Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day

Being a dad isn't easy. When your child is born sick or prematurely its a whole new ballgame. In many neonatal units there aren't structured opportunities for dads to take part in the day to day routine of the unit. Many dads have to go back to work immediately after the baby is born, saving their paternity leave for when the baby is discharged. Units are usually located within maternity services, so traditionally babycare is done around the mother.

My husband was amazing when Joseph was born. He was by my side as they removed Joseph by c-section, he went to the treatment room to see him, and popped down to neonatal. It touches my heart that my husband saw him before I did, that he was there for him when I could not be.

In our unit we set the tone for Corey's involvement, I did morning cares, he did the evening when he finished work. Until we started having kangaroo care at around 4-5 weeks I didn't attend in the evening, to give Corey a chance to get to know Joseph without me around.

Once we were allowed kangaroo care, I fought to ensure Corey could do that too, although as can be seen from the picture above, I think its more gorilla care than kangaroo.

Corey always called Joseph his little action man, and believed in him from day one. He always talked about the future, at times when I was too scared to. The video of our first cuddle has Corey saying "he's going to be a strapping lad", and he was right. He had nothing but belief that everything would be fine, and he was right, even though at times I found his attitude difficult, he was right. 

At Bliss we work to help units involve families especially dads, in their baby's life whilst on the unit, ready for life at home.

If you are a dad, or know a great one, and want to volunteer for Bliss in the Greater Manchester area, please contact me.

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