The surgeon’s assistant emerged from the gloomy closed door bouncing with what I later learned was his usual energy. The door stood like a gate to a kingdom of the privileged that only few had access too, except that it was not some bounty-filled utopia. It was the door leading to the theatre at the hospital, no ordinary person dared cross that threshold without being whisked away by overzealous security guards.
The family and I had waited for over 48 hours and what was to come from that door was meant to end that wait. And so when the scrub-clad assistant emerged, he was greeted by a loud shout of joy from my sister-in-law. For a second, the shout was confusing, but when I saw the smile on her face, the confusion faded, I knew for sure what it has come down to. I followed her and so did her sister as we reached for the surgeon’s assistant. In his hand, a healthy looking baby girl. Just like that I met my daughter for the first time; I was a daddy!
I wish I could simply describe the emotions I had at that moment in one word. If I could, I may be accused of mimicking Nigerian politician Patrick Obahiagbon’s idiolect because this word would probably be a sui generis, gargantuan one. Gladly, I am not a braggart with the Queen’s language.
For nine months I had imagined how it will be like that first time and my mind took me to many imagined futures of my life as father. It all came down to this one moment, to that very instant. All that was once mere imagination or pondering, was now beginning to be real. My life as a father had begun.
Everything happened so fast. We witnessed the entry of the first records for the baby in a huge record book. Shortly, we were back in the side-ward waiting for my wife’s return following her Cesarian proceedure. I was assured she was doing fine and would be brought back soon. It wasn’t an empty assurance. Lisa looked exhausted as was returned to the side-ward. She had spent two nights in the labour ward and had witnessed so much. Different women came, delivered and went while she waited her turn. At one point this seemed to take forever as the medical team did not consider her condition an emergency. Eventually her time came.
The baby slept peacefully as we took turns to hold her. It was so surreal as I considered the divine science of how all that I am and all that my wife is come together in God’s plan to form this beautiful creation in my arms. I was overwhelmingly awestruck.
That was Sunday.
The week moved on quite quickly. Lisa spent an extra three days in the hospital as she regained strength and received medication for her stitches. The baby – whose name I will not disclose, but will say is a combination of my wife’s name and mine, and its the same as that of a Disney character who is not bothered by the cold – grew every day. By the way, the naming process is still going on as we speak, though I’m sure by the next Daddy Chronicles post, we should be done with that. It’s amazing how in our African cultures, there are so many people that are involved in naming a child. So far we have six suggestions for the middle name and I think there will be a few more coming in the next few days.
By the end of the week, Lisa had moved back to her mum’s house to get help with the baby and continued with her recovery. I was a regular at my mother-in-laws and even spent some nights (we are cool like that). It’s actually quite interesting, a possible topic on it’s own.
Now here’s the thing: one week in, I still have lingering questions about this new page in my life’s book. I look at my daughter and I get overwhelmed at the thought of what sort of a father I will be. I ask myself whether I will be good example to her and whether God will be pleased with me as a custodian and guardian for this innocent soul. I reflect on my mistakes as a grown up and think if these will have a bearing on who I am as a parent. I looked at my work schedule and how it may or may not allow me to spend time with her or if I will have the resources needed to provide for her needs. I have spent time rethinking almost everything and questioning my every decision.
I’m sure everything will be fine on my end once I get the right perspective of things. Honestly, i think I already have. I felt at peace when my wife and I prayed after I shared these feelings with her and discovered that she also had similar anxieties. At the end of the day, it’s purely an issue of trusting that God will take care of us and take away the ‘burden’ of worry. He will make a way!
I probably need to relax and “let it go” as the song says, after all, I am not the first father in the world.
Coming to think of it, how did Adam take it?