In this video, we discuss the topic of being a new parent, from the man's perspective.
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Nina Sebastiane: Welcome back to Baby Talk with me Nina Sebastiane. Now a little earlier on author John Smith was giving us his tips on helping fathers deal with the traumas of pregnancy from a man's perspective of course. That's all very well and good but what role does dad take after the baby is born. Stephen Giles, author of the book You're the Daddy joins me now to hopefully shed some light on the subject. Welcome! Stephen Giles: Hi Nina! Nina Sebastiane: How are you doing? Stephen Giles: Good. Nina Sebastiane: Now we had you on with your first book Lad to Dad, didn't we? Stephen Giles: That's right. Nina Sebastiane: So Lad to Dad took you through the pregnancy phase as well but this is actually taking you from first year, from zero to first year. Stephen Giles: That's right, yeah. Nina Sebastiane: Why? Do we not know, dad's not instinctively do what they do? Stephen Giles: Clearly they don't, partly because of my paralysis during the first year but partly also because of all the other experiences that I have witnessed, and that's in the front part of the book from other dads. It's still a very different experience between mums and dads that each partner in the relationship experiences very different things during the first year. You are both parents, but your relationships with the baby and your relationships with each other, obviously a completely different. Nina Sebastiane: Give me an example of one of the worst experiences in that first year for you. Stephen Giles: One of the things that obviously happens as a man is that you have very little practical training for carrying babies, holding babies, and changing nappies. Nina Sebastiane: You dropped him? Stephen Giles: No, no I didn't, I didn't drop him. Nina Sebastiane: Everybody, I am sure everybody has a sort of moment where they kind of go, oh! Stephen Giles: I very nearly dropped him, I certainly bounced him too much a few times. But, things like changing nappies, holding the baby, getting used to handling the baby and getting used to -- I mean, even on right on my first day as a father, I was left on my own with probably a lot of with my son, and I had to change a nappy. And no one told me, no one had instructed me how this worked or had any of this thing and the natural reaction as a dad is to -- it's a reactive response, you just pull the nappy off. Nina Sebastiane: That was your first mistake. Stephen Giles: Exactly, exactly, yeah. He is in -- Nina Sebastiane: I am saying this of course not as I have got two girls but I have seen little boys when they are first born and what they do, when you put the nappy off and you haven't got anything there to protect your lovely new outfit. Stephen Giles: The logical thought process is, baby has filled nappy, the baby is upset because of that. It's taking the nappy off, go over to the other side of the room, fill up the tray, come back absolute carnage is behind us because there is just stuff everywhere, and it took me about three-quarters-of-an-hour to clean up the horrible mess. Nina Sebastiane: Clean up the mess, yeah. Stephen Giles: And this was still on the ward. Nina Sebastiane: No, excellent. Stephen Giles: My wife was up, having a shower, and she came back very happily from shower, I just secured the tape on the nappy, just about got the entire room swabbed. Nina Sebastiane: But you never did it again though? Stephen Giles: No, never did that. Well, in varying degrees I tried not to do it again but it's very difficult in the middle of the night remembering the mistakes you make. About 8 or 9 weeks down the line, I had exactly the same experience. This time absolutely everything came out of this little boy, absolutely everything, both ends, top, bottom. And I was letting my poor wife have a lie in and I just screamed to her to rush down the stairs. I didn't know what was happening, and of course she felt I had thrown him on the floor, or throw him outside of the window or something. But, of course it was just a case