As I type this, I have in close vicinity, a small human cooing and making the sound of a vehicle applying breaks. It is one of the most inexplicably weird emotions felt as a human – to have another human that is your own doing. That human was (re)produced by me and my wife and has our DNA and genes. This feeling can be felt only after it is realized. The small human resembles us, shares the same surname, and will depend wholly on us for some time now. That human has the same nose like me, and also the same amount of hair as me (at the moment!). Although surprisingly, and to my utter disappointment, she has blood group of her mother.
So, in a world full of %yaans and %aishas, I became a father of a baby girl not named like above a month ago. In these pandemic times, the taking care of the mother, the frequent doctor visits were all adventurous but fortunately safe. Nevertheless, after everything, here we are with a baby and that leads me to write my experience briefly after a month of being a father.
Delivery of a baby is a process like none other. All my conceptions and misconceptions were shattered/answered as I was fortunate enough to be in the labor room. The whole process took 9 hours for us and with each hour, it becomes more and more intense. It was like the movie Hurt Locker in which after each passing scene, the protagonist is given a much deadlier task of diffusing the bombs. If someone is reading this blog and is afraid of going through the ordeal, 1, Of course, you have heard it right and all your fears are true. It is painful and violent and bloody and requires nerves of steel and no man can understand or feel it. And 2, no matter how improbable, impossible, <insert adjective from i>, it might look, somehow, and from somewhere, the woman conjures all her strength to go through it successfully, mostly. I have absolutely no idea how that happens but when I saw it happening, it was exhilarating and exhausting just as a viewer. During the very moment, when it was about to happen, it felt like I was taken into some different world, and then I was jolted back to reality when the nurse shouted at me to come and stand closer to my wife and encourage her to push harder.
The moment the baby came out, I was asked to go outside and within seconds I heard the cry of the newborn. If I try to explain that feeling, it will ruin that moment for me. So, I will savor it and keep it within me. I will just say that those were the sweetest sounds ever and my whole body kept on shivering and each goosebump stood up in unison. Every happy hormone got activated and I doubt if I will ever feel the same.
I have achieved some happiness in life. But that moment of happiness tops everything else a million times over.
What is Sleep?
Almost everyone who wished me luck when I announced the soon arrival of our baby, also cautioned me to take as much sleep as possible. Now, I am not a big fan of sleeping so I didn’t take such wishes in the right manner. Who are they to tell me? I can manage sleep. What’s the big deal? I was happily sleeping 6 to 7 hours daily all my life and could manage late nights or early mornings with ease. I can pull this off, I thought. Only now do I realize that I slept like a baby earlier because no baby woke me up after every 2 hours during those 6 hours and asked me to stay awake for any time between 15 minutes to a couple of hours at any random time during the night. The sleep and the sleep cycle have been broken. Now I doze off after my baby has slept. I get up whenever she wakes up. Not that I want to blame my baby for it. Everything everyone cautioned against was true. I just blame everyone who formalized my circadian rhythm all my life.
No matter how bad the world looks thanks to crimes, wars, pandemics, climate change, Internet Bans, traffic, potholes, pollution, traditions, etc, I still feel that the future holds something good. So the world my daughter inhabits will also have pros and cons. I will attempt to train her as much as possible to deal with it. I cannot predict the future but can hope that she gets to feel as equal as I felt and is able to tackle things I struggled with in a better manner. Rest everything will fall in place I guess. Why overthink!
Not wanting to sound pretentious, but we know that the world is full of idiots. And all those idiots have had kids and they brought them up, somehow! Most of the kids turned out fine too. 8 billion times! Does it happen in flow or is there a trick to it? How did they manage their work and sleep? Although it takes a village to raise a child but who all contributes?
It has just started. I will be able to give a go-no-go only after a lifetime. But as of now, these are looking like the best days of my life.