Cheryl told me to feature on her blog months ago: “Emmanuel, kindly write a post for me for Fathers’ Day”. I kept playing with the request saaa, now the time is up for me to come up with the story. Readers, here we go.
We had enjoyed life as a couple for over a year and then we had to welcome our first child into the world. I must say, he being the first, we (okay, Cheryl mostly) put in a lot of preparation. Cheryl was always reading pregnancy journey expectations online. Hehe. As for me, I’ll occasionally read some material concerning fetal development just to be abreast of what was happening.
I applied for my leave from work to coincide with the period around which we were expecting Asempa to be born. On Sunday 7th May, 2017 I went for an afternoon duty and closed at 10pm. That was my last day of work before proceeding on leave which commenced on Monday 8th May, 2017. I returned home on the Sunday evening and after our evening prayers, Cheryl mentioned that she was feeling cold. You can imagine a heavily pregnant lady, wearing a sweater over her bump, wearing socks on her feet and a cloth over her as well. That cold must be terrible I guess. We tried to get some sleep but Cheryl couldn’t. Around 1am, I think, she woke me up to stay awake with her. Hehe. She used the washroom and then she started feeling the contractions. She didn’t believe it was happening but I was strongly convinced that it was. We used our phones to measure the durations between the contractions. The results were not as she expected as her Google had told her that the contractions were to be further spaced out at the beginning but hers were closely spaced. We stayed awake for the rest of the night. I supported her to nurse the pains that came with the contractions. At 5am, we called our gynaecologist and he directed that we should go to the hospital and if there was anything they couldn’t handle, he’d be notified. At quarter to 6am, we left the house and drove to the hospital.
The midwife on duty received her and examined her in the labour ward. I guess by this time, she had accepted that she was in labour. I went back to the car to bring the bag containing all the stuff we’ll need in the labour ward. From the time we arrived at the labour ward till 7am, Cheryl was in labour and dilating. Some time after 7am, she was moved to the delivery table, meaning we were getting ready for the real deal. Around that moment her mum called and I updated her. I had the pleasure to be at the ward while she pushed the baby out. It was not an easy job. Herh! I salute her and all mothers, going through all these to bring forth life into the world. Asempa finally arrived at 7:45am. I just couldn’t stop thanking God for a successful delivery. I called family to relay the news while the nurses took care of Cheryl and Asempa. They were transferred to the general ward and later to the private ward for observation. I just couldn’t take my eyes off our baby, looking closely as he breathed in and out. Though I was tired, I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to spend the whole day and night with them making sure the baby most especially was okay. As part of the hospital’s policy, I was asked to go home. This was almost 12 midnight. I reluctantly left for my mum-in-law’s to sleep over since it was closer and came back early the next morning to see Cheryl and Asempa. We were discharged around 10am and made our way back there as we had decided Cheryl would be with her mum for the first few months. Cheryl looked so tired and needed rest. The journey wasn’t easy for both mother and child.
So here we were now, mother, father and new born baby. A new life to be adjust to. As the father, I was mostly on duty in the night when the baby woke up to feed. After he breastfed, this boy will not sleep peacefully. He would want to be carried and paced up and down in the room. I decided to let Cheryl rest so I help with putting him to sleep. I had to carry this boy until he slept. Herh! As if he knew when I was sitting and standing. If I get tired from the walking and decide to sit small pɛ, he’ll cry. This boy was a choleric right from the womb.
Theodore, our second came on 23rd December, 2018, a Sunday evening when I was supposed to be on night duty at work. Around 7pm, Cheryl mentioned that she had started experiencing some pains but did not trust it to be labour pains. We had supper and when we were almost done, she could not bear the pains any longer. We had to move to the hospital. I called my shift mate that I would not be able to come that evening. Thankfully, her sister and husband lived close by and they had decided to visit us. Seeing the situation, they gladly accepted Asempa to spend the night with them. We got our stuff ready and off we went to the hospital. I can recall spending less than 30 minutes to drive from Tema to East Legon, hehe. There was a situation to save. We arrived at the hospital and we quickly walked to the labour ward. The midwife on duty attended to us and found out that she was fully dilated already. Wow! She was taken to the delivery table and by the grace of God, Theodore arrived at 11:15pm. It was just amazing. The only thing was that it took a long time for him to cry. All the while the midwives were trying to get him to cry, we just held hands and I was praying in my head. I guess Cheryl was doing same. Thankfully he did and from the intensity of the cry I concluded that this boy will be a very reserved, quiet boy, and yes till now we can say that he is actually a quiet guy.
In these few years of being a father, I must say that it has being a fulfilling one. Watching them grow up and always imagining if my childhood was like that (I mean the way they scatter things around, etc). We are trusting that we can manage their personalities so they can bring out the best in them. Two very extremes; Asempa always wanting his way around while Theodore will not fight for his right in all cases. The parenting job is one that we gladly do together. Let me share this: I accompanied my wife to every antenatal visit. Well, this was mainly her call because she needed the emotional support. In the end, I was glad I did. After the arrival of the boys, I accompanied her on several occasions to the Weighing Centre at the clinic. I have taken the boys there alone on a couple of occasions, and oh my, the feeling was great! 😇😇😇 I could feel all the eyes of the women in the room fixated on me. The bag hanging on my shoulder, the boy on my chest, getting him ready to be weighed, etc. I felt nothing but pride that I can also do it. On days when Cheryl needs time alone at home to complete her tasks, I carry the boys with me to my friend’s place to play video games. On school mornings, I get myself ready first, then I bathe Asempa and get him ready for school while Cheryl prepares our food. In short, the chores around the house are unconsciously equally shared between Cheryl and I. I encourage husbands and fathers to also support significantly at home. I mean, look at all the chores that need to be done at home on a daily basis. Your wife cannot handle them all. Please do offer a helping hand. It is my prayer that I can continue to offer my support in raising up these boys and any others that may come along.
Cheryl, I’m done. Thank you for the opportunity. Please do not let the next request come any time sooner.