How a father was born

The ticking of the clock. The humming of the hospital going about its daily life.

And a pain I’d never felt before – steadily rising.

“Don’t worry. I’m with you.” My husband gave my hand a reassuring squeeze as my induction progressed.

The labour pains racked my whole body. I squirmed, screamed, scrunched my eyes tightly shut. When I opened them, my eyes met my husband’s.

It’s funny how I’ll never forget that moment. It’s a moment isolated in time for me. His look of despair, wishing he could bend the universe to make me pain-free. Trying to communicate calmness to me. My husband, who would negotiate and bargain with the world to keep me safe, not willing to acknowledge his helplessness in the face of how nature has ordered birth to be like.

I gasped, “I swear I’m going to die.” That’s what it felt like.

He ran outside the room. I heard him screaming for the attending nurse to give me epidural. She came running in with the anaesthesiologists who ushered him out so they could inject me with the painkiller. The rest became history.

I remember when Ali first heard the news, he was in shock. I showed him the strip showing my pregnancy as positive. He was speechless – what was finally happening was a dream come true for him. So my pregnancy trip started.

My pregnancy was smooth and he really helped me on the way. From being supportive with my irritation, sleepiness and what not. We had decided to deliver abroad, and eventually I left with a heavy heart.

I had relatives but missed the presence of my husband everywhere.

My sudden quietness, waking up in different time zones to talk to him, trying to reply instantly whatever time he messaged must have affected him because suddenly he told me he was coming to be with me. We hadn’t planned for him to travel so soon, but there he was changing his travel plans and reaching a month earlier than expected or needed. This was such a happy surprise for me, and I couldn’t help but feel high on the adrenaline rush.

Soon we were hanging out. Whether we were shopping, eating or fighting – we cherished every little minute! Everything became a memory!

My doctor appointments were closing in and I was due for my induction. I was going strong but he was still worried about me and it was cute to see him like this.

The time came and our daughter was born with her eyes wide open in this world.

She looked like a little taste from heaven. Everything about her was so perfect that all I could hear in my head was: “And which of your favours of your Lord would you deny,” on a loop.

From her little toes to her hands to her perfect black eyes. It was like I got my very own mini Ali to play with!

Even in my exhaustion and pain I sneaked a look at his face before looking at our daughter. The whirlwind of emotions were hard to explain. It was as if he was waiting for his gift and here it was – our bundle of joy. He stared in amazement, with thankfulness etched all across his face. So much so that I wish I could have captured that and kept with me for forever.

When he took our baby in his arms I saw the transition of a husband to a father.

From Day 1 he was took up the challenge of taking care of our  daughter. He puts her to sleep. He’s very protective about our little princess.

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He loved me even after witnessing me during childbirth and seeing me at my weakest most vulnerable moments with the water bag breaking and the whole labour process. I was drenched in blood and he stood strongly by me.

He still wants more kids with me even though this is the hardest mission we completed together

He instills this belief that we can make the best out of our kids. In my weakest moments he makes sure I’m not left alone.

It is obviously impossible for us to know what kind of parents we will be and nothing can prepare us for the surprises that come along the way. I had faith that he would be able to adapt to the changes our life would encounter after having a baby; but it wasn’t until I actually saw my husband in action (starting in the delivery room) that I knew I was going to love him more now that we had a baby.

This story has been shared by Mehak Ali

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