Kathy (mother of Ethan and Tomas): When I first looked into Ethan’s eyes, he was screaming at the time and I just couldn’t stop staring at him. I’m looking at this child and I couldn’t take enough of him in.
Russell (father of 2): That sort of depth of connection I felt like it happened the very first time that I held him, the very first time I held him at the hospital.
Rebekka (mother of Samson): There is like this Hollywood moment and you see that it’s going to be an instant thing and I think it probably depends partially on how the birth goes. For us, the birth didn’t go the way we’d hoped so it wasn’t an instant Hollywood moment.
Vivian (mother of Alyssa and Julian): Some mothers do love the baby immediately and you know they have this instant connection, but I guess I didn’t.
James (father of 3): Initially it’s hard because they don’t speak to you, they don’t really do anything much except cry and eat and go to the toilet. And when the child gets older and they have a personality and they grow and you can read them stories and you bond that way. But initially I think you do feel a bit left out. I think most fathers get that sense of where do I fit in, what can I do, I can change a few nappies I can do a few baths, but that real sense of bonding probably takes a little bit of time and takes a bit of adjusting to.
Bill (father of 3): I used to have a little sling I’d put her in and carry her around with. And that was wonderful, to get that physical closeness really helped me feel a part of it, because I think, as a dad, in the first few months, you feel a bit isolated. You feel out of it because it’s all about the mum and the baby, about the feeding and there’s not a lot else. And just holding her physically close was the way I felt connected to her and the whole process.
Katherine (mother of Lakita): It took me several months and it wasn’t until I started getting the communication, you know the responding, the smile, you know, and looking into your eyes.
Florence (mother of Gibrael): He started really looking at me and there was this feeling of recognition and that’s where the spark of love came.
Zoran (father of Ethan and Thomas): It was just the way he started, Ethan started interacting with me, it was, it was a smile of recognition really. Kathy witnessed it as well. She said, ‘Have you noticed anything different?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I think we’ve just bonded’. It was just this little smile from this little baby and it just shattered all other preconceived ideas I had about being a father.