FATHERHOOD, ONE YEAR IN
By Eddie Ndichu
It has been over 14 months but I remember the day vividly. I was escorted to the doctors changing rooms to wear pair of scrubs. I was shaking with nerves. I couldn’t feel my entire body as I changed. The thoughts going through my head were that this is really happening and that my wife is on a table all by herself. I should rush. Is there something I could have done to prepare for this moment?
I make it into the theatre and find her small body lay on the table all covered in surgical cloth. She smiles and I see she is awake and nervous. She says, “I can’t feel anything”. So I hold her hand and kiss her forehead gently. I said to her, “This is really happening”. Our charming Doctor narrates, “Not far to go… any minute now”, as his team operates on my wife. By this time I am sweating. All I could hope is that he is going to be in one piece. Two eyes, two ears, ten fingers and toes. Is he going to be of sound mind? Have all his body parts developed completely? Will he breathe, will he cry? Then in a matter of seconds the doctor literally flings him in the air and says ‘Here he is’! This tiny little body hanging in the air covered in mucus. I barely got a glimpse of his face before they sent him have his cord cut. I see tears on my wife’s face as she lays helplessly. I could see how badly she wanted to hold him. I clench her hand even tighter and console her.
He was whisked away for normal checks and a wipe down. The doctor allows me to go around and watch the nurse and him. In my excitement I go around the from where my dear wife is cut open…. That’s for another blog!!!
I get there and now fully see his features. His little limbs, toes fingers ears and eyes, all there! His hair, oh my so much hair, thats definitely not from me! He is so pale and light and can’t quite make out who he looks like. Then a sound comes out. I am excited. I am now a father, I could even explain the feeling. It was an overwhelming sense of responsibility mixed with a strong sense of accomplishment and joy. The nurse quickly wraps him and hands him over to me to take to my wife. I couldn’t help feel like I was going to drop him. I finally make it to her. She could barely hold him so I move him close to her face. She touches him and rubs him on her face. Her eyes filled with tears.
The doctor asks me to now reel him out of the theatre with the nurse to the nursery as he finishes up with my wife. The nurse proceeds to give me directions and says she is right behind me. I can’t believe it. She is just going to leave me with newborn Baby Ethan Huru Ndichu! What do I do with him? I gather courage and roll out. Gently. Scared. I can’t take my eyes off him.
The following months to this day have never been the same. The sense of fatherhood really hit home the day we left the hospital. No nurses, no doctors, just him, my wife and I. I brought the car around to take them home. We got to the hospital only two of us and now we go back with an extra human being. We got home and the nerves kicked in. Do we feed him, wash him or breastfeed him?
The following weeks the routines checked in. The sleepless nights when my wife had to rest so I had to take over. Learning to sleep on a two hour cycle. Feeding him milk numerous times throughout the day and night. The living room couch was my spot with Ethan, so we let mum sleep.
How do I make sure I raise my son to be the best person he can be?
The journey continues…