Happy first birthday, lil Umar!
It has exactly been a year since you made a dramatic entrance into our lives. I remember 24 June last year quite clearly. We were quite sure that you were coming on that day. It was just a matter of time, we thought. I took off from work early so that I could be by your Umi’s side. She had been experiencing contractions all night long and it got progressively stronger.
The moment I got home, we climbed the stairs of the entire block as it is supposed to ease your entrance into this world. I remember following your umi up the entire block at least twice. When we reached home, I Ko-ed on the sofa and when I woke up, your Umi told me she had just climbed the stairs again, by herself.
We waited and waited. The image of your Umi on an exercise ball, doing her breathing exercise is still etched in my mind. Her contractions got stronger and stronger. We called the doula and asked her to make her way to our place. Sometime after midnight, the doula decided that we should go to the hospital. She was quite sure that your Umi was dilating enough and was ready for delivery. I prepared everything and readied the car before we headed down to Thomson Hospital.
We checked into the hospital. Your Umi got herself onto the delivery bed to get the nurses to check her. Lo and behold, your Umi was only dilating by 0.5cm. We were told to go home or we could wait at the waiting ward. Seeing how horrible, the waiting ward was, we decided to go home. I settled the bills for that 10 minutes stay in the delivery ward and we went home.
On our way home, we grabbed some McDonalds for breakfast. It was almost 5am and both of us were really tired. Once home, your Umi made herself comfortable on the sofa while I fell asleep on our bed. I do not know how much sleep I got but it seemed very brief. I woke up to the screams of your Umi. Things got quite dramatic from here on. Your Umi’s waterbag had burst. This time round, you were really making your entrance and in grand circumstances, no less.
Your Umi spent some time in the toilet. Her contractions got really strong. I was nervous. She then moved onto the bed where I could see that she was actually pushing you out there and then. I begged her to follow me to the car. She refused. At that moment, I really thought you were going to be delivered at home. She asked me to call Eileen, the doula. Eileen wanted to meet us at the hospital but your Umi screamed at me and asked her to come down to our place immediately. On hindsight, it was a good move as I had no idea how I was going to get the car and help your Umi at the same time.
Eileen came shortly after. Still, your Umi refused to move from the bed. She was still pushing you out. This was no contractions. It was actual labour. Your Umi was in labour. Eileen called the gynae for his advice. The gynae gave us the best advice ever. “If the baby is meant to be delivered at home, so be it.” That is why we love our gynae. He lets nature takes its course. Eileen had to coax your Umi off the bed so that you could be delivered in a hospital, not at home.
After much persuasion your Umi decided to move off from the bed. I drove like a mad man to the hospital, praying that we would get there in time and in one piece. Thank god for our doula. I cannot imagine how it would be to drive and have your Umi screaming in the back seat all by herself. When we reached the hospital, your Umi refused to get our from the car. It took some coaxing again before she got onto a wheelchair.
At about 8am that day, you were born into this world. I read this somewhere. “A woman feels like a mother the moment she’s pregnant but a man only feels like a father the moment he receives his child.” Well, I guess it is kinda true. The moment that I received you, I felt a sudden surge of emotion. It is a feeling that I cannot explain. Tears welled up in my eyes. I cannot not thank god enough for the precious gift that he has bestowed upon us. You, Umar Khalif, a gift that we waited for 2 years for and who have been our light for the past year.
You have brought us so much joy and happiness. Despite the sleepless nights and early mornings, I am so thankful to have you in my life. I love the way you wake up smiling in between your Umi and Abah. I love the little nudge that you give me in the morning to check if I am awake. I love the way you waddle from one place to another. I love our morning walks during my off days. I love the way you cry when you are scared. I love the way you have made your Umi and me a better and more patient person.
It has been an enriching experience watching you grow the past year. From just a tiny little baby, you have grown up to be a kid who cannot stop walking. I cannot wait to see more antics from you. Do continue to be the smiley baby that you always are. Do continue to wake up early so that we can have our morning routines. Do continue to be our little boy.
I have got so much dreams and hopes for you but for now, all I ask from God is for you to grow up strong and healthy.
Happy birthday, my dear boy!
0M, 1M, 2M, 3M
4M, 5M, 7M, 8M