James goes on an adventure with Daddy

This weekend I took James on an adventure. As he is only 8 weeks old it was a fairly low key adventure but hopefully he enjoyed himself.

Dads & Little'uns adventureSt Michael le Belfrey have been organizing an event for Dads once a month and this month I wanted to give it a go. I have been looking forward to going for a while.

Looking after a baby is woman’s work. Now I am not being sexist but men are just not equipped. We can’t feed them, we don’t form the same emotional bonds and I suspect I am sleeping through the worst of his crying.

That said I still want to help and be involved in looking after my son. But my natural inclination is to let mummy do most things and help where needed. Going to this dads event was my first chance to do things without mummy being around.

James ready for adventureSo after James had his first feed and his bag had been filled with bottles of milk, nappies, change of clothes and all the other essential accessories for looking after a baby, I left the house with him strapped to my chest.

The event was very low key. Once I got there I unloaded James from my chest and was left to spend time with him with the occasional chat from other dads, offers of coffee and sausage sandwiches from the organizers.

James loves staring at the ceiling and the Storehouse had lots of bright lights for him to stare at. He also got to say hello to one of the other babies he has met before at church and the mums group my wife goes to. But it was not all smooth sailing, James didn’t like me sitting down, so I had to stand up holding him close to keep him calm. If I tried to sit down and offer him his bottle he would get grumpy.

I think it is great that there are events like this for parents. A lot of events are targeted at mothers which is as it should be as they have the majority of work to do, but dads need the odd event to support them as well. Hopefully me and James will be back for more adventures like this.

One of the things I am looking forward to as James gets older is taking him to places and spending time 1 to 1 with him like I did with my father. I don’t know what his interests will be but whatever it is I want to be there to encourage him.

Baby Magic and Becoming a Father

I am pleased to announce the birth of James David Martin Foster weighing 9 lb 12 on 19th August 2015.

James moments after birth, with mother and father

Mother and Baby (and Father) are doing well.

I am not a baby person, I hate children and I run a mile from other people’s babies.

But James performed some magic on me and now I will do anything for him. If you have had children you probably know what I am talking about and if you haven’t you are probably like me 24 hours before James arrived.

During the pregnancy I had been living in denial that I would become a father, despite the wife speaking about nothing else and our home filing with baby equipment. It was only minutes before I first saw my son that I changed.

Due to James’s large size, the birth wasn’t easy. After about an hour of pushing the midwife called in a team of doctors and nurses to help and I think it was at this point that it started to hit me. I am not an emotional man, if anything I tend to repress my feelings but I completely and utterly failed to do that on this occasion. By the time the baby had been placed on my wife’s chest tears of joy were streaming down my face and this continued for some time. jameshandMoments after birth James had a tight grip on my finger. His tiny hands were like miniature versions of my own hands.

I have been asked what it felt like holding James in my arms for the first time, this happened on the following day. I am not sure if I can put it into words, but a few adjectives come to mind, amazing, great, fantastic, humbling. James depends on me (and his mother) for everything and his existence has put a new spin on everything I do. I want to be there for him, help him learn stuff, provide for him and love him.

I have been working very hard recently, spending my free time writing this blog, learning stuff and doing other work. The reasons for this hard work are now clear, I work so I can provide for James and so I can spend my free time with him.

Before James arrived I had it in my head that his mother would do the majority of the caring for him. This is not going to happen now that I have met James. I want to cuddle him, change his nappies, dress him, hold his hand, take him to school, watch TV with him, stroke his head when he is ill, tell him about my life experiences, introduce him to wine, tell him about girls, help him move home, etc.

I am not saying being a parent is going to be easy. I am pretty clueless about what is in store for us, but already I am worrying if he is OK, trying to calm him down when he is upset and being woken in the early hours.

Anyway only time will tell if I continue being this positive about fatherhood, but so far I am loving it. Normal blog posts will hopefully resume over the next few weeks (or when I have time).

Due Dates

HTML for Babies Due DatesAs I write this I have less than 2 days until the due date for the birth of my first child.

Its a very exciting time, but it is also infuriating waiting for it to arrive. Even in the 21st century science can not predict with any accuracy when a baby is going to arrive and we just have to wait for mother nature to do its thing.

I feel like I am stuck in limbo at the moment I have lots of work to do, lots of development changes to do on the databases, but I also know that at a moments notice I need to drop what I am doing and try and be a father.

Due dates for babies is based on average pregnancies lasting 40 weeks, but there is no such thing as an average pregnancy. But to keep this blog post on topic I somehow need to compare due dates for pregnancy with software development.

In software development we often get asked for estimates on when a particular development task will be finished. Estimates in software development are very difficult to make accurate as there are so many variables that you do not know the answer to until you start getting stuck into doing the work. One technique is to try and split the work down into small steps and estimate how long each small step will take and then add them all together. But even this technique still has a large margin of error.

What would it be like if when management asked we gave an estimate similar to what pregnant women receive? Instead of a deadline when all work has to be finished by, you have a date when there is a 50% chance of the work being finished.

I think management would have a difficult time dealing with this amount of uncertainty, I certainly am waiting for this baby to arrive.