They put a 30 minute old baby, in my palm, he could fit in quite comfortably. He had dark eyes, curly hair and was weightless. It was around 12 AM, I was stressed and exhausted, as I accompanied my wife through out the labour. I cant explain what she had been through, I imagine it was a lot of pain. I’m grateful to have witnessed it first hand, it showed me what true courage looks like.
During the pregnancy, I had imagined all sort of things — how it might feel being a father, how our relationship was going to be, how my life was going to change. I was influenced by many sources in a figment of my imagination — like movies, books and people around me. It seemed simple and mostly happy. I thought I would be a loving father and the bond between us, would just occur, as soon as my child was born. Here is what I found out.
I looked into his eye, when they placed him in my palm. We were alone in the room, as my wife was still attended by the doctors. No other visitors were allowed in the hospital, due to the pandemic restrictions. Until then I have never carried a new born baby, I was a bit cautious in holding him. He was calm and had a blank look on his face. I was emotionless too, I was neither happy nor sad. I tried to engage with him, but he started to cry out loud. Luckily, my wife was moved to the room soon, who fed him to pacify.
It did not seem to be the way I imagined — Why was I not feeling the love, I thought might arise as soon as he was born. I carried him, admired him, spoke to him and everything. However, I still felt like I was with someone who I did not know very well about. I realised, that the bond in a relationship does not happen magically, but one has to build it.
I understood that we had to build a trust between each other. He had to feel safe with me and I had to study and understand him better. A couple of days went by, we spent a lot of time with each other. I was able to pacify him in my arms and also sing him to sleep. There was a growing trust with each other, he would feel comfortable in my arms, while I was knowing him more.
I spent several more days very close to him, observing and learning and understanding him. I enjoyed his company, I was eager to spend more time with him — a deep sense of liking grew within me. We both made each other laugh, cry and sometimes angry too, but we felt closer. I feel I’m growing closer to him, every passing moment and I’m quite eager to grow up with him.
It is natural for fathers to grow apart, as they spend lesser time with the child. However, the initial stages of bonding sets the tone for the future of the relationship. Bond between two people does not happen just because they are related, I believe it builds over time. It needs your effort and time, to learn and understand the other person. One should always be considerate and respectful, to have a meaningful relationship. My son is now 3 months old, I’m looking forward to see how our relationship progresses.