I wanted to write about this now, when it’s still fresh in my mind. I think you will get a good laugh from this story.
Our parenting schedule has generally been that my wife gets up early in the morning, and I take care of the baby throughout the night. She often goes to the gym in the morning, when Oliver starts his first nap, and I usually wake up to him or wake up just before he does, while Nikki’s at the gym.
This past Sunday I was awakened by Oliver’s screams; he was wailing at the top of this new-found octave. I hadn’t spoken to my wife that morning or the night before about her going to the gym, so I assumed she was with Oliver during yet another one of his FOMO (fear of missing out) sessions. He never wants to go to bed during a FOMO moment, but eventually cries himself to sleep.
At first I thought nothing of it. But as the screams continued and seemingly got louder, I began to wonder what was going on. Half asleep I called out, “Nikki! Nikki!” After no reply from her, and with the wailing continuing, my senses told me something wasn’t right. I rushed out of the bed in a slight panic and over to Oliver’s room.
As I opened the bedroom, still in a slight daze, I saw Nikki’s cousin Simon sitting there, trying to get Oliver to sleep. Much to my horror, I suddenly realized I was standing there in the room, completely naked! I was assured of this as I looked over at Simon, who squinched his eyes and turned away from me, using Oliver as a human shield amid the awkward surprise.
I’m sure Oliver sensed something funny had happened, but he was so caught up in his refusal to go to sleep that he didn’t really react. As I shook the cobwebs from my head, I had a good solid laugh and turned away to put on a dressing gown. When I returned to the room, I relieved Simon from the sometimes-difficult task of getting Oliver to sleep when he’d rather stay up and party. And I couldn’t stop giggling to myself about this experience.
Simon began apologizing and explaining that Oliver was displaying all the sleepy signs that Nikki had told him to look out for and that he hadn’t meant to awaken me. And he obviously hadn’t wanted, nor needed, to have the lovely surprise of my naked body appearing in Oliver’s room to see what was going on.
Looking back, I don’t think Nikki was too happy with me that morning, but she kept telling me that when she replayed this story in her head, she couldn’t stop laughing, quickly forgetting why she was even annoyed with me.
This is definitely one of those stories that will forever be a source of amusement and laughter for us as we continue to experience life as parents and all the funny moments we have to look forward to.
The nurse helped mom and baby with the breast latch. This was nature, again, working its miracles. And another historic moment for me, watching mom and baby in the eternal relationship of reproduction.
Here we were together, feeling as if time were frozen. After enjoying this experience for an hour or so, while the nurse completed the routine checkup and questionnaire, my wife was ready for her mom to enter the recovery room. It was a pleasure to witness the interaction between Nikki, her own mom and Oliver. I wish I had the words to communicate these special, timeless moments. The joy and love emanating from my mother-in-law was beautiful.
We then moved to the post-birth suite, where we were able to introduce our immediate family to our little guy. Introducing Oliver to my parents was another monumental moment that brought joy and wonder to my heart. I was witnessing life and reproduction through generations.
I thought to myself, “We had made this child together.” And my amazing, brave, strong, loving wife had played her part in nature’s most wonderful process. It happens all the time, all over the world, for myriad different species, but, for me, it’s still such an incredible wonder. During this time, our family was the centre of the universe, and this tremendously emotional and spiritual experience was raw, powerful and exciting.
After introducing Oliver to everyone and spending some time with our close family and friends, the three of us needed privacy. This first day was euphoric. We still hadn’t slept much in the previous 36 hours, but here we were, in this little hospital room. Life had changed forever. Nikki was exhausted and relatively immobile from the operation and lack of sleep. Filled with joy, we were able to experience our first day as a new three-person family.
I felt this was exactly where I was supposed to be. The confusion I had experienced in life, mostly associated with fitting into a world I didn’t understand at times, was gone. This made sense to me; being a father and participating in the reproduction of our species seemed to calm me and relieve the discomfort and lost feelings I had previously felt on this path called life.
I was proud of myself for my recent spiritual and personal growth, which enabled me to enjoy this moment more than I could’ve imagined. In the past, I was always at odds with the world and the way it worked. The year prior to my son’s birth was a wonderful year for me. I had experienced many great personal achievements, growing spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I was getting into better physical shape and improving my cognitive skills.
Other than a couple of nurse visits and Oliver’s first bath, we were able to enjoy each other’s presence and finally get a bit of sleep. I felt nature’s immense instinctual pull and awareness toward my son. This was a sensation I’d never felt before. With Nikki exhausted and groggy from the medication and operation, I spent a lot of this first night in a strenuous battle against my eyelids. I didn’t want to sleep. Actually, I did want to sleep, but the instinctual vacuum I felt toward my son was too powerful. Until Nikki got some sleep and was able to rest, I don’t think I got more than an hour of broken sleep through the night of labour and the first night with our son.
My new best friend was the nurse’s button on the hospital bed. It was a lifeline, an amazing resource I suggest everyone use as much as possible. The nurses were a huge help that first night as we began our experience being parents.