It was springtime. Your dad was busy planting flowers around the house, setting the scene for a beautiful porch during cooler summer afternoons. At the same time setting in an automatic irrigation system as neither I, your dad to be, nor your mum, are ever up to regular chores, gardening included.
Your mum told me she was 4 days late. Then it was 5 days. We agreed that come Monday, she should check with her physician. It was Saturday, I was face and knee high in mud, You will God willing grow up and realize that your Papa isn't exactly the most handy person in the world (but the most stubborn, he is!!), and that stupid irrigation system looked more innocent than it turned out to be.
Ah well, your mum sat on the balcony and asked me if she might be pregnant. She told me to pass by the pharmacy and get a pregnancy test. You see, that was something we planned for later ... my heart lept, it cannot be true. I tried to keep a straight face, but the truth of the matter is, suddenly I felt the urge to redo the entire irrigation system, dig new flower beds and run up and down the street.
That evening, I got the pregnancy test and dashed to your uncle's house. He had a little gathering and your mum and I thought we pass by before we head to dinner out with friends. I had the test in my pocket and slipped it into your mum's hand. I couldn't wait. Your mum was aghast, saying "Akid la" - meaning certainly not here or now. Later that evening, you mum came nodding "Nop!". Yikes! I felt dizzy. I kept a straight indifferent face and we went out to that dinner. You see baby, your dad hates anticipation, because time and time again he gets disappointed when things do not turn as expected. Another thing baby, eventually things turn much better, but not the first time.
During dinner, a nosy friend of your mum's was bugging her over drinking - saying "Oh if you didn't drink wine, I would have been sure you were hiding a little baby in your belly ". I felt a stab of pain. She spoke of her sons and I felt so jealous.
Two days later, your Aunt (whom you will spend a lot or time with when you grow up), told your mum that she might have not correctly used the urine test. I urged your mum to have a blood test. The anticipation grew. The lab said they will fax the results at 4.30 pm. Your dad couldn’t take the excitement. Baby, my heart was beating at a new rhythm. Baby, something inside felt different.. Yet I couldn't stay put, so dealing like I always do with every major life event, I went to sleep.
At 4.30, an ambiguous fax with medical results arrives. I googled the numbers, your mum called your Aunt Nour. Yes, it was positive. We were pregnant, and you baby were the size of a raisin on your mum's tummy. As with every exciting news, I got diarrhea coupled with a strange urge to start scrubbing the floor. Sweety you will realize as you go nappy free someday that those two activities do not go in synch. Disbelief sunk in.
The First Few Weeks
Doctor appointments on Fridays at 1 p.m became my favorite time of the year. I couldn't wait to see you for the first echo-graphic screen. The doctor showed us the heart beat.. a small blotch ...114 was the number of your heart beats per minute. My heart missed a beet!!
Baby! Nature works in miraculous ways. You are developing inside your mum’s belly – just the thought of this miracle makes me shiver. You are precious because life is a miracle to start with. You are precious also because you are a continuation of us.. not us as your mum and dad per se, but us as all the loved ones who also at one point helped bring us too, your parents into this world. I will tell you more about your mum and dad, you grandmas and grandpas – you will learn to love as they loved you unconditionally from the first moment.
Baby, the first few weeks after we knew you were coming were enervating. Everyone tells you the first baby is a handful, but you will never know it until you are in it. Your mum got onto strict diet, moving carefully about, limiting movement, sleeping and taking care of herself because you were attached to her body. You have to remember this when you tells you she knows what’s best for you!! As for me, your dad, I developed this paradoxical new self. I suddenly started tolerating noisy babies, driving carefully and defensively, not to mention adapt to heightened sense of smell and hearing to an unbelievable extent. This is the instinctive defense mechanism of our cave dwelling ancestors to protect their offspring, kicking in the 21st century.