Second Class Citizen

Written by Gary. Posted in General

This is something I think all prospective father's should be made aware of. When the baby is born you will be treated like a second class citizen. The baby and mother gets all of the attention. Quite rightly so but I think we men should be made aware that this is going to happen as it's quite easy to feel left out.

A point to illustrate this was when my family complete with new arrival flew out to Spain to visit the inlaws not long after my sons birth. We were picked up at the airport by the mother-in-law and driven back to their house. When we arrived, the rest of the family crowded around the car to welcome the new baby, then quickly whisked him off into the house leaving me to carry the two suitcases, two hand luggage and the pram into the house without even a bye your leave. Not even my father in law gave me a hand as he was too involved in the new arrival.

So you see I was completely ignored and even though I wanted to share in their enjoyment of meeting my new son it was not to be.

After time you get used to just being there for when you are needed and indeed it has it's plus points. You start to be fun daddy and generally interact with your baby for the fun bits.

Now please bear in mind that my experiences have led me to these conclusions. Perhaps you have a different tale to tell. Did you feel left out a bit or did you not mind taking a back seat?

Vasectomy

Written by Gary. Posted in General

Now having played rugby for most of my life talking about my balls really doesn't come as a problem so I have decided to share my experiences of this rather delicate operation.

It all starts with the decision, do you want to find an alternative form of contraception and do you not want to have any more children? If so then the vasectomy is the answer.

Now the first thought that went through my head was "not another visit to the hospital" then I remembered that a friend of mine had told me he'd had his done at the doctors surgery. Well this is the part where my imagination kicks in based on my previous visits to the doctors and I start getting scared. First things first go see the doctor to make the request.

This bit was easy. You get leaflets explaining the procedure and the alternatives. Female sterilisation was one of the alternatives but my wife explained to me that this is much more complicated and has greater chance of failure. "Anyway" she elaborated "why should she have it done when she'd already pushed out two kids".

I guess she had a point.

The appointment was made.

I received a letter explaining all of the details of the appointment. Now this is where it gets interesting. Two days before the operation I had to shave my balls. Gulp! Well this went off better than expected with no slip ups. I do think though that this is a first test you have to pass. If you can shave off the hair from your balls then you are ready for the next step.

I spent several minutes admiring the job in the mirror and then decided to trim what was left so that it looked neat and tidy. Want to look my best when the doc starts fiddling away down there. Ended up looking a little like the last turkey in the shop but overall I'm quite pleased with the job. Had a moment there where I almost went to get my camera.

Next you need to get some support. I don't mean that you need to get a load of people to chant whilst the operation is being performed, I mean something to support your balls. You can buy special little hammocks at the chemists so I asked the missus to buy one. The chemist asked whether I was a small, medium or large. Well I like to think of myself as being a large but maybe she has a different take on things. In the end the chemist asked if I had some tight fitting pants or a pair of speedos and explained that these were just as effective. Luckily I had a pair of tight speedos which I had purchased for a rugby tour to France a couple of years earlier.

All set, time for the operation.

Well this wasn't quite what I expected. My wife and I went for the consultation which was more like a consent signing session but I was happy to continue. I was led into the operating room and asked to remove my trousers and pants and then hop onto the table. This I duly did and lay there with my crown jewels on display for the nurse and doctor. After having the area disinfected I had a cloth drapped over me which had a hole in it for my genitals to be pulled through. An injection into my scrotum numbed the area and the doctor went to work. The temptation for the doctor to say "just a little prick" before giving the injection must be overwelming but he resisted the urge.

I lay there looking at the skylight, listening to George Michael singing "well you gotta have faith, faith, faith" and took a moment to reflect on my life. Then I got distracted by the doctor and nurse talking about Peter Kaye and midgets and before I knew it the job was done.

Now I sit here wearing my speedos, typing this, and wonder what it's going to be like when the local anaesthetic and the alchohol from a few pints of beer has finally worn off.

The Birth - alternative title - What's all the fuss about I didn't feel a thing?

Written by Gary. Posted in General

handsI guess the alternative title is likely to cause any women reading this to assume that I am a male chauvinist pig. Maybe they have a point but I would argue that it is difficult for the man to truly experience child birth. We don't get any pain and our job isn't really that important.

My own experience of "the joys of child birth" where, for the most part, quite boring. I read somewhere, I think it was on a women's internet site related to child birth, a posting by a man who said that the majority of his childbirth experience was spent looking at a paper towel holder on the wall opposite. I thought maybe he was exaggerating and it couldn't possible be like that.

When I stood next to my wife in the room where she was about to give birth, holding her hand to provide what little comfort I could, the first thing I did was look at the opposite wall. Sure enough there was the paper towel dispenser. I did stare at it a fair bit so can actually say that the majority of my time was spent in a similar way. I did everything I could to help, holding her hand, offering her food and drink, holding a cold wet flannel on her forehead but no matter what I did I got the feeling that she really didn't care if I was there or not. She was obviously more intent on getting the baby out.

We men really can't appreciate the pain associated with child birth and until a man gives birth I think we never really will. Of course different women experience different levels of pain due to various aspects such as pelvis size and the size of the baby so even if one women says it wasn't so bad I am sure that they probably just had it easier than most. I've dislocated my shoulder 15 times and can honestly say that the pain associated with that is quite bad but it is the length of time that you experience the pain that makes it worse. Often it was about 2 hours before it was relocated in it's socket and the nagging throb of the pain often made me wish I was able to do what Mel Gibson did in Lethal Weapon. A short intense pain would be much more preferable to the long drawn out one. I often wind my wife up by saying that surely the pain I experienced must be similar to that of giving birth and so don't really know what all the fuss is about. Deep down though I can really appreciate that giving birth is a truly painful experience and one I wonder why women repeat.

The actual birth bit was great and although I hadn't planned to actually watch the birth I did and was deeply moved by the experience. At this point I was expecting my other half to turn in to some sort of swearing, spitting monster akin to the exorcist but was mildly shocked that the worst thing that she said was "sssshhh....ugar". Now I know this was probably an exception as I could hear a fair bit of shouting coming from some of the other rooms but unfortunately my views had been built up by preconceptions garnered from television so I felt a little disappointed that my wife didn't "perform".

My son had become distressed in the womb so when he was delivered there was no initial cry and he looked grey and was immediately whisked to a table where the paediatrician went to work clearing his airways. Now this was the bit that added the high drama, my heart sank and I was terrified that he wasn't going to make it. It seemed like a lifetime waiting and watching them work on him but when I heard that first wail I could have cried with joy. My emotions where all over the place so when they handed him to me and he looked into my eyes and grabbed my little finger with his tiny hand the tears did indeed tumble down my cheeks.

The birth was a fantastic experience, one that could have done without the high drama and would have been much better without the towel dispenser staring competition but nevertheless one that I wouldn't have missed for the world.

Oh my god she wants another

Written by Gary. Posted in General

kidsIt was about 2 years after the birth of my first son, just as I'd settled into a good routine, that my wife brought up the subject of more kids. My defence of "but you said never again just after kj was born" fell on deaf ears and so we started discussing the practicalities.

A lot of thoughts crowded into my head when she let me know that she had always wanted two boys. Foremost was "what effect would it have on our finances?", closely followed by "how would we cope in such a small house?" and "oh no a few more years of sacrifices".

It does have a big effect on your finances and I went through all of the potential scenarios. If it was a girl it would mean all new clothes, complications with room decor, potentially having to move to a house with 3 bedrooms. If it was another boy it would have a lesser impact on us due to hand-me-downs, bunk beds and no decorating. It was at this point my wife said "if you think about it too much no one would ever have kids and everyone else seems to manage". I think she is right. You cut your cloth accordingly.

Imagine my relief, however, when we saw the scan and my new little lads willy quite clearly visable. I mean I didn't mind whether it was a boy or girl but my wallet was very pleased to see another boy was being added to the family.

My wife has had her wish fulfilled and I must admit despite the extra pressure on our budget I don't regret it one bit.

 

A Father's Perspective

Written by Gary. Posted in General

walkingIn my opinion the part that a father plays in the upbringing of a child is changing all the time. Different fathers have different perspectives of the whole thing. There are some fathers who are vaguely aware of some short people living in the same house as him and then there are those who have become "house husbands" whose every waking hour is devoted to the care of the child.

Society has changed and it is no longer taken for granted that the man goes out to work and earns the money and the women stays at home to look after the children. More and more men are taking an active role and are either changing the hours they work or going part time in order to care for the kids. Indeed often in this current time of the "credit crunch" parents work complementary hours so that they can share looking after the kids whilst also both earning money.

We dads don't get to talk about our feelings regarding parenthood as it's not generally considered manly. Subjects like sport, cars, work and women tend to be mainly on the agenda when you're down the pub but I believe we are starting to talk about our families more. The simple fact that womens pregnancy/child birth/child care websites have a small section put aside for men does indicate that more men are showing an interest in the care of the kids.

This website is trying to capture the mans perspective however so far the perspective is mainly mine and I definately don't speak for all the men out there. If you want to put your point across then contact me via the contact page as I am looking for more writers for this website cause I think getting men to open up about this subject is going to be like getting the missus to admit that she really does need a dress size bigger than the one she is trying to shoe horn herself into.

The Forum

Unfortunately the forum was lost as a result of the recent hack attempts so all previous posts have been lost.

Please accept my apologies.