I ran into an old friend in Ottawa today, haven’t seen him in a long time. I first met Mike while working at the Vancouver Olympics. A fun and funny guy. Much younger than me, he was telling me about his newborn son and it brought back memories I would rather forget.
When our son was born, no word of a lie, the lights went out in the hospital. A nurse came and got me from the waiting room and had me sit with my wife, fresh from a c-section, until the lights came back on. There I was, sitting in an operating room, emergency lights on and my wife out cold. Kind of eerie.
Still haven’t seen our newborn at this point…
Things got back to normal, got to meet my son and he was perfect. A healthy baby boy. My wife and son were in the hospital for a few days so we had lots of visitors, all of them commenting on how well behaved and quiet he was, a good baby, they all said. We couldn’t be happier.
Then we brought him home…
The minute he got in our car, he started crying and didn’t stop for what seemed like a year. In reality, it might have been eight to ten months. I remember asking my wife, several times, whether we should bring him back. I thought something was wrong and being a new parent started to worry. Maybe he liked hospitals better, who knows… I was a new father and slowly losing my mind.
Every night I would roll him around the basement in a stroller until he fell asleep. Every… single… night. Eventually things got better and he ended up being much easier to look after. Something, I’m sure, many parents go through. It’s what makes a good, caring, responsible parent. Those early days were long forgotten.
So when I heard my friend Mike tell me about his newborn son and how he hasn’t had any sleep for several months, I couldn’t help but feel a certain kinship. I was able to tell him, from experience, that it definitely gets better. I just didn’t say how long it could take.
Would I change anything? Absolutely not.