Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Breathing Difficulties Part 2

Favourite Daughter is not breathing.

And has not been for some time.

There are many things They do not tell first-time parents. Because they are Bastards and want you to suffer terribly.

They do not tell first-time mothers that actually it is going to hurt LIKE FUCK. Really. And that odd things will happen to their brain when the tiny life they have been carrying is plopped on their strangely flat belly.

And that they will never want to sleep ever and just stare and hold this small life.

They do not tell first-time fathers that they will never feel so helpless and proud. And that if you delve in with the scissors too quickly the umbilical will actually EXPLODE with pus and blood and give them such a bad fright that they foolishly jump back and have to then go in for an embarrassing second attempt.

And that they will be made to feel quite rude when they are confronted with the news that ‘the head is crowning’ and do not then enthusiastically head south to relish the mind-boggling sight of a PERSON emerging from somewhere they had been previously accustomed to entering in a lesser capacity themselves.

Frankly, in the weird-but-good trauma stakes, the ladies win. Obviously.

But. They do not tell you that a tiny person the size of a fat cat is capable of covering a full-grown adult with vomit from head-to-toe. And that always happens to the gentleman. So it’s not like we don’t have to pay for not having stitches in our nether-regions.


Many years ago.

Favourite Daughter is very tiny. She sleeps in a cot.

One night. She just stops breathing.

They don’t tell you about this. Nobody says in any of the ‘classes’ you attend - where you are nervous and over-chatty - and make the other expectant Dads feel o.k. because you are stupid enough to say:

Me: What? Nipple stimulation? You must be joking. That sort of thing has got us in quite enough trouble thank you. Why do you think we’re here? Jesus. And I doubt either of us would be much in the mood for that kind of thing at such a time!


I think for a bit.

Me: Oh. Right. I see. Yes. Right. That makes more sense. Sorry. Not me doing the stimulating. The baby. To encourage the afterbirth and that. Ur. Right. Obvious when you think about it. What? No I can’t really see the video terribly well. Real childbirth is it? Mmm. No, I don’t need to move. The sound is quite enough. No. Really. I don’t actually want to see. She doesn’t sound happy does she?


They just don’t say ‘Good luck then with your new infant. They’ll probably never stop breathing ever but if they do try not to panic too much. It’ll probably be ok.’

Favourite Daughter is panicking. What with not being able to breath.

Tired Mam is panicking. What with our daughter not being able to breath. It is two o’clock in the morning.

I am oddly calm, as I am in all such situations.

Coughing had turned to hyper-ventilating which had turned to non-breathing which had turned to general blue-ness and boogly eyes.

At least her head was not hanging by a single thread.

Frankly, I feel inconvenienced. I was fast asleep. ‘Trouble breathing’ for fucks sake. It’s not as though a drug addict with what turned out to be a rather lengthy criminal record has anyone by the throat in some rubbish public house after losing an argument over the price of a drink.

I take Tired Mam to one side before she turns blue.

I take Favourite Daughter and hold her infant precious body close to my chest. I let her feel my warmth, steady breathing and slow heartbeat.

Tired Mam is tweaking. This is a reasonable reaction. One that adds to FD’s panic. What FD needs now is a bleary-eyed man who doesn’t get worked-up about important things but will fly into irrational rages concerning his inability to find his nail clippers.

TM steps back, and FD is left in the arms of a perfectly calm although half-asleep man.

Favourite Daughter relaxes. She begins breathing normally. I feel a hand smaller than my ear on the back of my neck. A room filled with tension and panic is slowly filled with my doziness.

Croup. According to NHS Direct at three in the morning.

They don’t really mention that one before they let you take them away. Bastards.

There was no mention of the fact that they may acquire undesireable boyfriends when they are thirteen either. It’s like They actually want us to breed.


Blogger DJ Kirkby said...

Dear Tired Dad,
I am one of 'They'. *makes notes in an effort to try harder* Beautiful post and excellent point about calm parent vs exhausted stressed parent. Caring for a child with croup is wretched though. The bit about watching the birth video (or not watching in your case) was too hilarious!

5:31 am  
Blogger Pie said...

It's all in the smallprint. Oh, and you will consider all boyfriends of your daughter to be undesirable - even when she's grown up.

10:26 am  
Blogger me said...

and where exactly do you find this small print?

yes ... the 'not sleeping and just staring'. Beautiful.

6:15 pm  
Blogger Misssy M said...

Pus? When you cut the cord? Sweet Jesus, MeesterM never mentioned that! In fact, strangely, he's never really talked about what happened down there. I've done the birth thing twice and I feel I still know nothing.

6:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ on a bike, pus??

9:47 pm  
Blogger Mr Farty said...

That was really quite lovely. Apart from the pus.

And bang on about undesirable boyfriends. Grr!

11:05 pm  
Blogger thinkpink said...

yes your daughter will never have a "desireable boyfriend" becos dads never find any boys their daughters date desireable. And about the umbilical chord....really? Shit the bed, no kids for me.

12:52 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Croup is pretty damn scary. There's nothing like that sound.

2:25 am  
Blogger tea and cake said...

Tired Dad *with tears in my eyes* that was beautiful.

10:55 pm  
Anonymous Brennig said...

Apparently God is the kind of guy who thinks an evening in a nightclub is punishable by death and that violence and murder is nothing more than the crypto-judical delivery of a “just measure of pain”.

Nah, sorry but God doesn't think this.

God doesn't exist.


8:59 pm  
Blogger Honey said...

when my eldest was born I was filled with an horrible realisation that if she died it would be the end of my world. Which, before she was born had nothing so frightening in it and was wonderfully safe. Could have just been the baby blues though.

Must be the week for telling baby stories, I just wept out mine. I'm so glad yours ends well too.

10:34 pm  
Blogger londongirl said...

scary stuff. And I've found the trick to parental approval is to drag home some proper horrors during my teens and twenties. Now if I bring someone home who can talk, eat politely and smile nicely, they're deliriously happy.

It's all about expectations you see.

And re the small can find all that in those terrifying baby books. But I wouldn't go there. You'll probably just scare yourselves witless.

2:47 pm  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

Jax never stopped breathing - thankfully - I never stopped drinking and Caz never left me for somebody sane.

I think I'm a lucky man.

And so are you.

I think they told me things at the hospital but I forgot them anyway.

8:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a TM, try telling FD's Tired Dad that darling only-just-17-year old daughter has brought home a new partner - 26 year old rugby playing female.
That will reboggle the mind nicely!

10:21 pm  
Blogger amphimacer said...

The FD here just finished law school, and I'm still not breathing half the time I'm watching her. But she makes funny jokes, and good conversation, and sings like an angel. Would you give up a moment of that?

2:12 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Very late replies. Sorry. Not really. I have a life you know.

DJ: More compliments than I can count. Thanks. And buck your ideas up. The videos help NO-ONE.

Pie: Unsure about that one. The night I met Tired Mam's father is a story I shall never tell but actually went ok. Eventually.

Me: Thanks.

Missy: Suffice to say it is utterly astounding in every way. Apparently it only explodes if you are too hasty and try and cut as it is still pulsing. As I was encouraged to do and didn't want to appear rude.

Anon: Seriously. Ukk.

Farty: I Know.

Thinkpink: See above. It does happen.

R: Tell me about it.

Cake: Thankyou.

B: Eh?

Honey: I've just done a little cry.

London Woman: Yes. About the books. Fuck me.

Dinners: Thanks. Not as lucky as you may think.

Anon: I don't even want to think about it.

A: I suppose not. I'll have to get back to you.

9:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a lovely post :0) Very true how you're not told enough though.

After no.1 was born I expected someone to hand me an instruction manual ;0)

10:52 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Yeah. I'm still waiting for mine.

9:38 pm  
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