Leroy was now the proud father of a healthy baby boy and it was time to head home and attempt to resume life as he barely remembers it. But he was soon to find out that there is a sharp learning curve when you’re looking after a newborn baby full time.
Leaving help behind
Leroy and his partner were back in the car and on their way home only a few hours after the birth of their baby boy.
“To be honest I wasn’t that keen on leaving the hospital,” he said.
“I wanted to stay because the midwives were close by and really helpful which gave me a lot more confidence.
“But my partner was ready to go and get settled in at home and I suppose we had to go home at some point so I stopped being a baby about it and we went home.
“Being back at home never ended up being as scary as I thought it might have been mainly because of how much support we received from family and friends.
“The Grandies were always asking us if we needed help with anything and they would bring over heaps of food for dinner which just made life so much easier on us.”
Just winging it
For the first few days Leroy and his partner just made life work. They didn’t really know what they were doing but Leroy said they just did what felt right to them.
“I worried a lot about him sleeping and found myself getting up and checking on him to make sure he was still breathing,” he said.
But Leroy said crying was never a big issue in their place.
“Our baby never really cried that much,” he said.
“Sometimes I would wonder if we were doing something wrong because people would always be asking how I’m going with the screaming and constant crying and that was just not something we experienced.
“Of course you get times where he seems inconsolable but they were truly few and far between. I find with parenting that the hard stuff can be really hard while it’s happening but once its past you don’t really think about it, you are too busy enjoying all the really great times.
Two peas in a pod
Leroy and his partner’s relationship went from strength to strength after the birth of their child and he attributes their happy little bubs to their ability to work well as a team and their complimentary personalities.
“If one of us is stressing out over something, the other is always able to remain calm,” said Leroy.
“This is vital I think, as the last thing you want is two over stressed parents trying to cope with a newborn baby.
“I guess I am pretty lucky because my partner took to motherhood like a duck to water which obviously made my life a lot easier.
“If I was ever stuck or didn’t know what to do I could always rely on my partner to save the day. She is absolutely amazing and I have learnt heaps from her over the course of our parenting career so far.”
“I think it’s normal to have some worries about how the baby will affect your relationship but you don’t want to invent problems that don’t exist.
“At first I wasn’t too worried about being relegated to second priority in my partner’s life but there did come a point where I needed some attention.
“That’s the best thing about being in a loving and caring relationship, you understand one another’s needs and at the same time you’re not afraid to speak up when you feel you have to.
“At the end of the day all you want is for your family to be happy.”
Getting into the swing of things
“After a few weeks everything just seemed to be back to pretty much normal – well, as normal as you get with a brand new baby in the house!
“We slipped into our new routine and after about three weeks I started getting back to work, slowly at first until eventually going back full time.
“I’m lucky in the sense that I have my own business so I can pretty much work as much or as little as I want, although obviously there is a close relationship to pay day and how much I work.
“But after three weeks it felt right heading back, my partner was a very competent breast feeder and there wasn’t a whole lot I had to do around the house.
“I was actually starting to get a little bit of the old cabin fever at home so work was really good for me.”
Rekindling the romance
Resuming a physical relationship with your partner after the birth of a child brings about a whole new set of anxieties, which is quite understandable given the circumstances. Leroy said he too felt nervous about having sex again for the first time and proceeded with great caution only to find he had been worrying over nothing.
“The last thing on my mind after the birth was sex,” said Leroy.
“I saw some pretty full on stuff throughout the birth and don’t get me wrong the miracle of life is a wonderful thing but it’s not what you would describe as an aphrodisiac.
“Thankfully those feelings don’t last forever and after about six or seven weeks we went back to having sex.
“I was definitely just taking baby steps, so to speak, but everything seemed fine down there and before I could say Donkey Kong –it was on.”
Despite the joy and relief of returning to a normal sex life, Leroy said it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
“I have lost count of how many times we were trying to have some intimate times and he would wake up and need rocking back to sleep.
“It’s ok though I just thought of it as extended foreplay, sometimes it would extend until the next night or later that week but that’s just part of having a baby and it’s really not anything to complain about when you’re lucky enough to have a happy, healthy and handsome little boy.
Click here to read Leroy’s experiences during the 1st trimester.
Click here to read Leroy’s experiences during the 2nd trimester.
Click here to read Leroy’s experiences during the 3rd trimester.
|Read about other dads’ experiences during the first few weeks after their baby’s birth.