Lions wing COURTNALL SKOSAN explains what it’s been like for him and wife Semone to welcome their second son, Carlin Christian, into the world.
Our first son, CJ (Courtnall Jordan) was born two years ago, so this time around we knew exactly how to prepare for the birth of Carlin. Semone had her bags for the hospital packed three months before her due date and knew what needed to be in them. We also had a plan for when we came back home with Carlin, in terms of who would be on nightshift when, who would handle the bottles, etc.
The day after CJ was born in 2017, I had to go to Port Elizabeth to join the Springboks ahead of our match against Argentina so I was away for the first two weeks of his life. This time, I’ve been at home, so it’s been a lot easier for Semone and I’ve loved being able to experience it all.
You don’t get a lot of sleep when you have a little one, but Semone and I have a flexible schedule that allows one of us to sleep while the other is on baby duty. My day off at the Lions is on a Wednesday, so I’ll always take the Tuesday night shift. If I have a match on a Saturday, then Semone will be on the Friday night shift.
Carlin was born three weeks premature so if he’s hungry, we feed him. There’s no set routine yet – sometimes it’s an hour and a half between feedings, sometimes three hours.
When I get home from work I try to do things like sterilising the bottle, but I’m a little bit scared to bath him as my hands are big and he’s only 2.6kg! I leave that to Semone because she knows how to handle him.
I think you have to be careful when it comes to giving tips to fathers-to-be because every child is different. The most important thing is to just enjoy the moment and be there for your wife when she needs you, before and after the birth.
I wouldn’t even compare the birth of a child to a rugby moment, like making your Springbok debut or scoring your first Test try.
The best things that have ever happened to me in my life are the day I gave my heart to the Lord, the day I met my wife, the day we got married, and then the days my sons were born. None of those moments can compare to a favourite try or even pulling the Springbok jersey over my head for the first time.
The fact that God has blessed us with another life to look after is mind-blowing. It’s such a massive privilege and responsibility. Helping to guide someone through life and become the best person they can possibly be is way bigger than anything else you can do.