It was an ordinary July (2012) week for me and my wife. Except that her period was delayed for two days. I didn’t want to hope too much because by that time, we had been waiting and praying for a baby to come along.
On the third day, we finally got a Pregnancy test kit and it came back with two lines! Positive! We were pregnant!
I couldn’t contain my joy and happiness. I was going to be a father. My heart swelled! I couldn’t believe how much love I was feeling–for my wife and our soon-to-be-born child.
But my joy was also mixed by worry. A hundred questions started swirling in my head.
- Do I have what it takes to be a father?
- Is our income enough for our growing family?
- How can we afford all the things that a baby needs?
- What kind of discipline strategy do we implement?
- Are we going to have a helper come live with us?
When someone becomes a dad, these questions will be there. For sure. They cannot be avoided. They’re a part of rearing a family–the admin, behind the scenes part.
Becoming a father also introduced a new dynamic in my relationship with my wife. It was no longer just about us, we have a small human being we need to take care of.
For nine months, I watched my wife’s belly grow. I felt the tossing, turning, and kicking of our growing child. We didn’t we had a boy until the 5th month. And later, when we got a view of his face, my wife immediately said that he got my lips!
Month after month, we went to her two (2) OB-Gyne doctors. We live in the Quezon City, which is part of the Metro Manila area. But we planned for her to go back to her parents’ house in Bulacan (2 hours away from Manila) to deliver the baby and take care of him for the first few weeks. So we had 2 doctors.
Month after month, I saw our son grow. And then one early morning in February 2013 at 4:00 am, my wife’s waterbag broke and we went to the hospital right away. After about 6 hours, we welcomed our firstborn son to the world.
When a baby enters a couple’s life, it changes a lot of things. My wife and I no longer enjoyed our late night, last full show movies at the cinemas. Our baby became our top priority.
We also needed to be more mindful of how we spent our money. It can be expensive to have a baby. But one of our friends and godmothers/sponsors in our wedding told us that if we wanted to have kids, we just needed to take the plunge! And we did.
I also became more discriminating of the projects I took on. I had a full time job, but I had time to do some work on the side. I wrote some books and got them published in the Philippines. I had a radio program, a blog, and a podcast. Plus a lot of speaking engagements for youth and young adult organizations.
At some point, I felt over-committed. Right before our son was born, my wife and I had a serious conversation about that. Slowly, I let go of my commitments and kept only what I felt were essential.
It was a long process–two years to be exact. And at the end of that process, I moved with my family to the USA. It was worth it. I still struggle with time between work and family.
This blog is overdue. I’ve been wanting to write about fatherhood, what I’m learning, and how I am growing as a man, and as a father.