I have discovered that there are three main emotions now that I am a father, and all three are experienced quite intensely.
Firstly, there is love. I am addicted to my son. I want to kiss him, hold him, stroke him and generally be near him all the time. He amazes me.
Secondly, there is excitement. We are a family, our future is both wonderful and mysterious, which makes it exciting. There is so much to look forward to, and even more to appreciate now. Life with Henry is filled with love and excitement.
However, as I lie here awake at gone midnight, listening to the coughs, wheezes, splutters and movements of my 15 days old son it strikes me that fear also makes up a rather large component of my emotional state. I currently cannot sleep because each splutter terrifies me that he is choking. Perhaps he has thrown up and cannot clear his airwaves. So I lie, waiting for the next noisy breath. Which doesn't come. I tell my wife to stop breathing so I can listen for his. And just as I am on the verge of leaping across the room to his crib, he coughs and I let out a sigh of relief.
The strange thing is I am usually a rational and logical person. I am fully aware that I am biologically programmed to care for his welfare, whilst he is biologically programmed to carry on breathing. Yet this does not stop that yawning pit in my stomach when something happens. And so many things happen! His joints crack, I accidentally touch the soft bit on his head, he splutters in his sleep, he jerks and his head goes further than I expect, he throws up lying back.
I once joked to my wife that all we had to do was keep him alive, anything else was a bonus. It would appear that my brain has taken this seriously and now will not let me rest. I have been reliably informed that this never goes away.
This love - how exciting...