As father's we know life changes when Kid A comes along. Your lifestyle, general perspective on life and overall respect for your partner changes. Like when you get married things are just different (for the better of course). You instantly join a new club and it's one of the largest clubs in the world. Belonging to this club are men from all walks of life, all of whom who have fatherhood in common. We have instant license to have the "were you at the keeper's end or the bowlers end?" conversation, we can discuss how cutting the umbilical cord felt like cutting rope, or perhaps laugh at how we hogged the gas and just couldn't hand it over to the good lady....the one who needed it most.
When I cast my mind back to that night in 2004 the first memory that comes to me is of Q holding Kid A for the very first time. For me that was the moment. Before then I’d never felt such a mix of emotions at the one time, and I’ve never felt the same way since. No other event in the history of humankind was as significant as what I had just witnessed, what I was a part of. The instant bond of mother and daughter was beautiful to watch. I was in awe of what Q and her body had achieved. And respect, well that had risen to new levels, smashing any long-standing record or personal best. Q was, and still is, simply amazing.
Next came the opportunity to hold Kid A. I don’t recall whether a tear hit the floor but I do remember the feeling of elation. I was holding an absolutely beautiful little girl and she was mine. Even now just thinking about it I have tingles down my spine, just as I experienced when I first laid eyes on my beautiful little girl.
As the first grandchild on either side of the family, the waiting room was filled with our immediate family. Within an hour of Kid A being born, probably a dozen of our closest relatives pushed through the doors one after the other, all having a photo with the first grand-daughter or niece. The poor kid must have felt like she was a Collingwood premiership trophy, the first in 32 years!
My next memory is being squashed into the smallest ward (or cleaner’s cupboard) in the hospital. I was provided with a dodgy foldout single bed whilst Q was provided the luxury of a more permanent fixture. I fell asleep in 5 seconds flat only to be told sometime after that Q couldn’t sleep despite being exhausted, and she really wished that I was awake so that we could continue the experience, and enjoy it for what it was. This is something I’ve always regretted. Q punished me by eating my breakfast the next morning as well as her own and she was still hungry afterwards.
You’ll notice that I haven’t once commented on the more non-glamorous aspects of labour and child birth. Sure we experienced difficult moments, and I saw things Q doesn’t even know about, but those memories are fast fading and totally pale in significance.