This Week In Dadville

So far it’s been a pretty good week. Eleanor and Josie got demoted (or promoted, I’m not sure which) into Nursery 2 – where the care is a little bit less intensive. And in theory the number of beeps coming out of the machines is slightly lower. It’s still pretty bleepy though. Imagine a room with 8 machines like this one all going off at the same time.

It’s odd but you get used to it. Your brain starts to filter it out. And you start to hear only the things inside the gaps.

I’m not sure what the constant bleeping is going to do to our musical tastes, or the musical taste of our girls. Oddly, I have noticed that I’ve not been listening to any minimal techno this week. I think anything that involves electronic noises that could have been generated by a medical instrument might find its way off my playlist in the short term. Maybe in years to come I’ll find it strangely comforting and nostalgic. Who knows?

One thing I did find myself pondering the other day was what’s the first machine that ever went beep? And who invented the beep? Wikipedia’s entry on Beep (sound) doesn’t have the answer – but I’m sure someone out there must know. Anyone, anyone?

Anyway that’s a digression from my transition into full-on baby bore…

So, Eleanor and Josie are in nursery 2 now. I’ve done that bit. They’re drinking mum’s milk through tubes and they’re starting to put on weight. They’re still tiny and covered in wires and probes. But the numbers of tubes seem to be decreasing slowly. Which is great. And the best thing of all, is that it means that we’re able to take them out of the incubators for a cuddle for a couple of hours a day.

‘Cuddle’ is one of ‘those’ words. A word that I never thought I’d be able to write in public. The fact I can is symbolic of the massive level of change that this whole experience has brought about.

Here’s a picture of me and Sophie with the girls out of the incubator. Sorry about the lack of clothes. We’re in a special nudists ward where they’re banned. That’s just how things are done in Brighton.


Seriously (if you’re interested) the real reason is because skin to skin contact with parents has proved to be a massive contributing factor in accelerating development of premature babies – it’s called Kangaroo Care – and besides we do have clothes on under the sheets.

It’s fantastic that it’s good for the twins, I’m certain that it’s good for their parents. Holding them like this makes everything in the world seem like it’s going to be OK. Here’s hoping that the next few weeks are as good as this one…

You’ll have noticed that I’ve totally decided to ignore what I’d said before about not turning this into a dad-blog. I got so many lovely, wonderful supportive emails that suggested I shouldn’t be shy about posting this stuff that I’ve decided to give in to popular opinion. Plus it’s impossible for me to think about much else right now.

To be honest I’m not sure that it’s my fault, this article from Slate about ‘What fatherhood does to the body and the brain’ hints at a hormonal shift that might have occurred in me. They say:

There’s also preliminary but tantalizing evidence that fatherhood can change the brain.

Yes! See. It’s not my fault.

A 2006 study found enhancements in the prefrontal cortex of the father marmoset. After childbirth, the neurons in this region showed greater connectivity, suggesting that having young children could boost the part of the brain responsible for planning and memory…

Oh, that’s not quite what I was looking for. Never mind…

And one last thing for the baby fans, here they are…


24 thoughts on “This Week In Dadville”

  1. Iain
    Your blog is making me laugh and cry at the same time. Love to you all.
    Katy T x x x x xx x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. I hate ‘cute’ and ‘sweet’ expressions but can’t use anything else here:)

  3. Absolutely making me teary eyed and smiling like an idiot awesome is what that pic of the four of you is! Loving your Dad posts. :-)

  4. Ditto all the above. The picture is wonderful. Also, to descend quickly into meaningless jabber, it’s wonderful to hear a use of the word kangaroo as a modifier that’s not pejorative. Up with kangaroo care!

  5. Kanga cuddles are the best aren’t they.

    And BTW with the beeps – you will hear them in your sleep after a while. I remember watching them going “come on, up above 90 little girl, that noise is driving me crazy”. :)

  6. long time reader, first time commenter. Love the dad-type posts (disclaimer: i’m a dad too, plus a web geek). Keep ’em coming.

  7. Loving the new dad blog! I’m always trying to surreptitiously sneak my little ‘un in under some tenuous link. much better to just be bold about it, although of course your dad stuff is more interesting and unusual than most!
    Congratulations to you all anyway and keep it up (the dad and non-dad stuff)

  8. Maybe you should rename the blog ‘parental unit’. Ho ho ho!

  9. You think they won’t change your life that much… then they do.

    As a newish (4.5 months) father myself I can confidently state that, even though as a digital media ‘guru’ you would once have laughed at this ever happening, you will:

    • be unable not to post dad comments on your blog
    • take hundreds of crap pictures with your iPhone, but not be able to delete even the worst ones of them
    • bore everyone in the pub who is polite enough to feign interest, with all your crap iPhone photos of them – that is if you indeed ever get to the pub again
    • download BabySoothe iPhone app and hail it as the best piece of software ever written when it’s the only thing to get them to sleep in the middle of the night
    • tweet at least once about getting pissed, puked, and poo-ed on
    • realise that you never knew the real meaning of tired before they came along – and then a month later realise that there’s another level of tiredness still

    Enjoy! (You will, don’t worry.) I for one am looking forward to more posts about the twins. Just don’t teach them to pick their nose in public…

    I took mine to the last-but-one Glug to get him in the digital way early:

  10. Congrats, we’re 5 months into number two (Leon, a son) and my daughter Mira is just over 2. And here I was thinking that I had a tough time because my daughter was still so dependent when Leon arrived…

    Oh, and if there’s any fatherhood cliché you come across that doesn’t turn out to be true, let me know… I’m still on the lookout.

    As for daddy blogging: the fact that I decided to avoid that altogether is probably responsible for the lack of posts for the past 6 months. So go daddyposts!

    All the best and lots of (human) warmth for you and your family

  11. Awwww – back from holiday, such good news!!

    Michael, who I work with, had twin girls 12 weeks early (I guess that technically it was his wife to be fair…) and they are now happy and healthy 6 year old terrors. They’re not even little apparently, the only thing is that they are unlikely to be free divers as their lung capacity is slightly smaller than average.

    Thinking of you all and I have to admit that I like the Dad and Baby posts. Maybe that’s just because I am a soppy girl.



  12. Hi Iain,

    Welcome to the new dad club. Hope you and the family are well! Josie and Eleanor look like wonderful baby girls, and you must be so proud of them. Loving the topless photo … You’re so sexy. ;-)

    And I had no idea you were married to Sandra Bullock. Impressive.


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  15. Hello,

    I am a Lactation Consultant at a hospital in Nevada. I stumbled across your blog while searching for images of kangaroo care. I am trying to put together some handouts for the parents of our NICU babies to encourage them to use this technique with their premature babies. I love the photo of you and your wife and wanted to know if you would be willing to allow us to use it.

    A pleasure to encounter your blog,

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