How you have changed my life

Dear Son,

It was only a little over a week now that you arrived in this world at 10:27 pm on June 5th, 2020, and ever since you have become the centre of our lives. Your presence became the cement that bonded your mum, and I even closer together. Although we’ve only known you for such a small period of time, it felt like we’ve known you for a lifetime. The way you frown, the way you smile, the way you startle, and the way you smell seems too all familiar to us as if we’ve known you way before you were born. Going back to the day before your arrival, your mum and I were randomly joking about how we should cherish the last meal that we’ll be enjoying together with no disturbance – just the two of us. Thinking about this retrospectively, there is no doubt that I’ll be missing the happy times spent with your mum before you were born. However, becoming a parent is an incredible experience that is second to none, especially as you are our first. Even though you introduced us to a whole new way of living, having to deal with regular feeding, caring, nappy changing, burping, and sleepless nights. It is all worth it.

Having the chance to witness you came into the world is both exhilarating and exuberant. It is truly a blessing, and all I can say is that your mum is amazing! The obstetrician and midwife told us that it could take your mother at least 12 to 36 hours after induction for you to be born. However, little did we know that you were an eager baby and meeting us as soon as possible was the only thing on your mind. Hence, it only took mummy two and a half hours and three final pushes to give birth to you, and the rest is history. The amount of pain your mother went through during those gruelling two and a half hours was unimaginable. I was pretending to be strong, holding your mother’s hand tightly, brushing her hair slowly and kissing her forehead as she pushes at each contraction. However, deep down, I could feel my heart ripping apart every time your mum experiences a contraction. It is the kind of pain you and I will never experience. It is something you must understand, treasure, and deeply engraved in your heart, son, as you get older, that your mother has given you her ultimate love through the selfless sacrifice. She held you close to her and comforted you when you were restless long before I could do anything for you. Your mother is the reason that I hold you today.

Your mother and I always knew that I wanted to be a Dad. Despite our busy work life, we knew immediately not long after we got married that something was missing from life that a dream job or traveling couldn’t fill. However, with the number of things on our plate at the time, it felt like starting a family would not be the best decision. Yet it turned out to be the best decision of our lives. One thing we’ve to learn from this and you should always remember when you get older is that there is never a right time to do the things you hate, but it is always the perfect time to do the right things and the things that you are passionate in.

My son, hearing you, and seeing you for the first time, was an incredible moment filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement and happiness. It must be our natural human instinct, but I felt immediately attached to you – my little man. Our first night at Birthcare was a huge learning curve for me. After being discharged from the maternity ward at 2 am, we had to drive to Birthcare where we stayed for the next four nights learning how to take care of you. It was the first time I drove with you in my car. Your mother would tell you that I’m usually a fast driver (of course, within the speed limits). However, suddenly driving at 50km/hr speed seems to be too fast. This is the first out of many adjustments that I had to make bearing you in mind. After we checked in at Birthcare, we were immediately given a run down by the midwife on how to take care of you. It was the night which I gave you a lot of my “first-timers.”

The first time I changed your nappy filled with meconium. The first time I cuddled and burped you on my shoulders. The first time I gazed into your eyes, introducing myself. You were calm and contented, which made me think that it’s because you knew who I was and you must have felt at home already.  It’s a wonderful moment that I will treasure for life, but it also marks the beginning of the unimaginable period of worrying, learning, and perfecting.  The truth is that the first week after your birth was bitter and sweet. I had to learn and do a lot of new things while I’m deprived of sleep. It is because of the unknown that made me feel nervous about being a dad. I could remember vividly that the midwife told us that you might have jaundice and we had to do a blood test on you made us so worried despite it is common in new-born. The sight and sound of hearing you crying during the blood test made my heart sink into my stomach, and we just felt so anxious, nervous, and helpless. I guess this would be the first taste of the many worries that are lined up for us for the rest of our lives.

Being a dad is like on a roller coaster ride where you continuously have the thoughts and feelings of whether I’m good enough for you and can be a good provider of not just being able to support the family financially but also by being there for you when you ever need me. But what fatherhood taught me so far is that life is precious and worth fighting for. A lot of the times we tend to let the regret of our past or the fear of the future distract us from the present. I have no doubt that you will grow up so fast right before our eyes and being fully present for you is the least, I could do to not miss any moments with you that I will never get back.
Having you in our lives is the best thing that happened to us despite the changes we need to make along the way. You have made me a more responsible, caring, patient, and loving person, which I never thought I could have become.

I can’t wait to share the rest of my life with you, teaching you how to play basketball, how to be a man, and find your purpose in life.

Love you always,