Last Saturday, my little bundle of joy was welcomed by his loved ones twelve days ahead of his expected date of arrival. What used to be a home for two, now is for three.
It has been a week since I’ve become a dad to my newborn son. I can feel that my life has started to change, fast. It has been an exciting and interesting week! As much as many would like to hear the woes of becoming a new dad, my experience thus far makes it tough to focus on the woes. The happiness my little bundle of joy has brought me overcomes everything else that bothers me.
I’ve heard of stories from fathers about the feeling when they see the moment their little bundle of joy is born. They have been described to me as “one the best day(s) of their lives”. Some shed tears, some smiled from ear to ear, some screamed in excitement but I haven’t heard any father spoke any negative experience. I always thought, what’s so exciting about seeing a baby being born? It’s just a little human being coming out of his/her mother’s vagina! There’s nothing to be happy or excited about seeing a human being covered in blood and bodily fluid, or so I thought. It was finally my turn.
0122hrs of 18 January 2020, he ‘popped’ out of my wife after a long and hard 42 minutes of deep breaths and pushing. All of a sudden, something hit me. Hard. I found myself smiling hard, hardest I have in my entire life. I felt my heart pound like I sprinted a 100m race with all my might. My legs were jumping up and down like a kid receiving a new toy. My hands reaching out as if a kid asking for candy. Every inch of my body was in hyper-mode! All the experiences shared to me through the words of fathers were understatements. You’d never know the feeling until it’s your turn! It was at that moment I truly understood why people called babies a bundle of joy. Their existence is like a huge dosage of endorphins! It definitely was by far the best day of my life!
My vision was focused on him alone, the background went grey. My hearing only heard his cries while everything else sounded so muffled. The gynaecologist was calling out to me but I only heard her after a few times. It was time. I was asked to cut the umbilical cord. This, I was not prepared for. I thought the doctor would do it. I was nervous. My hands shook. My heart started racing again. Cold sweat ran down the sides of my face. I reached out for the scissors, pointed it as instructed, in the middle of two clamps. My fingers moved and I began to cut. I imagined it like that of cutting the ribbon at an opening ceremony. Except, it was the start of my son’s life and a new chapter of my life. It was that moment when I felt the change, literally like a shift in gear, something shifted imaginarily in my head. “I’m now a dad”, I whispered.
I looked at my wife. She was relieved from the pain, her eyes fidgeting to look at her newborn whose line of sight was blocked by the nurses. I held her hand, kissed her and thanked her for pulling through such a painful experience. We stayed for two nights before getting discharged on Sunday noon.
Leaving the hospital made the “I’m now a parent” moment more real as we walked out of the ward with our newborn in the arm. The days that followed were full of firsts for us. While my wife was occupied with recovery, I pulled my ass which would normally be glued to the sofa up and did all I could to lessen her burden, from helping to nurse, shower our baby, send him to his doctors’ appointments, registering his birth to providing her with the emotional support she needs. She’s gone through so much, my efforts are incomparable.
With so many experiences and moments the past week, I wake up every day, looking forward to spending all the time I can with my family. I will not say that I can’t wait for my son to grow up and see his development. Rather, I would say that I want to be there with my son at every step of his development.
This is an exciting beginning to a new chapter of our lives.