Becoming a Father | The Bearded Dads survival Guide.

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It’s been little over a week now since I last wrote anything on my blog. I wanted to spend every possible moment with my little family and take some time to reflect on the events that have recently changed my life.

I would be lying if I said that the last 7 days have been easy. In short, they haven’t. But that’s not to say that it hasn’t been the most amazing experience I have been through in my entire life. Life has totally changed for us both and it hasn’t been easy. With that said; I think that Emma and I have taken parenthood by the reigns and faced it head on as if life had always been this way. The hardest part for me is sleep. Getting enough sleep is really hard. Amber now dictates when we can sleep, and it usually means we have to have naps throughout the day so we don’t have a meltdown. My outlook on life has changed in such a short period of time, as have my priorities. Amber is now first and foremost in every aspect. We have to look after this little human because her life literally depends on it. I now want to spend some time and share our birth story with the world. I have had a few people ask me to share so I have decided now is the right time.

The Birth

Emma was booked in to be induced on Tuesday 21st August at Burnley Hospital Birth Suite; after 2 unsuccessful sweeps. We packed our bags early that morning and arrived at the hospital shortly before 07:00 for our appointment. The midwife we saw first inserted a pessary and we were told we just had to wait it out now. Emma was given a bed on the ante-natal ward whilst we waited for the pessary to start her labour. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly work and we spent all that day and the following day waiting for something to happen. By the next morning, there was still no sign of Emma going into labour, had the hospital not been so busy it would be likely Amber would have been born that day. However, The birth Suite was very busy and had some complicated births that day so everything was a little behind schedule. We had to wait for a bed in the birth suite all that day and eventually got one at about 09:45 on the 22nd August. At that point we were already both pretty knackered; I had spent the previous night sleeping on the hospital floor and probably managed an hour at most.
We were taken to the birth suite and Emma had her waters broken by a doctor very shortly after. At first, labour came on slowly, contractions were faint and far apart. It took a while for labour to really kick in. It wasn’t until the midwife gave Emma a syntocinon drip to bring on labour faster. This method worked very well for us and Emma went into heavy labour shortly after the drip was administered.
Em was also experiencing severe back pains as the contractions came. The midwife gave her a form of pain relief that was injected into her arm. It did work and the pain did subside for a short period of time.
Emma felt that her body had started to naturally push at around 03:00 on the 23rd August and that is when the drip I mentioned above was administered.
At 05:00 Emma was examined by the doctor again and she confirmed that Emma was 10cm dilated and was ready to start pushing. I have to say seeing how well Emma managed through the pain and discomfort was very inspiring. There is no way on earth I could have endured what she had to that morning; regardless of how much pain she was in, she did not give up once. She battled through it.
Emma was pushing for hours and hours with still no sign of baby coming. It was very difficult for me to see her in pain but I knew that I had to stay strong for her. By 08:00 on the 23rd August we still had no baby and Emma was totally exhausted and in a great deal of pain. The midwife made the decision that Emma would have to be taken to theatre to deliver our baby. From a quick examination, the baby was not in a good position making it very difficult for her to be delivered.
I can’t remember exactly what time it was that Emma was taken to theatre; by that time I didn’t even know what day it was. Emma was given an epidural and Amber was born at 09:41 on Thursday 23rd August Weighing 7lbs 6oz. She was brought into the world via forceps. Emma was very reluctant to have an epidural before birth saying she definitely didn’t want one. But after pushing all night and being in severe pain she was very happy to be numbed and for it all to be over. I was lucky enough to be allowed to be with her in theatre and watched our daughter come into the world. It was a beautiful moment, one that I will remember for the rest of my life.


I would just like to note at how amazing all the NHS staff were with us. We have not had a bad experience in the whole 9 months Emma was pregnant. The doctors in theatre were amazing, ensuring me and Emma were both calm, they put Disney songs on at Emma’s request and kept her mind at ease. There is no way we will ever be able to pay them back for what they did for us that day. They were all truly amazing.
We are so blessed that Amber is a healthy little girl and was able to come home the following day (Friday 24th August).
We are now 7 days postpartum and both Emma and Amber are doing really well. She is slowly getting into a good routine and is feeding really well (breastfeeding).

Before I go I would like to point out that I have also changed my Instagram name to @meet_the_crockers, I have wanted to change it for a while now but wanted to wait until Amber was born. For now, my website is going to stay The Bearded Dads Survival Guide but may change at some point in the near future.

Thank you if you got this far!

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The Hospital bag| The Bearded Dad’s Survival Guide.

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It’s getting very close to the point where soon I will be able to join the ranks of proud dads that fill my Instagram feed daily. It seems strange that for the past several months I have been at a loose end with content as there has been really very little for me to do in terms of ‘being a dad’. In the coming weeks, my life is going to change forever and I’m really excited to become a dad for the first time and join a great community of fathers; rather than being stood on the sideline and spectating.

With our daughters birth potentially being sooner than we all thought I wanted to write an article documenting everything, we have bought and prepared to go into our hospital bags. Emma is much more organised than me, having her bag already packed and ready to go, whereas my stuff is scattered all over the house. I really need to get my sh*t together!

So, whats in our hospital bags? 

  • 30 nappies (Yes 30! its best to be prepared, babies sh*t a lot, so I’ve heard) We have mixed brands of nappies, some are Pampers and some are supermarket brands. We have no idea which is the best so we have bought a variety.
  • Cotton wool balls.
  • 3 Muslin squares in grey and white (They won’t stay white for long).
  • 5 bodysuits plus 1 personalised body suit which we got from notonthehighstreet.com which is the first outfit she will wear.
  • A variety of different wipes; water wipes and baby wipes etc.
  • 2 hats and matching mittens plus 2 pairs of socks.
  • The coming home dress is a Winnie the Pooh dress from Asda and a knitted white cardigan.
  • SMA pro first infant milk ready to use bottles just in case we have problems with breastfeeding. Hopefully, we won’t need this but its always best to be prepared for any situation!
  • Johnson’s baby oil
  • White knitted shawl knitted by her great grandma.

hosp bag

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That’s one bag packed and ready to go! Now, its a pretty different story for the bag I need to pack. Although I have pretty much everything I’m going to need to take with me to the hospital, it’s scattered randomly all over the house. So instead of telling whats in my hospital bag, I’ll tell you what will be in my hospital bag.

Daddy’s bag.

  • Food; plenty of snacks to last as who knows how long we are going to be in hospital and vending machines are expensive
  • Spare change of clothes.
  • Toothbrush and other toiletries. (nobody likes bad breath.
  • Hypnobirthing notes and our wishes and preferences for birth written down.
  • A book, though my mind may be unable to concentrate on reading.
  • Phone, charger and Bluetooth speaker to keep family up to date on what is happening and also for the use of Spotify. (The use of the speaker will be revealed further down)
  • Plenty of change for the car park.
  • Not going into the bag exactly but packing the car seat into the car ready and also cleaning my car of all the empty Mcdonalds packagings! (they’re everywhere!)
  • My book of dad jokes and my dad T-shirts.

For those who don’t know, we have decided to try hypnobirthing so that Emma can have as natural and pain-free birth as possible. We bought an online course provided by the positive birth company and have been working through the content over the past several months. The good thing about hypnobirthing is that it gives the father and active role in the birth of your baby rather than them being stood on the sideline feeling about as much use as the plastic lids they give you on a Mcflurry. The course teaches the father ways to help comfort and support mum throughout the birth.  Some of my jobs in the birth room will be:

  • Keeping Emma calm with techniques such as light touch massage and the traffic light system.
  • Hitting her with some of my best dad jokes to keep the atmosphere happy and positive.
  • Ensuring that all medical staff and midwives know our requests and being there to speak up for Emma when she may be unable to.
  • Being in charge of the music that we want to play during the birth, hence the Bluetooth speaker. I have made a playlist on Spotify that is a mix of relaxing songs and melodies. If you are interested in said playlist please let me know!

I’m pretty sure that I have covered everything I wanted to talk about above. All I can say now is please continue to watch this space as hopefully soon there will be a big announcement coming. If you want to follow Emma’s Instagram you can do so here @emmwar02

If there’s anything you think I have missed out from either of the bags then please let me know!

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