Letter to Sons : Emotions of a First time Father

Dearest Sons

You may like to think I became a father when the elder of you was born. The truth is that I started wearing the Father 'hat' on the day your mom and I discovered your presence.

It was 8 years ago that the journey started. The discovery of a blue cross indicator across a clearblue pregnancy kit kicked off the beginning of a chapter that will continue for the rest of my life. To be sure of the news, your mom took the pregnancy test twice before sharing the news with me. We had been planning for the arrival of the first for almost a year and we were glad that that the result of the test was positive.

There were moments of joy, caution, calm, fear, relief, elation and hope that ran across the mind of this first time dad. Let me share with you how I felt from the day I knew your existence till the day you were born. Hopefully you will learn a thing or two when you step into the shoes of a Daddy when the time comes for either of you.

A feeling that equalled to the emotion I felt on the day I married your mom. On the day when we confirmed the pregnancy, we were jumping for joy. Or rather I was jumping. I simply could not allow your mom to do the same as I was afraid it may hurt you. Yes, it was barely a month, but I guess that set the cautious approach to the pregnancy for the remaining months.

Being first time dad, I was naturally careful. I banned your mom from high heels, offering to hold her hands when we walk around the park, answering her hunger pangs without a fuss (as I thought you might be the one requesting for the food) and cancelled all the 'dangerous' plans we had for the holidays. These included roller coaster rides and taking a flight on the first trimester. We had even signed up for antenatal courses to prep us for parenthood. My spidey Daddy senses were on an all-time high during the 8 months plus of pregnancy.

Surprisingly during the course of the pregnancy, there were moments of calm. We were enjoying the pregnancy, after the tough first trimester where your mom was constantly puking, I remembered the times when I laid beside your mom's tummy to feel your little kicks. It was both amazing and Zen like. I never felt calmer by just experiencing the moment.

We did have a scare during mommy first pregnancy. On the 35th week, before full term, your mom water bag broke. It was truly unexpected. You were born a preemie; a tiny 2.32 kg baby at a size shorter than the length of my arms. As a dad I was worried about this little baby I was carrying. Many thoughts raced through my head. I was worried about your development. We were unprepared, our antenatal class lasted only 2 lessons as you had 'arrived' much earlier than expected. I wished we had started the classes earlier as we were novices at parenthood.

Am I ready to take the role of a father?
In an Incubator for a week for Jandice
Fears turn to relief after the delivery. The doctor confirmed that both Mother and Child are healthy. We do not need an incubator as you seem strong enough to leave the hospital as planned. It was an early delivery, but it was a smooth one too.

The beginning of Fatherhood dawn on me, the moment my eyes met you. I teared when I first hold you. I smiled when your tiny hands clenched my finger tight. I listened when you cried your first cry. I beamed when you made a smile. They said the moment you hold your own child, something magical will happen. I believed it is true. It was then that I realized I am no longer just a son to my dad. I have become a Dad to my son.

As a first time dad, I had a lot of expectations of my offspring. Shaped by popular culture, there were many things I want you to achieve. However as with the passage of time, people get wiser. It is not who I want you to be that matters it is what you want to be that counts. You have a life to lead on your own as I did with mine. Yet know that as your Dad, I can only hope you will turn out to be a better man and father than me. For me, that will suffice.
It was an emotional roller coaster ride on becoming a father for me. There may be doubts and even a wish that Fatherhood be taught as a subject in school to prep me for this moment. In truth, I would not want it any other way. As your parents, we enjoyed the journey so much that we decided it is worth another shot at parenthood. The younger of you was the result of our joint venture.

The thought of being a father twice over felt as great as the first time. Thankfully, it was a little less overwhelming compared to the first due to our experience. If given the right opportunity, we might even go for a third in the future, but that is a tale for another day. Nonetheless through these experiences, I do think as a first time father, there are many things I wished I had known earlier. Diapers change, milk feeds and baby baths are not exactly my forte.
For now the easy parts were completed. Both of you are safely delivered into this world. The journey continues with each given day. After your birth, the path for me is different. This time I will learn to be a Dad and it will be a journey that will last a lifetime.

Lovingly yours
Daddy (Work in Progress)

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