A New Instance Of Me
⊗ Sep 9, 2019 | read time: 4 min
March 28, 2019, at 12:15:20am was the date and time my life changed. My son, SJ, was born. In purely technical terms: a new instance of me is on the planet and I’m very fortunate to have such a wonderful and healthy baby.
Joy Cometh In The Morning
He arrived after 16+hrs of intense labour. Being my first child, I was present throughout the entire delivery process and it has been the most challenging experience I’ve had. First I wish to tip my hat to my better half. It was as if enduring nine months of varying & unexpected pain plus the emotional roller coaster ride is hard hard enough. Then having to dig deeper and find that extra energy needed to deliver SJ into this world is a new level of difficulty. Despite all those challenges it is true that “joy cometh in the morning” - at 12:15:20 am to be exact. It was a joy to finally meet his little face. Legs curled up, he squealed a small cry as if he was trying to let his presence be known. I couldn’t help but notice the relief on mom’s face as the nurse rest him down on her bosom. It was at this moment that I felt my life changed. At lightening speed my priorities in life changed.
As a new parent, there is this unexpected mental change that I went through. I often hear people say that their child is the centre of their world but now I fully understand its meaning. He takes priority, therefore sleeping, personal goals and ambition had to take a back seat; He is an extension of my identity - he is my new identity.
Holding him for the first time was amazing. Prior to his birth, I’ve always refrained from holding a child younger than 6months old due to the fear of making a mistake. Since majority of my learning are driven through trial and error, the risk of holding a newborn baby was too much for me. This time it was different, I somehow held him in a cuddly manner then I watched his little eyes scan my face.
There is something mystical about the connection between a child and the parents. Throughout her pregnancy, there are a few things I can’t explain but they were either purely coincidental or this child was somehow tapping into my subconscious.
There were instances when she would crave for a particular food/beverages I had consumed a few days earlier. This would happen even when she had no clue what I had eaten. Food such as:
- Ginger beer soda (soft drink), patty (a pastry), yam and other ground provisions. She would always start craving them a day or two after.
- Also, every morning at around 5:00 am, I would play with her tummy and I could feel him kicking. I remember skipping a few play dates, and she would feel him kicking roughly around the same time of the morning.
Folks might brush this off as baby fever but I believe there is more to it than that.
Joy is not the only emotion we experienced. There is a certain level of anxiety and uncertainty new parents experience and we were no exception. Giving birth is a delicate process, just think about how God adjust the baby’s skull so he/she can pass through the birth canal. I consider it a risk vs reward type of event. On one hand the risk of having complications from either the mother or the child vs the reward of seeing the result of the efforts. I had to endure an emotional roller coaster ride during this process. Having seen her gone through the pregnancy symptoms for nine months, it was difficult to see my queen go through delivery as the pain gradually increases. Even though I hid it from her, I was terrified. I’ve heard of stories where the mother or child was unable to make it through and I was hoping & praying that everyhing went according to plan.
I don’t see my self putting my wife/best friend through this again in the near future. Knowing that I played a role in her pain and discomfort for over nine months has been lingering in my mind. Maybe I’m looking at the glass half empty instead of half full, but it was a mentally taxing process. Kids are expensive; that is from a social and economic level. It is not an easy process and I would encourage potential fathers to be there for the mother of your child every step of the way.
Another life lesson that I can share with couples is to ensure your relationship is solid - otherwise please wear condoms! If you and your partner are not in sync, having a child can potentially negatively affect your relationship with your spouse. From a relationship perspective, I’m very much grateful that we are on solid footing. To the males: being in the delivery room is hard so if the pressure becomes too much of a burden it is ok to exit for a few and cry if you want to. But afterwards, get back in there and give your family the best version of yourself.
I look forward to learning more as I grow into this new role. During the early stages, it was time where sleeping was a limited commodity due to our new boss feeding cycle. On the fun side, he is rapidly growing - much faster than I thought and the changes he is going through brings laughter. It is also good to put a stop to my dad’s yearly remarks around his potential grandkid. But I do see the blessings that a child brings to a family, how we all adjust our lives to ensure he is comfortable. In closing I do hope he goes easy on my pockets as they are already empty.