Today I am barging in on Gauri’s blog as a ‘guest writer’ partly out of “hey that looks like fun” syndrome and partly because, well I wanted to express some stuff and thought perhaps you the audience would appreciate some fatherly views.
14 months ago I discovered I was going to be a father. When I first found out I went through a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions. From the practical: ‘Where is it going to sleep?’; car-seats and schools; to the fretful: ‘Am I ready and mature enough to be a father?’; ‘Can we afford a baby?’ Amongst all those questions was also a feeling of great excitement. All of which lasted for about a day. Why? Because above all else it didn’t feel real. The combination of me having a strong denial of fears, the lack of anything substantial to hold on to and the fact that we were keeping it a secret till the end of the first trimester, all helped fade the thought of parenthood into the background of everyday life. I’m pretty sure there were days when I comepletely forgot that Gauri was pregnant. That is until the first doppler test almost two months later. That moment of hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time I can honestly say was one of my happiest (along with the day I got married) – a moment of pure joy. And it was also a moment where the reality of it all comes snapping back, but without the fears. The questions of money, schooling and housing were still there and I would be lying if I said that I haven’t thought about them since but in that moment the thought of ‘Am I ready to be a dad’ became moot eclipsed by the realization that I already was one.
Of course this didn’t change the fact that the baby was still pretty much intangible. Yes, the belly got bigger, we got the occasional ultrasound view and I could feel her kick and hiccup. While these were always awesome and filled me with joy each time, sadly with her being in her cosy little room within Gauri meant, for me, Anya was always one step removed. So, for nine months while Gauri was focused on the well being of our baby and the eventual big day, I would have to say my primary concern was actually Gauri, supporting her in anyway that I could (it was a shame that it turned out she had no midnight cravings for pickles and ice-cream which I was totally stoked to go get). I wanted to make sure that she could have the pregnancy and birth she wanted (well we know how that turned out….and if you don’t go read her first post here: https://blessingtree.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/anyas-birt/).
Seeing Anya for the first time, freshly plucked from her mother’s womb, certainly made her real. Cutting her cord doubly so. For that first hour in the nursery I was afraid to touch her for fear of breaking her. But Anya had no such reservations grabbing hold of my finger tight. And since then she has been very tangible and a very big focus of my life (although I try to squeeze in some love for Gauri, too). Every new thing she does fills me with joy. Every cry fills me with sadness. Every giggle makes my heart sing. I purposely carry her in my arms (rather than say the buggy or carrier) when we go shopping so I can show her off. As I watch her rolling over I see her becoming more real and more herself. One day she will be completely her own self: walking running and dancing, but for now she is mine, my darling little angel.