My First Steps into Parenthood

Jared Formalejo avatar

by Jared Formalejo |

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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.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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