As I write this, I’m bedridden from a bleed in my right hip. I’m learning what it means to have both hemophilia and a baby girl. Although I could see this bleed as a spirit-breaker, I’m readjusting, and I’ll be better prepared for episodes like this in the future.
Bleeding aside, though, I’ve had an interesting time since becoming a father, with some intense and stressful moments as well as many heartwarming and sweet ones.
Two weeks have passed since the birth of my first child, Melanie Citrine. Taking care of a helpless and innocent child has been a humbling experience. The pains and joys of fatherhood have given me a newfound respect for all parents. I may be sleep-deprived, but seeing our baby Cittie sleeping peacefully in her crib makes it all worthwhile.
My wife, Cza, and I have been working together as a team to attend to Cittie’s needs. We’re progressing with our parenting skills. She provides Cittie with breast milk, and I support my wife as her body adapts. I’ve taken the parenthood advice given to me by other dads to develop a good sense of humor and learn silly dances to calm our baby. When Cza and I feel stressed, we try to laugh and distract her until she falls asleep.
Baby Cittie takes after her mommy: She’s clingy and tactile like Cza, and she needs a lot of cuddling before she can fall asleep. Cittie gets upset when we leave her alone in her crib; her favorite places to sleep include on daddy’s chest, mommy’s tummy, and snuggled up in bed between mommy and daddy.
As I bond with my child, I’ve had long conversations with myself about who I am as a human being. I see many flaws in my personality that I want to change so that I can be the best version of myself. I don’t wish to be a selfish, immature, and temperamental kid anymore. My family has a new member, and the focus should be on her. I need to invest time and effort to become a competent parent for my child.
Then I look at my current situation: I’m bedridden and unable to walk. I feel guilty because I can’t attend to Cittie’s needs and I pray that she’ll understand my limitations as she grows up. These thoughts inspire me to take better care of myself so that I can continue to have an active role in her upbringing.
I may not be the perfect daddy — I have bleeding episodes and seizures that may be scary for her to witness. However, I want Cittie to know that I’ll do my best to make her happy and be the best daddy that I can be.
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