During my wife's pregnancy, I was confused and uncertain about my role as a father. I received mixed advice that only added to my uncertainty. Things took a turn for the worse when we visited a doctor who seemed to conclude that my 30-year-old wife was at high risk for complications just because of her age, without reviewing our medical history. This negative experience left me feeling discouraged.
Fortunately, we found a more caring and reassuring doctor who provided personal care and reassured us that giving birth is a natural process that humans have been doing for ages. Despite complications during the pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and a loop on the baby's neck, we were comforted by the fact that the baby was active and responding well to treatment.
As my wife and I were trying to conceive for some time, we eventually lost hope. I know this might sound weird, but I had a unique way of connecting with my future child. I would have lucid dreams (or astral project) and ask girl children around if they would like to join our family in the hope of a miracle, but they always denied it and walked away. On a fine day, I entered a dream and a boy looked into my eyes. I sat down and held his hand, I asked if he would join me. He smiled. That same month, my wife conceived. I believe that this experience is a sign of my personal connection with my child, even before my wife was pregnant with the baby.
Fast forward, after a few months, the baby boy was born, whenever the baby cried and no one else could calm him down, I would take him in my arms and he would instantly calm down. It was a remarkable experience that surprised everyone who witnessed it. Despite cultural taboos that prohibited me from being present in the room while my wife was feeding the baby, Out of all the ladies in the room, I was the only one who was able to understand if my baby was crying out of hunger, or he was sleepy or wanted to be held closer to my heart. The baby seemed to have an instant connection with me, and I felt a deep bond with him in those moments. With all the hurdles that came along, we were able to get through them with love and support from both of our families.
In the end, our journey through pregnancy and the early days of parenthood was filled with ups and downs. Even after a month, life is still chaotic, but the experiences of pure love and the strengthening of our bond as a family are wonderful. We learned to navigate the confusion and uncertainty that comes with this life-changing event and emerged stronger and more united every time we faced a hurdle.
One of the realizations that I had through this journey is that it’s generally said baby doesn’t know anything. But every single time the newborn surprised me. When he starts crying, I just give him my index finger and he used to hold it tightly, I just reassured him by saying “Baby, your papa is here, you don’t have to worry about anything” and he would immediately stop crying and give a sweet smile and sleep off. He wouldn’t hold anyone else and calm down with anyone else’s voice.
I wish all fathers get to live those moments with the child in their life. I wish all fathers get paternal leave just like how mothers get. So they don’t miss the best moments of their life.