So it is with fathers, when the Baby comes too early

29. January 2015 Benjamin Peters daughter was born with only 320 grams. The then-32-Year-old felt faint, he wanted to do everything so that his daughter survived, but he could hardly help. Initially, he was not allowed to take once in the Arm, she was much too small and delicate.

In addition, a Problem of chasing the next: Less than 24 hours after birth, the little girl had a cardiac arrest. It only survived because of the Doctors intervention fast enough. It infections, blood poisoning followed, breathing problems. The diet was difficult and the Baby was growing too slowly.

But there was also progress: Three weeks after the birth of Benjamin Peters was allowed to hold his daughter for the first Time in the Arm. “I could hardly believe my luck,” he says. Another three months later, Peters and his wife were allowed to take your child is finally home, and it weighed, in the meantime, 2190 grams.

The backbone for the other

As a father of a Frühchens Peters had a special and often difficult role. The mother and the child, of course, received all the attention, he felt as though he stood in the second row, sometimes as a spectator. At the same time moving it to the always new questions and problems just as strong as his wife, he feared, as well as the life of the daughter. His voice trembles when he speaks of these weeks and months. The time in the hospital was the hardest time in his life, says Peters.

My wife is mentally normally quite strong, but straight after the birth and when our Little one again and again immediately in danger of their lives floated, she was obviously very emotional. My role was clear: I was trying to be a robust backbone. In the conversations with the Doctors and with my wife, I tried to look at things comparatively unemotional and rational questioning.

So my wife and I formed in this time, a good Team. I was able to make a difference, and if it was only this stabilizing effect on my wife, this was extremely important to me.

Otherwise, I felt lost to me during these months often. Although the built-in me, Doctors and nurses to take care of as well as possible, and I could also good the Small. But I was not the mother. In rare cases, it even felt like I should make something, so I’m satisfied. I was, however, used virtually really, it just didn’t feel that way. And that was sometimes difficult.”

Overburdened Fathers

Eva Vonderlin, head of area children and families in the Psychotherapeutic University outpatient clinic, Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, is aware of this Problem: “The father is according to the modern role-model as the reference person for the child as the mother, and would like to offer in addition to emotional support for his partner.” In the extreme Situation of a premature birth, he wanted to be that role, of course, very fair. “If this is not successful, it can become a excessive demand”, so Vonderlin.

Again and again, the psychotherapist, sees fathers, the pain under psychosomatic symptoms, such as abdominal pain, back pain, headaches, sleep disorders and concentration disorders.

Many of the fathers of the pressure during the weeks and months after a premature birth is exacerbated by the fact that the normal everyday working life continues. “There is protection of the Mother before and after birth, but no similar protection time for the fathers,” says Vonderlin. “A lot of men have to cope next to the rigors in the clinic the work.”

“I was often at the Limit”

These experiences also had to make Sebastian Behrens. The 35-Year-old was weighed in July 2015 with a father of a son, the birth of 1480 grams.

In the 35. Week of pregnancy, our son was very surprising to the world. I had the great fortune to get in to my employer spontaneously three weeks of vacation. But after that, I returned to my company, while my wife and my child needed me at home. ‘Mr Behrens, to fit your family’, had been told by the doctor at discharge from the clinic to me. He had meant, of course friendly, but it was, in retrospect, a lot of pressure. In the office I worked sometimes like a Zombie, at home, I was exhausted, but the effort was there.

During this time I was often at the Limit. Most of the people inquire after the health of mother and child. You will feel as soon as the fifth wheel on the wagon.”

Exchange for Facebook

If all care primarily to the mother and the child is also in need of a man, someone with whom he can talk. Sebastian Behrens was missing this exchange. Only two years later, he was at a club where he could talk to like-minded people. Because he did so well, he founded a Facebook group. Although only a few weeks ago launched, it has already more than 90 members. Behrens says:

It is a closed group, so you can only become a member if you are a premature baby-father is. Within the group all are amazingly open. The new members usually tell in great detail your history, this then leads to conversations. We talk about everything and anything, it’s about emotional and psychological things, to the relationship with the Partner, and also to very practical things, such as the question of when the Baby complementary foods should get. Time of introduction of complementary foods. For me, the group a source of information and a shoulder to Lean on at the same time.”

Eva Vonderlin recommends that, in addition to taking professional help: “In almost every neonatal Station in Germany, there is on request a psychological consultation and a social service that helps to important questions.” For the cook in the first few weeks home, for the bureaucratic requirements such as applying for child benefit can be recommended for all kinds of support – for brothers and sisters care.

“Those who accept the help, have more time for the family”, so Vonderlin. “And if it is possible and to suffer greatly under the Stress, you have to leave for a couple of days to call in sick.” Each person must know his own limits.

Help the premature infants ‘ fathers Sebastian Behrens and Benjamin Peters to find today each other, in the exchange with other preemies-fathers, with whom they talk about the experience. Now that you are big hurdles have been taken, work you consolidate, you have to get your life back on track. Their children, today, both three years old, is doing well.