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The birth of a child

Impact on daddy and his biometrics

July 13, 2021 -

Today I witnessed the birth of my daughter! You feel humble as a man, witnessing the labour and magic. Not sure if I can come up with something having more impact on a man than this. For the purposes of science and curiosity I wore a biometric sensor, and this is what it recorded.

One of the advantages of a planned cesarean section is that you know when the action will begin - giving you plenty of time to drive to the hospital
One of the advantages of a planned cesarean section is that you know when the action will begin - giving you plenty of time to drive to the hospital
Yours truly dressed up and ready - it's an incredible privilege to be able to witness the surgery as a man - big, big thanks to the hospital staff!!
Yours truly dressed up and ready - it's an incredible privilege to be able to witness the surgery as a man - big, big thanks to the hospital staff!!
Less then one hour later you're a dad - WOW, hello you!
Less then one hour later you're a dad - WOW, hello you!
Luckily my experience from our first child came in handy! Like knowing how to ride a bike, you'll never forget how to change diapers!
Luckily my experience from our first child came in handy! Like knowing how to ride a bike, you'll never forget how to change diapers!
Hours later, when the adrenaline tunes down, you'll start to feel the impact (and have plenty of smudges on your shirt to prove it, ha!)
Hours later, when the adrenaline tunes down, you'll start to feel the impact (and have plenty of smudges on your shirt to prove it, ha!)

Data

For my personal curiosity, learning about my body, I wear a WHOOP sensor. It continuously records:

The beautiful thing about WHOOP is that it allows you to compare one day's data to your normal values, collected and analysed over a longer period of time. This enables WHOOP to very clearly identify deviations from the normal. And, boy, becoming a daddy certainly qualifies: the impact is clearly visible in the data!

Heart rate data during the day - my average rate increases during the day as I am increasingly exhausted - a spike in heart rate is clearly visible around the time I first saw my daughter - amazing
Heart rate data during the day - my average rate increases during the day as I am increasingly exhausted - a spike in heart rate is clearly visible around the time I first saw my daughter - amazing

You don't recover from birth overnight - that takes at least 18 years, I've been told... - and the biometrics shows. The data from the days following the birth clearly shows that my body needs time to adjust to the new reality.

My daughter was born on Tuesday, July 13 - the data clearly shows the impact on my body and its gradual adjustment to this new fatherhood
My daughter was born on Tuesday, July 13 - the data clearly shows the impact on my body and its gradual adjustment to this new fatherhood

A week after my daughter was born things went south for me, I simply ran out of energy and fell ill. On Tuesday, July 20th you can see this in the respiratory rate data. Whenever your body is fighting illness or infection, respiratory rates tend to go up.

Respiratory rate data showing me falling ill, about one week after the birth of my daughter at July 20th.
Respiratory rate data showing me falling ill, about one week after the birth of my daughter at July 20th.

Respiratory rates captured by WHOOP are known to be very stable over time. This makes them a clear indicator whenever things are out of the ordinary. You can clearly see it having a peak in the graph. At that time, I had a fever and had to take precautions because of a possible COVID infection (which turned out not to be the case).

Fever time - 38 degrees Celsius is way above my normal
Fever time - 38 degrees Celsius is way above my normal

Luckily I recovered quickly and was able to get back to my family in good health. I can ensure you that being a parent of two kids requires all the energy you can find!

Returning home recovered and feeling well, time for celebration:
Returning home recovered and feeling well, time for celebration: "Hoera een meisje"
One happy daddy - two amazing kids - multiplayer!
One happy daddy - two amazing kids - multiplayer!

Conclusion

Its not every day that you become a dad, and boy its impact is tremendous. While the woman's work is rightfully respected and heralded as incredible, the birth of a child has physical impact on a man, too. Take care of yourself to be able to put in your best self as parenthood is all about team play!

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