New father Mark Thompson and his wife Kristen, of Winnipeg, welcomed their first-born child Blake Elliot Thompson into the world on Sunday, May 26, at St. Boniface Hospital – fewer than 48 hours before this interview.
Mark, who is self-employed as a mechanical engineering technologist, grew up on a farm outside the community of Minnedosa, Manitoba.
How did you choose your baby’s name?
Kristen suggested ‘Blake’. When I first heard it, I thought, ‘That is a great name! I wish I’d thought of that.’ His middle name, Elliot, was just a name that sounded good with Blake. They were just names that we liked.
What does becoming a new father mean to you?
The start of an adventure. A game-changer. It’s going to be a new outlook on life: instead of me living for me, it’s me living for Blake and family. I was rooting for a boy…I’m thinking he might be interested in the things I like to do, and that’ll work out all right.
What was your recent experience here in St. Boniface Hospital like?
It’s been great. We came into it not really knowing what we were getting into. The whole day was a surprise – we didn’t expect to be getting into it as soon as we did. We came in thinking we’d be told to return home, but that wasn’t the case. We didn’t have a lot of time to think it all through, it just happened!
The support’s been great; all the stages of it have gone well and we’ve met some great nurses along the way. I think the fact that it went smoothly and stress-free…I won’t use the word ‘fun’, but the nurses always kept everything light when we were going through it.
“If there’s one thing I’ve picked up on, it’s to lead by example. Because you probably don’t realize how much you’re being watched, as a father.”
What have you learned about fatherhood from your own dad or other father figure?
If there’s one thing I’ve picked up on, it’s to lead by example. Because you probably don’t realize how much you’re being watched, as a father. And how much you’re setting an example indirectly.
What about fatherhood are you looking forward to?
I think just the fun of living through my own son’s adventures.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do with your baby when you get home?
We’re going to have a nap.
Blake, who slept through our interview, is already learning to be chill from his dad. “Mark has the calmest personality, and Blake is taking after him already,” said Kristen.
Donate in celebration of a birth or other special occasion, or in honour of a father, through St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.