The Story of a Dads First 6 Months


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MY GOODNESS!!!

I remember running my first triathlon: I was exhausted by the 200th metre in the pool, let alone crawling over the finish line.

I remember running the 3 peaks and being awake for 60 hours whilst running up and down (and travelling to) the UK’s largest mountains: I was exhausted beyond anything before. (I don’t recommend taking on the role of navigator as well as the race itself by the way…).

I remember driving 14 hours straight to get to the French Alps: I was exhausted with an incredible back ache.

But in truth, the exhaustion of having a new born baby surpasses all understanding, all experience and all expectation… And that’s just me… Try being a breastfeeding mum! (The wife is AMAZING!)

It’s true though, I have never been this tired.

Yet,

Bizarrely and in total contrast, I have never been this energised. Coming in from work to receive a smile from your 6 month old boy is more energising than the Duracell Bunny on a sugar rush. When those moments happen, I’d happily run the 6 peaks and not sleep for a week. Being woken up at 4am and having to go and feed your baby is hideously tiring but when you see his little face satisfied in your arms, the tiredness (momentarily) fades.

The first 6 months have shot by before I have had the chance to draw breath…

I remember the tentative driving as we left the hospital and arrived home; this precious little bundle in tow. We lay him delicately in his moses basket and simply watched & stared for hours. I examined every inch of him as best I could and I remember thinking, I wonder what you’ll be like when you’re older. There’s so much I could tell you about mine and the boy’s story so far, but rather than write a trilogy, I’ve tried to pick the best bits and the special bits.

Some of you may have seen the explosion from the boy’s backside. It circulated most of the globe and was even on a Hebrew website a short while ago. I have never witnessed such violent displays launching from such a delicious and scrumptious thing! (The baby I mean, not the bum.) Without fail, I am staggered each time I am wet wiping his neck, his elbows, knees and belly button. I couldn’t get poo in those places if I tried! (I haven’t tried!)




At the weekend, getting up at 7 and leaving the wife in bed for a few extra vital ZZZ’s has been really special for me. I take the boy downstairs and we pop on Transworld Sport or Match of the Day and he sits, tucked under my arm for a good 20 mins, still, silent, content and happy. Then we’ll chuck the carrier in the car and head out to the countryside for a quick walk in the woods. I love the outdoors and being able to share it with the boy, even at 1 month when we started, is incredible. I hope to continue this till I’m physically unable. Those times are the best moments of my week without a doubt.

It’s been such an adventure just finding these little ways of spending time with him and getting to know him. Little ways of bonding that are unique & special to us. As I reflect over the last 6 months, it’s these times that are at the forefront of my mind.

We’ve seen all the usual milestones, albeit a little sooner than normal, I think he’s gonna be smart! He was holding his head at 6 weeks, rolling at 3 months, rolling back at 4 months, sitting at 5 months and eating now at 6 months. He still hasn’t quite managed the sleeping through the night though…or even for long spells…. aaargh! But he has managed to find his voice.

I was so excited in that moment of watching him roll over for the first time on the bathroom floor. The wife had been practicing with him all day and he hadn’t quite managed it. I came through the door after work and was ushered upstairs quickly – then he rolled! Amazing. I was filled with pride, excitement and utter love. A moment I will never forget.




We’ve been starting to wean him over the last couple of weeks and I’ve loved seeing his face squirm at the taste of new foods; the sharpness of apple and the texture of porridge. He’s only just getting used to the fact that we use bizarre utensils to load his mouth up. I’ve coped with the mess better than I thought, although I arm myself with wipes, muslins, napkins, water and goggles…

  • first 6 months
  • first 6 months
  • first 6 months
  • first 6 months
  • first 6 months

Hearing his giggle melts my heart every time. Making him giggle melts it further still. I’ve learnt what he likes and what he doesn’t and I’ve learnt exactly what I need to do to make him laugh.

 

One of the greatest journey’s though, is the journey that he’s been on to the point that he recognises me. His face lights up when I come home from work and he holds his arms out to me. I’ve seen this recognition grow and his reactions develop as the months have passed by. There’s nothing like it in the world – that’s a cliche I know, but most cliches have a thread of truth running right down the middle like a stick of rock.

Watching him grow and develop each day is the ultimate highlight; seeing him do things for the first time, watching him explore and find out new things about the world he lives in. I love watching him as he takes it all in.

I can’t get over how quickly 6 months has gone. A few more and he’ll be 18; I guess this is when the real challenges start! Where has my tiny little baby gone? I’d repeat these 6 months in a flash and taking time to think about it and everything that’s gone makes me sad. Did I make the most of it? Have I appreciated it all enough? Have I missed out on things? Did I spend enough time really looking at him and being with him? Did I take enough photos?

But even if I’d spent every second with him, it probably still wouldn’t feel like enough. Even if I’d taken hundreds of photos each day, I’m sure I’d still feel like I should have just taken one more! And there’s never enough time right?

6 more months and he’ll be a year old! That seems a long way off, but learning from this experience I guess I’ll be there in a flash.

I’ve tried to sum up my first 6 months in 20 words, which is actually ridiculously tricky to do! Anyway, here it is:

‘These wonderful 6 months have taught me many things, I love deeper, I protect harder and I cherish every moment.’

Why don’t you join me and try and sum your first 6 months (ish) up in 20 words?

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54 Comments

  1. martyn 1 February, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    What a great post!! It’s such a landmark as well.

    Although it has flown by the best thing about being about dad blogger is that you’ve recorded most of it so when you’re finally realising that it’s flashed fully by you can sit and reflect back.

    It is difficult for me to sum up the first 6 months in 20 words because each boy breathed about different existence.

    But sticking with the ‘first’ I’ll stick with my eldest.

    “Complete shock that I created something that could change so quickly; I cannot adapt but there is nothing but love.”

    • Al Ferguson 6 February, 2015 / 10:47 am

      Thanks Martyn. I like your 20 words :)

  2. La Guardia Cross 2 February, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    What an incredible journey! I’m inspired by those moments you create just for you and your son. I want to set aside moments like that for my girl.

    Here’s 3 months-ish in a 20 word poem:

    Her smiles outweigh her cries.
    Her cooing outweighs her…pies.
    I love when she closes her eyes…
    For 8 hours.

    • Al Ferguson 6 February, 2015 / 10:48 am

      Brilliant! Thanks for sharing that!

  3. Ashley Beolens 2 February, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    Glad to see someone so enthused about their tiredness :) the life of a dad is the best, without a shadow of a doubt.

    • Al Ferguson 6 February, 2015 / 10:49 am

      THE best! And to be fair, the wife does most of the night stuff so I’m pretty lucky! Note to self *mustn’t moan about my tiredness when she does all the night feeds!!

  4. Kevin@doubletroubledaddy 2 February, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    Great Post Al. It’s hard to re,member the first 6 months with the twins. One of them was in the NICU for the first 2. My wife and I were so sleep deprived, if you told me right now that we were taken by aliens and my sons were raised my wolves the first 6 months I might believe you. It went by so quickly besides. I’m glad you take that little extra special time with him in the morning and it’s become part of a routine. My wife and I trade off getting twins up in the morning and although I pretend I want the extra hour sleep that it being her morning gives me, there is nothing like walking into the nursery, and seeing 2 smiling faces, overjoyed to see their daddy!

    My 20 words would be : “These two innocent little human beings that I helped create have used these six months to steal my heart forever.”

    • Al Ferguson 6 February, 2015 / 10:50 am

      Sorry to hear that, that must have been really hard for you all. Fantastic use of the 20 words my friend.

  5. Mumma McD 5 February, 2015 / 4:30 am

    Lovely post, I love the goggles idea, will have to try that one with my two.

    The first 6 months was 3 years ago for me, but I’d have to say:

    “Although your dad and I made you real, you have actually made us whole.”

    • Mumma McD 5 February, 2015 / 4:30 am

      Stopping by via #brilliantblogposts :)

    • Al Ferguson 6 February, 2015 / 10:51 am

      Brilliant use of the 20 words. Thank you :)

  6. Isabella Fairies & Pirates 5 February, 2015 / 11:12 am

    Aw, what a lovely post. I think our boys must be around the same age, as Alex is also six months now. It’s such a special journey, and like you say, their smile will compensate for any rubbish night or being constantly covered in puke (like I am). :-) Here’s to a lifetime of wonderful memories!

    • Al Ferguson 5 February, 2015 / 8:31 pm

      I’ll drink to that!

  7. Rachel 5 February, 2015 / 11:29 am

    A lovely read! Great post,

    • Al Ferguson 5 February, 2015 / 8:31 pm

      Thank you!

  8. Louise 6 February, 2015 / 11:37 pm

    Lovely post – those months really do fly by so quickly – six months is a lovely milestone – they seem to discover so many new things around that time – feeding, learning to roll, chatting. Precious moments :-)

  9. John Adams 7 February, 2015 / 5:30 am

    First six months in 20 words; “Love I’d never felt before, hard but rewarding work yet harder work still to come!”

    The first six months are undeniably awesome, all the more so if it’s your first time. Enjoy, but be warned I’m told it doesn’t get any easier until your kids are about 45. #BigFatLinky

  10. Papa Tont 7 February, 2015 / 7:45 am

    What an incredible journey the last 6 months has taken you on. Every journey is unique, but there are so many similarities that will resonate with everyone. (except for your amazing feats of endurance beforehand!!)

    I was fortunate to watch the first 6 months of my daughter’s life whizz by, but I desperately tried to absorb every moment of it, unfortunately work had a habit of getting in the way. I missed my son’s first 6 months as I was in Afghanistan and I both regret it and am slightly relieved I didn’t have to go through the exhausting process.

    I agree with you whole heartedly though about how amazing the mums are during these periods. My wife seemed to operate perfectly on a couple of hours sleep a night, I was like a zombie and then she managed everything by herself for the second born. Although one funny anecdote I have about her being tired, she was so physically exhausted she didn’t wake up for a night time feed (she couldn’t express so she woke up for all of them) little Olivia was screaming for her feed, so I used my sleeping wife’s boob as a bottle and fed our daughter.

    Can’t wait to hear about the next 6 months!

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 11:58 am

      That’s a brilliant anecdote! Does your wife know you did that?

  11. Lisa (mummascribbles) 7 February, 2015 / 8:49 am

    This is such a gorgeous post – those first six months are such a mixture of exhaustion and wonder – I won’t tell you that it doesn’t change much!!! It’s funny how you get used to the lack of sleep. I’ve found the tiredness now can sometimes be worse than those early days because we’ve got used to having decent sleep again so when we have a bad night it just messes us up! It does get easier in general though, mine slept for almost twelve hours last night :) #bigfatlinky

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 11:59 am

      Ted did not! He was up and crying for 2 hours…! I’ll hold you to that you know!

  12. Sarah Howe 7 February, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Aww this is lovely! I’m sure you are convinced you never make the most of it even with a million pics! I keep saying next time around I’ll make more most of the first 2 weeks as I was in a daze and this time should know what to expect!! Thanks for the linky too xx

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 11:58 am

      No problem. We’ll be here each week so hope to see you again

  13. Mum, M & More 7 February, 2015 / 8:59 am

    Lovely post. Time flies so fast. My little one is 27 months today and I remember 2 years ago when she was just 3 months, like it was yesterday! :-)

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 11:57 am

      It does feel like only yesterday he was still inside the womb! Time must go quicker.

  14. Emma 7 February, 2015 / 10:51 am

    Awwwww such a lovely, lovely post :-) Makes me all broody for another baby. Such an exciting age when every day brings a new achievement and a new adventure.

    Emma :-)

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 11:57 am

      I know, learning something new every half an hour must be tiring!

  15. El and Baby A 7 February, 2015 / 11:37 am

    Oh what a lovely post. Definitely agree there will never be enough time or photos to do the experience justice. Clayton & Aidan spend their father-son mornings the exact same way, must be a boy thing.

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 11:56 am

      Thank you. I know, we love getting out and about or watching sports on TV! (Although he seems more interested in the remote than the screen!)

  16. Sam Thurley 7 February, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    Great post, and so touching. What totally gorgeous photos too. Make the most of it is what advice i can give you, as a mum of a 18 and 14 year old it really does fly by. My only regret is that blogs weren’t really popular all that time ago how i wish i had recorded all their milestones. xx

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 3:34 pm

      Thank you. That is a great thing about the blog; we can record the milestones in a great way.

  17. Paul 7 February, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Great post Al, agree 100% there could never be only 20 words to describe it. Also I find myself sometimes trying to capture everything on camera and maybe miss the reality because of it, damn camera phones..lol..

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 3:35 pm

      Camera phones will soon take over the world!

  18. Mike Smith 7 February, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    This brings back great memories. Those 1st 6 months with your1st child are so special.
    It’s unfortunately difficult for me to vividly remember those first 6 months. But in 20 words: I remember being so unbelievably proud of my son and I was amazed at the new love I had discovered I was capable of. (Oops I went over)

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 3:37 pm

      Pride is definitely a strong emotion for me too.

  19. Touchline dad 7 February, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    This will be very valuable to you in years to come. I wish I had started writing about my kids in their very early years, which now (owing to the fatigue) feel vague and hard to recollect.

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 3:38 pm

      Absolutely – I wonder if there is some way of turning it into a book. Blogtobook.com… now there’s a business!

  20. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks 7 February, 2015 / 4:12 pm

    What a lovely post and the first 6 months feels like yesterday and ages ago all at once! Blink and you miss it. I do wish I’d started something soonre to remember.

    20 words; never ceases to amaze me every single day with what you do or are.

  21. HonestMum 7 February, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    What a sweetie, time sure does fly! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you! Any time!

  22. Something Crunchy Mummy 7 February, 2015 / 5:58 pm

    Such a lovely post. It’s so lovely to hear from a fathers perspective. The time does fly and the first year is full of milestones which makes it go so much quicker I think. Even now at 3 my eldest is doing things that melt my heart and I look at photos of him at 1/2/3 months old and think where has that time gone! X

    • Al Ferguson 7 February, 2015 / 7:09 pm

      Thanks so much – a Fathers perspective is hard to come by nowadays!

  23. Nicki - ON THE CHANGING MAT 7 February, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Aw what a lovely post. I love seeing you hashtag cherisheverymoment on IG even when you’ve had little sleep or you’re tired after work btw -it’s so important to remember, especially when times are tough! xx

  24. Alice Young 8 February, 2015 / 8:27 am

    I felt really reflective when Amelia turned six months and feel the same as she’s going to be 18 months next week…what!!!! It really goes so fast so make sure you savour it all especially those Sunday mornings as moments when they stay still are rare as they get bigger. I started weaning A at six months too and loved seeing all her little faces as she tried new things! Thanks for hosting the linky and hope the next six months don’t go too fast!! X

    • Al Ferguson 8 February, 2015 / 9:14 am

      Me too… We’ve already had 2 weeks of it.

  25. casey grice 9 February, 2015 / 4:08 am

    Loved it. I truly did. I love how every milestone is such a huge deal to you. I feel the same way…and you’re right, you’ll never feel like you spent enough time, took enough pictures or made enough memories… even if you spent every second with them. Reading this gave me a nice trip down memory lane. Thank you. I’ll take a shot at twenty words:
    “Full. a heart overflowing with love. Melted. I never knew I could love like this. Joy. Blessed with this responsibility.”
    Good work Al. Thanks for hosting.

    • Al Ferguson 9 February, 2015 / 8:50 am

      Thank you. Im glad it took you down memory lane. Great use of the 20 words :)

  26. Anna 9 February, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    There is no way I could sum it up in 20 words. You did a fantastic job and wrote a beautiful post. I love that instead of focusing on the lack of sleep you embrace all the details that make being a dad the best job in the world. Thanks for hosting x

  27. Rachel 9 February, 2015 / 10:52 pm

    What a lovely post. The first six months really are the hardest and yet so incredibly rewarding and worthwhile! So beautifully put :)

  28. kellie kearney 10 February, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    What a lovely post, full of precious milestones. That’s what I love about blogs, we capture and record all the special moments. He’s getting so big now. What an eventful few months it’s been for you guys!

  29. Kate Lister 12 February, 2015 / 9:38 am

    This is just beautiful. My husband will have to read this! I can’t wait to meet our little girl and enjoy all of the moments, good, bad or otherwise!

  30. Kate Lister 12 February, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    What a beautiful post! Can’t wait to reflect on my own 6 months once she arrives…actually on second thoughts, I can wait. I definitely don’t want to wish that time away too quickly!

    • Al Ferguson 12 February, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      Thank you! Yes, you must treasure each & every second!

  31. Martin Litt 3 February, 2016 / 8:29 am

    My 20 words

    No time, no sleep, no money.
    Immeasurable riches. Never-ending happiness. And the smell of the top of my girls head.

    :-)

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