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The new additions to the family: When Two Became Four

Our journey into being a parent.

In this post, I share about our transition from being newly married, the conversations we had about parenting, and how we went from a family of two to a family of four. I also share my thoughts on how men could be cared for after the birth of a new baby.

During courtship or exclusive dating, we had diverse conversations about the journey ahead and one of them was themed children where we discussed the number of children we hoped to have, what we should do if we didn’t have children by a specific timeframe, when we hoped to have finished having all the children etc.

I tell you the various conversations that led to our final agreement on this theme no be small play at all.*

We were both thrilled about the agreement and spent some time in prayers. Would you like to know the number of children we started with before negotiating to the agreed number? Ok, I will respond to the right answer in the comment section.

I remember the day we found out that we were pregnant. We were spending some time with our friends in Kent. Chidinma had mentioned to me earlier in the day that she was feeling funny, thankfully one of the couples is a medical doctor so I was at ease and knew she was in safe hands.

Fast forward to the evening of the following day, the ladies were upstairs, and guys were downstairs chilling and gisting when we heard a loud scream and giggle from upstairs. Alarmed and puzzled, we ran upstairs to find out what was happening.

I was welcomed by the most beautiful smile I had even seen as she handed the pregnancy test kit to me, it felt like she was smiling ear to ear with streaks of tears, completely overjoyed in slow motion.

I am sure I heard fanfares. Guess what I did!

I found myself momentarily speechless and just froze whilst lost in the thoughts that I was about to be someone’s dad, this boy that has become a man is going to be a dad shortly, then I snapped out of my thoughts and we celebrated the news.

Tolulope Olajide holding and celebrating positive home pregnancy test results. The new additions to the family: When Two Became Four

The journey to parenthood began as we planned towards the arrival of our first baby which included change of diet, food cravings, change of wardrobe, change of pillows, regular antenatal appointments among others. We were in agreement not to check the sex of the baby until arrival and looked forward to welcoming our bundle of joy.

On one of our several antenatal appointments, I remember asking the midwife why I also hadn’t been checked or asked how I was feeling too since Chidinma and I were pregnant, would you believe she gave me a funny look like yeah right. But it was true, we were both pregnant. It’s just that only one of us could carry the baby. Could you imagine for a moment if pregnancy can be shared between couples?

I still remember the sensation and joy in our hearts as we together held our first child. I remember my first nappy change, let’s leave that story for another day.

We had heard from recent and older parents that ‘no two pregnancies are the same,’ let’s just say we knew but didn’t know until we experienced it first-hand. The pregnancy of our second child was completely different from the first in every way imaginable.

We were delighted to become parents for the second time and grateful to have been blessed with two children.

Image of children relaxing, posing and playing at home. The new additions to the family: When Two Became Four

Let me share with you what I think about delivery of babies.

I agree that at the point labour women withstand chronic levels of pain threshold, but I think men also experience high psychological or sympathetic pain which can’t be quantified. You ask me how I arrive at this? Ok let me let you in a bit of secret, remember you heard it here.

Ok, lean in a bit. I believe that men have this syndrome which I will name superman syndrome, where we have to come to the rescue and save the day. Can you imagine if someone you love dearly is undergoing high levels of discomfort and pain and all you can do is just stand beside her paralysed and not be able to take the pain away.

I mean it’s just horrible. Imagine the strain that puts on the mind. I think post delivery we should also get maybe a lying couch for the ‘baby level’ pain we also went through.

It reminds me of movie scenes when the actors’ family or loved one is in trouble and there’s nothing they can do. I am by no means trivialising the physical chronic pain experienced during childbirth, but I just think that men also undergo serious psychological pain.

Do you agree with me that men also go through high levels of pain during pregnancy and childbirth?

Despite the pain of childbirth experienced by both dad and majorly mum, I believe that the joy of hearing the cry of the baby or babies certainly overshadows the pain.

There’s a Yoruba folk song that reminds parents of three types of thanksgiving that should be offered post delivery of a baby. The song suggests that one should be thankful for carrying the pregnancy, for safe delivery and for having the bundle of joy to dance with.

The reality is that not everyone has the opportunity to partake of such songs because one of those stages isn’t their reality. Therefore, I want to pause to bear my sympathy with anyone who may have lost their baby or babies before labour or at delivery or after delivery.

My heart, prayers and thought are with you.

TOLU’S DICTIONARY

  • Gist: to gossip, or have a serious conversation
  • No be small play o: it’s an extremely serious matter
  • Yoruba: one of the three largest ethnic groups of Nigeria, concentrated in the southwestern part of that country

To Be Continued Next Wednesday…

I would like to hear from you. Would you please share your thoughts, comments and reflections below. Thank you.

0a51c b13765 9d422b30038541f18c48da6fe2aa7369mv2 The new additions to the family: When Two Became Four
Tolulope Olajide

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