The hospital room was enveloped in hope albeit with apprehensions and uncertainty. Laid on the bed like an ordinary soul was a patient who symbolised the most sublime form of courage, unwavering strength, and insurmountable perseverance. The medical staff would enter the room every next hour to check BP, replace drip bottle, and coldly asked if we required anything before rushing towards door. This was the scene of hospital room where my wife was admitted before birth of a baby girl.
At around 3 am, they took her in the labour room to attempt normal delivery. I waited outside while earnestly praying that everything goes fine. I kept receiving calls, but I didn’t know what to say so I allowed it to ring. After 30 min, a doctor came out accompanied with other staff. Their body language did not seem promising.
“Sir, the progress is not adequate and waiting for normal delivery would not be safe”. Having heard that, I can no longer recall what they said except for some serious faces with moving lip. They asked me to sign a paper filled with medical jargons, I obeyed. It was perhaps a declaration on anaesthesia to be given before operation and agreeing to afford the associated Risks.
The patient was then taken to the operation theatre. While I was immersed in unpredictability and stress, the hospital staff continued their formal work besides gossiping in a lighter mood. The clock ticks were noisier than rocks falling from cliffs. I began to search about caesarean on internet and it returned mixed results – very favourable, mildly complicated and the dreadful. Ironically, I didn’t know which one would apply to my fate.
Seeing your child for the first time is incredibly euphoric moment of life, a whole new universe of happiness is confined in that little existence.
I waited for about 45 minutes, which actually felt like centuries, after which the Doctor assured that everything was fine, and they would show me the new-born in a while, Sigh! Seeing your child for the first time is incredibly euphoric moment, there is a whole new universe of happiness confined in the little existence. It renders you speechless, thoughtless, and unanimated since the purest emotions are not expressible through words and actions, but only through eyes.
Ironically, the true conqueror of this episode is the last person to discover this miracle, the mother of baby! “Sir, we can take her to the room only when anaesthesia effects subside to normal levels, it would roughly take few hours”, declared the head nurse with indifference.
Like many others, the first thought that struck my mind after holding the new-born was, “Am I really a father?” I was fraught with uncertainty about meeting this challenge besides possibility of being judged by experienced people around. No matter how much you’ve excelled in other fields, this is the time to be spoon-fed by elders and all of us are lucky to have many role models in our family to look up to.
During next few days in hospital, we noticed that medical staff would not handle the baby so delicately as we thought – rapidly getting her upside-down during inspections and wrapping her so tightly – but we had to trust them. They taught us about infantile care on every visit and we struggled to catch up with all the guidelines. Nevertheless, the actual learning begins when you step back into your home where awaits you a totally different life filled with joy and struggle.
Delivering a baby is perhaps the most tormenting experience for a mother but what follows is not forgiving either. She endures distressful biological, physical, hormonal, emotional changes, which are just few to mention. Regular visits to gynae, strict food plans, post-partum depression, unsolicited advices, complete loss of ‘me-time’ are some unavoidable repercussions which are both sudden and intense at the same time. However, perhaps the most appalling realisation is that her spouse is not naturally able to understand these challenges. Therefore, this is not surprising that developed countries provide counselling services for both to-be-mother and to-be-father to prepare for these changes. But today, no excuse can be acceptable by even a 3rd world country father who has access to internet and the rapid information. New mothers are in dire need of husband’s support, kindness, and care more than ever before.
Entering parenthood provides another important realization. Only when you start managing a child, you fill in the tough boots of your own parents and begin to understand the patience and grace depicted in their words and actions. It should naturally intensify our love, respect, and desire to serve them.
You fill in the real boots of your parents only when you become a parent yourself
Becoming a parent requires breaking loose from sophistication, articulation, and elegance; by contrast, it is about diving into smelly diapers, sleepless nights, multitasking with one arm and so on. Nevertheless, the sweet little life returning a smile or any other gesture after seeing you is more than enough to pay off.
The article is inspired by the courage of my wife, my mother and all other women who sail through agonizing phases of motherhood with incredible dignity and strength.