You will often hear people who have been lucky enough to contribute to reproduction say; “The Joy of Parenthood”. Those words are the exact feeling if not less, of the experience.
A visit to the health centre just few months after our wedding came with news that was meant to change our lives forever, I still recall the doctor beaming with a smile before popping out words; “congratulations, you are two weeks pregnant.”
I was gripped with freight and happiness at the same time, that for some moment I did not know which of the two to feel first. Well first I was going to be a father to someone, responsible for their life and then the imagination of what to expect of now the person carrying the child and the challenges that come with it, all the same a smile escaped from my easy jaws.
Being first time parents is quite an experience, definitely challenging. I still recall how on countless occasion we would dash to hospital with a litany of complaints with evidence to show for them, only to be told; “Go back home, she is absolutely fine.”
Now on the side of a journalist who must keep a balance between newsroom and home, it becomes worse since a pregnancy comes with mood swings and frequent antenatal visits.
Some how, I never missed a single antenatal visit, even when you all kept seeing me doing live reporting as is what we are known for out there (NBS Live Always). I was always there queuing up with legions of women with a quantity of issues. Then I would be asked all tribes of questions that left my journalism head spinning like there was a violent coup in it.
I recall the women who kept pointing fingers at me, murmuring to themselves things I could only imagine as I sat patiently waiting for our turn (My Wife and I) to see the gynaecologist. All together I can not figure out how I sailed through
I will whisper this- It really must be tough being a woman, even harder being a man for you watch the stomach of your spouse expanding like a budget.
Then the time flies oh My God! Before I knew it, we were starting to run around shopping, well our preferred shopping centre was down town and I tagged along with my wife, moving around, scuffling with all manner of customers and shopping for things I hardly understood.
Fast forward, the dday came and weirdly the labour pains were no where to be seen, I remember one doctor Tumwine taking us through the options and risks that came with each option of delivery.
The thought of C-section was scary, I never wanted to think that direction. What does a husband do when his dear wife is in there being dissected by strangers like a specimen?
And so as we cruised through the gates of Nsambya Hospital, I was haunted by the same felling that prior gripped me when we got the news of conception.
Clad in a short and T shirt , it was easy to keep a mask on the media personality and assume my priority responsibility , and report the event live to myself as a husband and father to be.
The reception we got was quite sickening, a mean looking midwife who looked like she had landed straight from hell to was the one to deal with us. Looking at me straight in the face, she screamed; “Our private rooms are under renovation, so you either go to the semi private ward or the general ward or try else where “I was in shock!
With so much on my mind already, I couldn’t comprehend how I would take my dear wife into the crowded general ward, I had chosen this particular health facility and this is what I got!!
After scanning around, the semi private rooms turned out our residence for the next couple of days.
Our first night was memorable, with one bed in the ward, we some how had to fit on the small bed, with a relative sleeping on a mat on the floor
And after every two hours, hand in hand, we walked to the labor ward for the midwives to continue with the inducement process and the gross pain that followed.
What a night it was, moving to and from the ward with a sleepy head yet determined to play my part in being a real husband and father.
The following day was more tough, being a lone man in the labour ward was quite an experience !! the screams of women giving birth in the neighboring cubicles sent cold shivers down my spines.
I recall the cruel procedure used by the midwives to check the length of I don’t know what.. and the painful reaction on my wife’s face as she held my hands tight
Eventually her being put on drip turned out more nasty, the pain appeared to intensify!!
Latter in the day, a medic walked in, looked me up in the face and let out the bad news, the babies head has started swelling and we need to move her into the theatre now.
The process of signing that document that allows the surgical process to start was painful, tears rolled down my eyes yet I had to look to the wall and clean my eyes, I had to be strong.
The pain that swept through my body as a bed was pulled and my wife put on it can’t be described, as the nurses rolled her into the theatre, I held tight to her hands, hoping all will be fine
I remember saying a loud prayer, Jesus you have never let me down, I know you wont today.
I was sure I wanted to be in the theatre to see what happens, then another nurse emerged telling me they couldn’t let me in.
Sitting in those waiting corridors isn’t an easy affair, that’s when reality sunk in that actually somewhere a wife I got married to was facing the doctors knife.
That’s when I saw a sea of tears run down my cheeks as my mother in law moved to assure me all would be fine.
At that point the best to do was to run into the car, cry my head off with a bible in hand asking God to take the wheel. The wait was long and eventually I saw a baby wrapped in green clothes carried away by a midwife, could that be my girl?
The tension tripled when eventually I saw my dear wife rolled out of the theatre, she was alive !!then the mind changed to where is the baby?
Long story short, eventually that sweet moment came when I carried my daughter in my arms, a beautiful Zombo girl.
Six months down the road, I’m a proud dad, learning on the Job and proud to have walked the journey all the way. Plus, before I forget, we made a decision no going to mummy’s after birth, it was an honor to honor my wife
That’s my idea of being a real dad!!