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Leach cherishes newfound fatherhood

MON. |5-6-24| FEATURES

     A father's involvement can impact their child's development, whether positive or negative. As far as art teacher Randall Leach can remember, his father was not present in his life which is why being there for his son is important to him. 

      "My real dad was not a part of my life at all; I reconnected with him as an adult," Leach said. "But I did grow up with a step-father who is amazing and did everything a dad could be and would be."

     When Leach’s wife told him the news of her pregnancy it left him astonished since they were not planning on having children. Leach and his wife of fifteen years just recently had their baby on Valentine's Day.

     "This was wildly out of the blue,” Leach said. “It came out of nowhere [and] it was a great surprise."

     After Leach told his family and friends he was expecting a baby, everyone was left speechless, since his relatives gave up on him having children due to his age.


Contributed Photo

     "When we told everyone, they thought it was a joke, but then it became so much excitement," Leach said. "And for co-workers, everybody was just so excited and like 'Why didn't you tell us'."

     Leach’s son is now nine weeks old. The birth of his son will be is an unforgettable memory.  

     "It was amazing; the whole birthing process was a whirlwind," Leach said. "Once you hear that cry, [and] they got him out of there I started crying, it's just an unreal feeling."

     As time progressed after the birth of Leach's son, everything kept accelerating, since Leach was on paternity leave. Although Leach loves his job, he has moments when he reminisces about the time spent with his family while at work.

     "I put scrolling photos on my phone so that my home screen changes and has images of him," Leach said.

     Leach tries to go home during his free time at work to give his wife a helping hand.

     "I was trying to be the one that can help get my little squared away when she physically wasn't able because of giving birth," Leach said. "Anytime I felt like I could do more, I would do more because she has to go through much more physically and mentally."

     Leach and his wife are on a new morning routine since he is back working full-time. 

     "I go to bed earlier and wake up at 12 a.m. and I am with him awake from twelve to seven a.m. so that she can sleep, and when she gets up, I get ready for work so she will have some rest," Leach said.

     His little bundle of joy is worth losing a little sleep when it comes to the special moments they share. 

     "He is doing all those little things even to those sleepless nights [they're] still enjoyable, because I know I can't get these moments back," Leach said.

     Although parenthood has been full of joyful moments so far, being a first-time dad does have its scary moments.

      Leach’s son was born prematurely so one day when he was not eating it worried Leach and his wife, so they contacted Vidant's emergency line since the children's hospital is closed on Sundays. They were frightened something unbelievable might happen because Leach’s wife had some complications during her pregnancy. Thankfully everything was fine, and Leach’s son was receiving proper nutrition. 

     Since Leach is an art teacher, he is excited about his son’s future and what topics he can educate him on. 

     "I look forward to just doing stuff, I have the opportunity to teach him some art," Leach said. "He is going to be shading and coloring as soon as he can pick up a pencil."

     Leach's experience as a first-time dad has been amazing. He also acknowledges as a father he will never go through as much as his wife, being that she gave birth to their son.

     "Know that all you're doing is enough and at the same time it'll never be as enough as the woman is doing and continuing doing," Leach said.

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