My daughter Ravneet was born on August 15th, 2010 at 12:40am. A few notes from the experience:
New respect for women: I always had respect for women throughout my life, especially seeing how my mother ran the house and took care of us when we were younger. But having been in the delivery room as my daughter was born and seeing what my wife Baljeet went through during her 12 hours of labour was enough to convince me that having a baby is the toughest job of all!
When it was all over, and the baby was in my wife’s arms, I asked her a question that a friend of mine told me to ask, saying he already knew what her response would be. So asked her (knowing all that she had gone through during the past nine months and the labour pains which lasted for hours) would she ever consider not going through it again?
With a weak smile, she kissed Ravneet on the top of her head and said she would do it again in a heartbeat.
Get her to the hospital as fast as I can: After the baby was born and our doctor had a chance to make sure both baby and mother were doing okay, he told my wife that she did a great job during the delivery and that he would deliver for her any time. Then he turned to me:
Doctor: Since this was her first labour and it was only 12 hours, chances are if you decide to have another child it will be delivered even faster.
Me: Okay, ummm so what does that mean?
Doctor (laughing): It means YOU better get her to the hospital as fast as you can after her contractions begin!
Images of my next child being born in an ambulance began to swirl in my mind…..
Sleep is for the weak: I have come to the conclusion that I will never sleep a full eight hours a night ever again in my life. After the baby was born, they moved the three of us to the maternity ward in a room shared with three other couples. Although we had asked for a private room, the nurse told me that there were none available at the moment.
The first night our new family slept uncomfortably, with Baljeet and I sleeping on a twin hospital bed and Ravneet next to us in her bed. She cried and cried. I asked the nurse on duty if everything was okay with the baby, to which she responded:
Nurse: Oh, don’t worry. For the first five months babies cry all the time.
Me: (Defeated): Oh, okay. Ummm, thanks…I think.
Don’t feed your wife spicy food while she is breastfeeding: Baljeet is a vegetarian but I forgot to tell the hospital that so she ended up with meals which had meat. No big deal: we decided I would eat her food and I would buy food for her from the cafeteria in the hospital. I asked her what she wanted and she said anything vegetarian.
So I bought her some quiche and vegetable stir fry. I don’t think the quiche was so bad for her but the stir fry, which had sweet chili sauce in it, was. The next night Ravneet was up till three in the morning crying because of the bad gas she had. Lesson learned — now Baljeet eats the blandest food possible and Ravneet sleeps adequately throughout the night, only waking up every three hours.
Life has changed for the better: Now I enjoy watching sports and watching movies even more because my girl sleeps in my arms while I watch. I look forward to waking up to see her in the morning, am sad when I leave for work and love it. Baljeet meets me at the door with Ravneet in her arms when I come home. In our little universe, all is well.