15 years ago, I became a father. Our son Noah was born at the old Mercy Hospital in East Melbourne. It was one of the best days of my life – equalled only by the birth of Noah’s younger brother and sister. And when he was just three or four days old, I remember leaving the hospital with Cath to take our baby home. I remember the nervous energy, the butterflies. And I remember the fear.
It’s one of the most precious times in your life, but leaving the hospital with a tiny newborn is also one of the most terrifying. As an exhausted Cath got into the passenger seat, it was my job to buckle up Noah in the back. I reckon it took me an hour.
Was the seat fitted properly? Was he buckled in tight? What happens to the seat if I take a curve too quickly? Should I check the instructions just one more time?
The next few days and weeks at home were a sleep-deprived blur of visitors, cuddles, feeding, nappies, bath times and bedtimes. And chaos.