Pee, Poo and Pride

It took 12 days for my new baby daughter to wee all over me.

Sitting down to watch a film, my fiancé Lori and I noticed a certain whiff in the air. Through sheer luck and good timing, I’d avoided the pooey nappies but this time it was my turn. Unfortunately, our little girl hadn’t finished so I had to sit and hold her legs up while she did her stuff.

A minute and a strong smell later, she was done. I started cleaning when I noticed her start to wee. It was an explosion. It was everywhere. My little girl had turned into a water feature. My arms were covered, my jeans were splattered, my shirt was decorated with polka dots of piss. I was covered in my daughter’s urine.

It may sound like I’m having a moan but, actually, I’m not. To go twelve days without any accidents… I was happy with that. I know of people who have gone only seconds before facing the baptism of piss. I’d gone nearly two weeks. I viewed it as a bit of an achievement.

For those without children reading this I can imagine you’re possibly confused, and maybe even disgusted, by this opening. But I imagine anybody with kids or young relatives will be thinking of similar experiences.

My arms were covered, my jeans were splattered, my shirt was decorated with polka dots of piss. I was covered in my daughter’s urine.

One of the first things I learnt when we had our first baby was that wee and poo went from being almost taboo topics of conversation to everyday topics of conversation. Speaking to other parents about the colour of your baby’s poo became the new opening to a conversation. Sharing stories of “My son pissed in my mouth” (sadly true for me…) replaced “what happened at the pub last night”.

And you know what? It’s amazing. These conversations are as funny as they are disgusting, but, most importantly, they’re always lovingly told. I think you see a different side to people when they have kids and when they’re around kids, and you see a love in people for others that you don’t see at any other time.

I’m lucky enough to now have two children. Both still babies, really, although our first is up and walking all over the place. They have absolutely changed my life. I feel more complete. I feel more focused. I feel very lucky to have such an amazing little family.

Both of our children came from quick labours. Our first was born seven hours after arriving at hospital. Our most recent, three hours.

Childbirth is incredible. I’ve been fortunate enough to be at the side of Lori for both labours and both times I’ve been almost in awe of how strong she is to go through delivery and actually give birth. However, before I’d sat in a delivery suite I’d always read people saying it was the most amazing time of their life.

But labour time really isn’t. I found the labour hard to sit through in that I hated seeing Lori in such pain, knowing there was nothing I could do. As a man you have a sense of helplessness in that situation because there’s so little you actually can do. Women reading this would be well within their right to say they’d rather be sat where the man is but it’s true. I ended up turning to humour and positive words, perhaps fortunate that Lori was just incredibly loving and apologetic during labour rather than taking the “this is all your fault” approach I’d seen on “One Born Every Minute” or talked of so much by my dad and others.

The sense of pride is unreal; it’s unmatched by anything.

With our second we very nearly never made the hospital. Lori had been suffering with cramps for a few days and got an appointment at 4:30 pm. By 3:30 pm the cramps had gone and we discussed cancelling the appointment. One sharp pain as Lori went to call kept us to that appointment. At 5 pm, a midwife measured Lori and she was fully dilated.

At 7.38 pm, our little girl was with us.

The delivery of the baby itself – the end – is incredible; and every one different. Our first tried to cling on and not come out. Our second was born initially in the sack as Lori’s waters didn’t break until the final push.

It’s hard to explain but when our babies were born, the first time I saw them, they looked exactly like I knew they would. I felt like I already knew them. It felt like they’d always been there.

There is no other feeling like holding your baby for the first time. I’ve written on here before how with my firstborn I’d had no prior experience with a newborn so I was extremely anxious I’d drop him or not know what to do. That anxiety is still there with my second, even though I like to think I do alright as a dad and keep hands on. But the sense of pride is unreal; it’s unmatched by anything.

Tonight, my firstborn started eating food with a spoon unaided for the first time. I’m exuberant with pride. I remember when he smiled for the first time I was beaming. When he walked I nearly cried. When he first rolled over, I cheered. They’re the smallest of things, the smallest of milestones in the grand scheme of things, but some of the proudest moments of my life.

I can’t wait to go through them again with our little girl.

Adam Townsend is a dad of two and blogs at Townsend’s Escape.


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