12 moments I did not know were HUGE before I became a dad!
Before I became a dad, I never knew these small things would mean the world to me! Now, as a new parent, I know why!
Last year I became a dad. But the parenting journey started right since we found out that my wife was pregnant. I am a doctor. I have delivered babies. I have witnessed fathers cry when they first held their daughter. And when you do this a dozen odd times, you become a bit insensitive towards the whole new parent moments.
Naturally, before I became a father, I did not think that these small things, these milestones that we ticked off so clinically on the list as doctors could be so significant for parents! So today, on the occasion of Fathers day, I will share with you 12 such moments that I still remember as if they happened today!
This is an intimate moment. Even though, to the world, it is just peeing on a stick, for a parent who is anxious to have a baby, those 30-45 odd seconds before the extra line appears on the pregnancy test seem like a lifetime. I remember holding hands with my wife, holding my breath till we could see something pink where the ‘pregnant’ line was supposed to be. And I can never remember the hug, followed by tears.
And being an oddball scientific couple, we took the test again. You may find it gross, but I still have the sticks stored safely in my drawer, labelled with the date!
Doctors are an anxious bunch. So we could not really wait till the proper appointment was scheduled. I was more anxious than my wife, as I was pretty sure that we were going to have twins. A couple of days before the scan date, we visited my cousin who is an obstetrician. She did the first scan and it was WOW! We were speechless. We had seen quite a lot of tiny infant hearts doing their ‘lub-dub’, but this was our own baby. It was a huge moment for us! I promised my wife to accompany her to every following scan.
I remember the day. We were having lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant – Ngon at One Raffles Place. And that is when she felt the first movement. As our doctor had described it, it was like a goldfish moving in a fish bowl. We were talking about something and she suddenly stopped and welled up. She told me why and I welled up as well! It is still our favourite restaurant, and food has nothing to do with it being so!
The kicks intensified and later on, every time he would hear my voice after a long time, he would kick! He then started kicking wherever I put my hand on her tummy. It was divine! I made a prophecy that he would play football some day. Let’s see!
For us, it was a medically indicated planned C-section. So, we knew when we had to reach the hospital. I thought I would be cool, you know! It would be simple. How wrong was I!
She was taken to the OT. I changed into scrubs. The procedure was clinical. Our obstetrician is an expert and my cousin was assisting her. And suddenly, I say a tiny wiggly lump being pulled out of her tummy. That was our boy! I can never forget the moment. He was there, like a cheese-covered potato. But to us, he was the most beautiful thing on the earth.
He was vaccinated with BCG before the discharge. He did not react much. And I was not around when it happened. However, when we took him for the first vaccination, I felt more pain than he must have. He stopped crying in a minute, but I continued well beyond it. He has taken all his jabs with grace, but I still am a mess every time.
We took him to NUH for his routine hospital visit. And it turned out to be the first massively embarrassing blowout we had to deal with.
It so happened that the nurse weighed him. And we were next in the queue for the doctor’s appointment. While the good old doc was examining him, he pooped massively. Thankfully, the doctor did not mind much and continued to examine him after wiping him with a paper towel! Man, that was embarrassing! But it stopped being so after a while. He is a baby after all!
I almost missed the moment. He has been trying to roll over for so long that we thought we would be barely excited when it would really happen. However, we had our cameras out everytime he tried to do so. And boy, it felt like a huge achievement when it finally happened!
It was horrible. We had been to Chinatown, his first non-hospital recreational outing. And he got so excited looking at all the bright lights! He did not sleep at all in the afternoon. By 7 PM, he was excited beyond his capacity, and he spent the entire night crying. That marked the 2-month-long daily episodes of inconsolable crying. We later found out that this was a part of the development process, something known as Period of PURPLE crying. But yes, I still remember the day very well.
It stopped suddenly one day, and now, all we remember is the day he cried after the visit to Chinatown.
He started dragging himself and sure enough, when he was about 7 months old, he started crawling. We were so excited! It was very difficult for him at first. He would often bump his head. So we padded the floor. Slowly, within a month, he was an expert crawler and now, he just races out of the door as soon as it is opened!
He used to smile, and it was cute. However, the first time he giggled out loud is something I can never forget. My wife and I were cleaning the room and he saw the broom move around. God knows why he found it so funny but he giggled out loud! Ever since we have been doing silly stuff just to make him giggle like that!
We were bathing him. And I decided to have some fun. So I put him in an empty narrow tub. Guess what happened next? He grabbed the edges and stood up! I was stunned. He repeated it a few more times, grabbing the furniture. Now, he just cruises along the length of the TV table like an expert!
He started babbling a few months back. It started as “gugugaga”, and is now “toi-toi “followed by an episode of clapping! I cannot tell you how hugely adorable it is! We are just waiting for him to start addressing us as Dada” and “Mamma”, but for now, we are happy being called “Du”!
There are many more milestones yet to achieve, but till now, these are a dozen things that I never imagined would be so beautiful!
Also, read “I love my wife’s post-partum body” if you have not already done that!