots of questions but were shocked by my answers. Because I was still working out how I felt myself, I was being honest about it all but people were automatically assuming I didn’t want to have a baby. That’s not the case. I guess being honest was a shock for everyone.
Just before the first scan I was very nervous, but once I got over that, it seemed a non-entity. It was nice to know there was nothing wrong. But the image was just like one of those pictures you see on television. It didn’t stir me.
We were given a birth date but even that seemed so arbitrary and unreal. Even with three weeks to go, it wasn’t on my mind. I was phoned at work and was told that Lisa was going to be induced.
This was an interesting turn of events as I still was unable to believe that she was going to have it.
Then I got the call to say she had gone into labour. I got to the hospital and nothing had changed at all. The pregnancy just carried on.
I expected there to be drama. Instead we just watched TV. It was all very civilised. There was nowhere near enough panic. I was half expecting them to come in and say it’s all a false alarm and to go home.
Eventually we were taken to a birthing room. It became obvious that Lisa wasn’t going to give birth that night so she had an epidural and I stayed in a very sparse and sterile room down the hall and fell asleep in there until the next morning when it all kicked off. But still there was not much panic. When she was fully dilated, I left the room. Both Lisa and I thought there was more of a down side than up side if I remained in the room.
A few hours later I was standing outside the delivery room. I will never forget this; I can still picture it in my mind. The doctor came out and I asked: “Has she had it?”
The doctor said: “Yes, it’s a girl. They’re cleaning up”. At that moment I became very emotional, panicky. It was a very strange feeling to know I was going to walk through the door and see Lisa and my daughter. It was overwhelming.
It was a very female/male birth. I hadn’t wanted to see Lisa in any animalistic state. But to walk in and see her with our baby daughter in her arms – that was perfect. It was a very romantic notion. Lisa was looking worn out but beautiful, just beautiful.
When I held Myla, I was very nervous, she was so small. It wasn’t love at first sight; it was more of the whole shock of the situation. It still seemed so surreal and I didn’t feel it was my baby. It was so unbelievable.
Most difficult adjustment was taking her home from the hospital. When you are carting a baby round the first time, they come with a s**t load of stuff. You see other people doing it, then suddenly you are doing it. And suddenly it’s three or four trips to the car.
To be honest I wasn’t actually very involved in the first three months. I’d change Myla and organise things but Lisa and I adopted very male and female roles. It’s an interesting point about our relationship. We were very happy to exist in our female and male roles. We’d both decided that Myla wasn’t going to sleep in our bedroom. We felt it was important that we had our relationship back as soon as possible.
I was nervous about Myla sleeping in a cot so we got a baby monitor with a heartbeat on it
Myla has become a little person. Initially it seemed she was just a little thing with staring eyes and a mouth that wanted to be filled. If someone asks me how I feel about her now, I feel there’s something there. There’s humour in her eyes; there’s character.
In a funny way I had to admire Myla’s sense of survival. It’s raw nature. She was absolutely obsessed with feeding. It was as though she had no regard for anything else on the planet other than her own desire to feed and Lisa’s welfare was never a factor. It made no difference if Lisa was exhausted, tired, had no milk or was on the verge of breakdown, Myla continued to demand food. The way Lisa dealt with this was incredible. She evolved from being a bit of party girl to being a capable and competent mother.