The Experience of Becoming a New Father

Alas, my wife can return home after four days in the hospital today. It were several days full of events since May 14, since she has to undergo sectio caesarea, the “javanese” term for caesarean birth. There are good moments, and there are also bad moments.

As we feared, having caesarean birth is pain free at giving birth time, but it’s painful after, especially when you’re allergic to painkiller. It was a painful moment, watching your loved ones rolling tears but you can’t do anything except vain effort of comforting her. She can’t pee. She can’t walk. She can’t stand. She barely can sit, and she needs help from people to be able to perform even such small task. If you can choose, I really suggest you to have a normal child birth instead of caesarean birth, as the latter has several drawbacks aside from the pain. I felt enraged, but I don’t know to whom I should get angry with, as that wasn’t anybody’s fault. I felt the need to do something but in that case, there’s nothing you can do, which made the feeling worse. She was also had allergic reaction of different painkiller while undergo the sectio caesarea. That’s why we were so worried whether if we can pass through these post-operation phase smoothly. Turns out our worries was unfounded: God’s providence was evident when we urged the nurse to retest for allergic reaction to the same painkiller that night, and turns out she wasn’t allergic to the painkiller at all — she was allergic to the antibiotic medicine that given at the same time as the painkiller that morning. If you’re one of my kids that read this in the future, you need to know that your mom made a very hard effort to keep you in the womb for several extra weeks even though it’s already labor time. She knows that if she delivered you all when the labor pain started to set in all the time, you will be born so much premature, and your survival chance will be much lower. After the delivery, she still has to endure several of most painful night because of the caesarean operation wound. Love your mom, girls. You will understand when you become one.

But the bad moments cannot compete with the good moments. Sitting on the operation waiting room was the longest wait I’ve ever had in my life, even though I was drowning myself in social media, despite that the operation only took about 30 minutes. Yes, the operation was very quick, and the babies were delivered within minutes. Say hello to the triplets!

Grace, the eldest

Grace, the eldest

Joy, the middle

Joy, the middle

Claire, the youngest

Claire, the youngest

These were my earliest photos of them. Grace, Joy, and Claire.

Seeing them in the incubator (I didn’t know that that was incubator at that time) made me feel how fragile these three… little humans in front of my eyes. I honestly admit that the feeling of being a father still hasn’t struck me at that time: my unconscious mind still can’t process that I’m already a father (please just give me a little break — I was never became a father for 30 years). The “wow, this is… no… these are my children” feeling was already set in, but the “wow… I’m a father now” feeling was coming a little bit too late. I honestly didn’t know how I should felt. I were obviously happy, but my unconscious mind still need to process all these extraordinary moments that happened in front of my eyes.

But, being the father gives you a privilege to be able to visit your babies at any time. While the mother can’t visit the baby yet, I was ushered to the baby room. I got the chance to hold them for the very first time. Actually, touch them, as they’re in incubator. But whatever. As I put my hands inside the incubator and touch Grace’s chest, then the feeling set in. I felt like some kind of roses bloom inside my chest. I felt it’s harder to breathe.

Grace

Grace

Then I moved to Joy. Touching her chest also gave me a very special feeling. And then, she started to cried, a supposed ordinary baby cry that suddenly broke my heart. There’s no mistake in giving her the name “Joy” — she was the most ‘expressive’ of her crying volume out of the three.

That was for the very first time I spontaneously said inside my head “No no no no please don’t cry… I’ll do everything for you… Just please don’t cry…”

Joy

Joy

Maybe you think this is kind of lame — how come I need that much time to finally warmed up? But this is what I need for my unconscious mind to finally worked and processed what should be processed. Watching her face crying was both cute and heart breaking simultaneously. I wanted to cry and kiss her at the same time — but I couldn’t because of that damn incubator. Thankfully, my incidental “newfounded” skill of chest patting could calmed her down. I turned my head with a pair of eyes glowing with proud to the nurses. Yes, I were proud of such a trivial things like I just won a multi billion dollar prize. That is an awesome feeling unlike anything in the world.

I turned to Claire. She was small. So small. Smaller than the rest of her big sisters. But nevertheless, she was very active. As I stroked her almost hairless head, her lips opened and closed like she was sucking something. I remembered that newborn babies have this survival instinct to find her mommy’s breast. So I tried to put my little finger on her chin. Almost immediately, she moved her head and her lips tried to find my little finger. I of course pulled my little finger (I’m not that evil 😀 ) and continued to stroke her head. But that made me wanted to find any nearest milk bottle to gave to her. I wanted to provide for her. And I want to see that fulfilled with my own two hands.

Claire

Claire

Another good thing is they were born with a surprisingly good condition. While many triplets out there will need many medical action because of certain circumstances such as very low body weight condition and lungs not working perfectly, they were born healthy. Very healthy, in fact, because they have a wonderful appetite like a full-term normal baby, even though they were born prematurely. But just this morning, they have jaundice (yellow baby) because of overload Billirubin on their blood. It’s such a relieve to know that this is normal to happen in any newborn baby on third day after birth, especially in premature baby, and this is usually harmless. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to take any action needed to prevent any problems in the future, so they now were treated with ultraviolet light to break down the overloaded Billirubin.

I’m sure all new fathers feel all these experiences and emotions, maybe even much earlier than I am. I just wanted to share, as now I know from firsthand experience what people were saying about “when your baby cries”. I also believe that we’re the children of God in heaven. When we were having tough times in our life, although we put a brave face, we might cry silently inside our heart. We might don’t know what to do, just like a newborn baby. But know that our Father in heaven knows, and His heart break too when we cry. You need to know too, that He has and will done anything He can to provide you, but the most important thing, to shape you and make you grow. Just believe in Him, look at the bright side of every single thing, and have faith that He will guide you to the end of the tunnel.

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