Note: I am giving a voice over to a dad. The ‘I’ in the following lines refers to an imaginary father. Yup, imagined by a mother 😆
My wife had been talking something about the delay in her periods; I wasn’t sure if she meant what she meant. But when one early morning, she woke me up to show two pink lines on a device, I didn’t know how to react. The pregnancy news seemed to have hit my ears. However, I wasn’t reacting; precisely, my body and mind weren’t reacting to it though I tried to smile and exclaimed that I felt happy. While I hugged and kissed her, I still remained in a state of blankness. Well, not that I disbelieved the science behind ‘the urine and pink lines’ stuff, but I couldn’t believe that a baby is on our way; that we made it through and that I am going to become a dad.
Up until the time the scan and blood tests (I actually mean the hospital and doctor) confirmed the news, I had the disbelief at the back of my mind. My wife must have asked me at least once in a day, “Are you not excited?” I didn’t want to disappoint her, so I would put a fake smile on my face. Later, I would ask myself, “Am I not excited?” I wasn’t sure if I indeed felt excited but didn’t know to express my emotion or if I didn’t feel excited at all.
Perhaps, it wasn’t happening in my body or may be I wasn’t prepared for it or I was scared……….yes! It might sound silly that the news of pregnancy would scare a dad, but it is actually, for most fathers. All of a sudden it felt as if a heavy responsibility was placed on me. I am becoming a father wasn’t a statement of announcement. It was rather a tying statement – tying me down to something which was going to change the way I lived!
I had taken care of the finances all the while without fear. However, with the news of pregnancy, I felt overly responsible about providing money for the necessities, comforts and luxuries of the family. If my wife opts to leave her job with pregnancy and child birth, it would mean two people who had earned for two would get cut off to one person earning for three and that one person would be, must be, should be and can only be me! 😯
My wife and I had been good friends. We have had our share of being enemies too. Sometimes, I might not have done something that she had expected of me. Sometimes, she might have done something not to my liking. She had screamed at me. I had screamed back at her. We have fought. We have had disagreements. We have had misunderstandings. But now, she’s pregnant! It meant I was to take care of her no matter what happens between us. Anywhere I miss being that good fellow, I can be accused of as an unkind husband because she’s pregnant. I certainly love her and our baby and would want to keep them happy. Yet, the expectation from the family, society and culture to pamper her and say ‘yes’ to all that she liked and wanted wasn’t always nice. A part of me felt jealous of her biological ability to carry a baby while the rest part was afraid if I would be able to look after well. And, if no dad told you before, the anxiety of accompanying the wife during labour is much scarier than that of actually undergoing it.
Of course, I couldn’t disclose my secret fears to her because she’s pregnant. Neither could I to anyone else for I will be looked down upon for the father I was going to be or even for the man I was. Even if I share with someone, I will be counter-attacked, “You are going to be a dad, become responsible.” Thus, while my wife, the family and the extended families celebrated the good news, at a secret corner of my heart, I was afraid if everything is going to be alright.
This is the first post of the series, The Secret Emotions of Fatherhood. The series shall continue to explore the emotions of dads until 18th of June. Stay tuned! As a father, if there’s something you want to tell me, please comment below.