As we've shared, Jordan and Robby became dads to Kellan via surrogacy on July 7, 2016. Now that they've made it through the first three months, we asked them to talk with us about what it's like to take care of a newborn.
Jordan acknowledged that his and Robby's nerves were "through the roof" when they left the hospital with Kellan. Fortunately, Kellan slept the entire hour drive home, and when they arrived they were met by friends and family, even neighbors, who had followed their 21-month journey.
The new dads took off two weeks from work to bond with their son and to work out logistical issues like figuring out how to tend to a baby and walk two dogs all while getting ready for work in the morning. They knew that people had been parenting for thousands of years and so, while it all seemed so complicated at first, they also knew that they, too, would be fine.
"Our first action was to set a sleep schedule plan. We decided to rotate each night on who would get up to feed, change and tend to Kellan. That process has worked and we still continue it today."
As the dads describe it, this time period was really about keeping Kellan alive as he pretty much just ate, slept and pooped. "As dads we just watched over him and tended to him knowing that as long as he was safe, had a clean diaper, and was warm, well-fed and loved then he was essentially good."
On their second day home, Kellan's fourth day of life, they brought him to the pediatrician. While the new dads remembered the baby, they did forget his diaper bag with all its essentials. (Certainly a common mistake, but one that they plan not to repeat!)
The following week Jordan had to take Kellan for a follow-up doctor's visit to get weighed--it's normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight during the days following their birth--and they wanted to make sure he was re-gaining this weight. (He was!) Evidently, sleep deprivation can cause amazing things. Jordan shared that "this time I remembered the diaper bag, but after I got into the car I realized Kellan was still in the house!"
We asked Jordan to give us an honest and accurate description of their lives during the first four weeks. "The first month is a test. It's a test at planning and multi-tasking, and it's especially a test on patience as you're always tired. (You find yourself speaking complete gibberish due to lack of sleep.) Shaving becomes pointless and if you're partnered, it's certainly a test on your relationship. Sex becomes as obsolete as a ski jacket in Florida in mid July."
On a positive note, he adds that "...learning to bathe your baby goes from scary to joyful as he grows to love it. You begin to learn the non-verbal cues and appreciate how much communication overall is non-verbal. You completely alter your life and you do so happily as you are in total, unimaginable love."
In response to questions about their daily routine, Jordan explains, "Each night you have your 'to do' list, but that quickly goes out the window as your life literally becomes all about nurturing the newest love of your life. We are blessed that Kellan has been a great sleeper. During the day we feed him every 2-2.5 hours counting from the start of the last bottle. That leaves little time to quickly walk the dogs, clean up a bit and get some emails out before the next bottle."
Gays With Kids: What has most surprised you about being dads?
Jordan: Love at first sight truly does exist! The moment you see your son you whisper some promise to him as your first words and you just know you would do anything for him.
Gays With Kids: What is one thing that hasn't come as a surprise?
Jordan: It's a full-time job and the lack of sleep is not caught up by one good night's sleep.
Gays With Kids:What do you find most exciting about fatherhood?
Jordan: Everyday I look forward to seeing what new expression, new look or new action Kellan will do that day.
Gays With Kids: Help inspire future gay dads by sharing some of your most precious moments.
Jordan: When Kellan began to recognize our voices, his first laugh, being able to calm him simply by holding him and, by far the best, when he falls asleep on my chest on the couch--that's pure peace!
Gays With Kids: As dads to a newborn, what's the one thing you could not live without?
Check out Jordan Letschert's blog here on Gays With Kids.