Written by Jeff Segura | Photo by Wild Arrow Photography
Once you hear the words, “I’m pregnant” or “We’re having a baby”, you get a surge of emotions that you will remember for the rest of your life. It’s a beautiful moment that comes with a part 2, a culmination of every feeling felt throughout the pregnancy at the time of your newborn’s first breath.
So what does it feel like? What is the experience like? The answers to these questions vary from person to person, but most would say that there is a huge sense of relief and the greatest feeling of joy in existence. That’s what it was like for me. As a first-time dad, I had no idea what to expect, all I wanted to do was sit next to my wife and hold our baby for the first time. After all, I took pride in knowing how strong my wife was throughout the whole pregnancy and the miraculous work that goes behind creating life within oneself. I just wanted to hold my baby, but unfortunately, due to our delivery complications, our newborn had to be taken to the NICU. The surge of emotions was back, but now it was worry overshadowing our joy. However, we remained positive and reflected on our new chapter in life as parents. By sharing this story and lessons learned as a new dad, my goal is not only to connect with new parents-to-be but to also share the beautiful moments of fatherhood.
Our birth story is one that, pretty much changed our lives. In a great way of course! I clearly remember everything that happened in that delivery room. They are vivid memories that I can relive at any given moment. The way I would describe that moment is like walking on air while eating your favorite meal and listening to your favorite song. Seriously. To date, hearing my daughters first breath has brought the most joy in my life. Before our daughter was born, many would tell me that she would change my life, more so than a boy would. It’s been true. I try to be a better man, husband, and father everyday and I strive to be an example in her life. It’s like your fatherhood instincts turn on. You get speedy reflexes, you can hear your baby’s cry through the many conversations and sounds going on, your cooking gets better, and you’re always on the lookout for their well-being. It’s like evolution before your eyes!
Becoming a dad, is like picking up a sequel to a good book. The only difference would be that you get to write it. You share your joys and funny moments with your family, friends and even social media. You remember the advice from your elders, the lessons learned, and everything that has shaped your life. In other words, It’s like your life flashes before you and now you have a newborn in your arms. There is a beauty in devoting yourself to someone. They captivate all your attention and completely depend on their parents. You’ll learn things about yourself as you care for your baby as well as testing your patience. In my opinion, and from experience, patience, love, and communication are what makes the long sleepless nights go by a little smoother. I remember in the early weeks, one night, that I was rocking my daughter for over 3yhours in the middle of the night. I wasn’t going to just going to stop because my arms hurt or because I was tired. I was not going to wake up my tired wife. Will admit I did think of it, but I just had an urge to just keep her rocking and spend more time together. It took 3 hours of rocking and crying but she fell back to sleep. Keep in mind that I only had 2 hours of sleep that night and had to get up ready for a 12 hour work shift. I was tired, yes, but getting my daughter back to sleep was my only priority.
Throughout your days of fatherhood, you will see the world in a completely different way. That’s pretty much for the rest of your life. You will remember your kids first breath, the long sleepless nights, and the days where you struggled with diapers. It’s a lovely learning experience. I deeply believe that the first 6 months are the most challenging but it gets better after that. May not get much of your sleep back, but two to three hours of extra sleep make a big difference. Parenting is a 24/7 responsibility and there is no time off, it’s a never ending circle of love, frustration, and joy. If anyone where to ask me what I would change or do differently, I would quickly answer that I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s the best thing that has ever happened in my life.
Native Houstonian, Jeff Segura is the creator and author of Daddy Style Diaries, a blog about fatherhood, lifestyle, and travel. Jeff is a husband, father, aspiring fashion savant, and adventurous soul. You can follow Jeff on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit his blog at www.daddystylediaries.com.