The parent gene


In 2014 I became a mom for the first time. The nine months leading up to the birth had been very good. My pregnancy had been a pretty easy one. I had very little nausea, I was able to exercise until the sixth month, and excluding a few Braxton Hicks contractions, the entire pregnancy was a breeze.  Labor on the other hand, came with a few surprises.

I went into labor on a Tuesday morning. My husband took me to the hospital at around 8:00am and by 2:30 pm we had our baby in our arms. There were a few complications though. I had  already dilated 7 centimeters, when the doctor said that the baby had changed position and pooped inside. This meant there was meconium inside and represented a risk for the baby. I went into an emergency C-section and luckily our baby was born healthy.  I still remember watching the doctors grabbing him from my belly. They had given me an option to be able to watch through a little window or to cover the area between me and my stomach, I chose to see. It was one of the best experiences of my life, even though I felt so groggy from the anesthesia I was barely able to move my head sideways.

As soon as the doctors cleaned  him up and checked he was alright, my husband hold our baby for the first time and brought him next to me. This was a first for him, also because he had never before hold a baby in his life. But no one would have known, as even in the haze that all of these experiences presented to me, I could still see very clear how well it just fit. Them together, he carrying our baby. It was just natural, safe, right. And as the events of my Post Partum Pre-eclampsia started to develop in the next few hours, days and weeks, it was a relieve and honor for me to watch my husband with our son. One thing was for sure, no matter what happen, my son would be safe and happy with him.

I watched him gave him his first bath, change his first diaper, even helped me position him on my chest at dinner time. He was relaxed but alert. Whenever I didn’t have our baby on my chest, he would be at daddy’s. He would very easily notice when our baby was hungry, had a dirty diaper, or just needed to be hold. He was gentle and compassionate, and it was obvious that the connection there  had already  very strong roots.  Throughout the next 8 days in the hospital (due to the pre-eclampsia) and the next 3 weeks of medications and check ups that follow,  I got to see a dad not in the making but actually just get out of this guy. It was as if he already knew what to do as a parent, even though he was really scared most of the time.  He had the parent gene.

During this month he lost about 20 pounds and a lot of hair,  but not an ounce of his charm, charisma or sense of humor.  Friends and family visited, he’d make jokes, post pictures of our baby, and keep smiling all the time. This was also him taking care of mommy of course, since my blood pressure was very high and the doctors were worried I could have a seizure. After a few weeks I was finally able to stop the medication and the constant check ups. I was doing great and had a healthy baby and an amazing husband to enjoy my days with. It had been interesting to see how someone just have it, that thing, that quality that makes you a parent. That ability to think about this little human well being  in terms of everything and all the time. Not to learn it, but just have it. I didn’t think it worked like that ever. I was wrong, and it was great to realize it.


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