I remember during the baby shower, I firmly stated in front of all the ladies in that room that I would never change diapers, that was the mother’s work. Mwanaume mzima kama mimi ati I’m there wiping a tiny ass and standing the sight…hakuna vile.
Two weeks later there we were at the hospital. That’s when reality hit me that I was going to be a father. We took selfies like people on a first date, I was very nervous, she wasn’t. Ungedhani huyu ni mtoto wake wa Saba aki.
Hours later i was there rubbing her back. She had already been in labor for 14 hours and she was in pain. I really wished I could share her pain, it was too much. It was too much I had to stop wishing about sharing that pain at some point. I couldn’t have handled it.
I love my wife, but on this day, something happened. I not only loved her more, but I respected her as an authority, the woman who would give birth to my generation of greatness, my first baby, my son.
You see, as a man, we take so many things for granted. Something like childbirth, to us it’s a normal occurrence. But the culmination of events happening on that woman’s body isn’t something just to go by. It requires a fight that only the mothers can handle.
If all men were to wake up tomorrow and they were all pregnant, especially Kenyan men, ile drama Itakua kwa hii nchi haitakua jokes. Being that I have married from the Central side of the country, I imagine myself craving for Omena 24/7 ,waking up my wife at 2am. BABE, please amka unipikie Omena na Ugali, halafu usisahau kunitilia Fanta baridi na Icecream. Kidogo Kidogo, babe naskia kukula Obambla na Akeyo.Naweza sumbua sana mimi.
I wasnt allowed to go inside the delivery room, hospital rules. So I had to stay outside and wait. That was the longest wait ever, emotions nanii, i was happy and confused at the same time. My mind went blank because I had exhausted all my thoughts.
Will he look like me or like the mother? I read somewhere that science has shown that kids who end up looking like their fathers are always prettier, anyway, we both look good. As long as he doesn’t get my nose…As I sat outside that room, i saw the door get opened and i stood up still. My fists clenched in anticipation, I held my breath, but my heart was thumping heavily. The nurse was alone, then she goes…
Are you the husband?
Yes, I am…I respond.
What’s your wife’s blood group? I was so confused I forgot,I don’t know, I can’t remember…I said
Sawa, it’s okay, we shall figure it out. She said this and went back in..20 minutes later, the door gets opened again and this time around I can feel him. His presence was so real within me and I knew the covenant between man and God had been made. Life had been breathed inside him, God’s had sent a blessing my way. The greatest gift ever.
Ortis, here is your son. She spoke to me but I couldn’t hear anything she was saying. I was in awe, I was in shock, I just stood there and stared at him. He was so small, his diaper wore him like a pajama. He was so beautiful, I felt like crying, laughing, screaming at the same time. I wanted to hold him, but I was told he had to be taken to the nursery 1st before I could do anything.
They pushed him away in that incubator, I think ..sijui jina ya hio kitu
My wife was still inside the theatre, alikua amechapwa masindano but that’s a story for another day. 30 minutes later I was called to the nursery to see my son. The 1st of my generation. I held his little body in my arms, I held my tears back. I looked at him to see if there was even a minute resemblance to me. His hairline, couldn’t go unnoticed, it had already receded in the womb. He was mine, confirmed. I held him close to my heart, and I prayed for him.
As a father, it was my job to welcome him and cover him with prayer. This world is not our own, the battles we fight we can’t fight them by our own strength. I dedicated him to my God, the one who reigns supreme. And after that prayer, I knew he was ready to face this world.
If there is one thing I think I have become a pro at is changing diapers while still eating. After what I saw my wife go through in that hospital bed. It hit me, this is my son, it’s my responsibility and calling to be there for him and attend to him just as the mother would. She already went through so much pain, the least I can do is change diapers for heaven’s sake.
I wake up in the middle of the night to make sure he is sound asleep, I’m keen to the slightest sounds he makes. When hungry, and the mother needs to rest, I bottle feed him. If he needs to be changed, I do so. Above everything else, every single night I go to his room to pray for/with him.
I have so many things I want to teach my son. I know one day he will be a man of his own principles and ambitions and beliefs. But before then, I want to be the best father I could possibly be to a son. I want to laugh with him, cry with him ikiwezekana, I want to support him in his dreams, I want to affirm him when he feels defeated, I want to pray with him to give him hope and a reason to press on, I want to be there to bargain for his bride price. Above all, I want to teach him how to love and respect others, how to chase after the stars and not skirts, how to be a firm believer In his faith and above all, how to love God.
I celebrated my 1st father’s day two weeks ago. And it was special, she made it special. If this is fatherhood, I’m ready to raise a nation. I’m ready to be responsible, to provide, to love, to teach, I’m ready to be a father. A present father.
This post is dedicated to all the responsible fathers out there. I salute and respect you. In a generation where values are hard to come by, let us defy the odds and raise great men. Men who will understand that being a man is calling to bring order, change, excellence, to lead and inspire. Help me tag all those fathers and let’s celebrate them today.