In this life, there are just some lessons that only experience can teach you. Though it is true that you can learn lessons from other people’s experience, lectures, and life, experiencing something first hand gives you a whole new perspective – things that you wouldn’t believe unless you experience them yourself.
This is certainly true when I became a father to our firstborn child. I thought that marrying my best friend is enough for me to conclude that my life will never be the same again. However, having my cute, little, and fragile baby sleeping in my arms made a BIGGER impact in my life.
From false to true labor
On the 4th day of May 2016, around 1:00 am, my wife started to feel labor pains. At first, we thought that it was just false labor and tried to ignore them. However, as the time passed by, the pain just grew more and more.
Around 5:00 am, we went to the lying-in clinic. I can’t bear watching my wife endure the labor pain. She would constantly change position just to ease the pain. I could not imagine the excruciating pain that she was going through.
At 10:00 am, she was brought to the delivery room. However, the baby won’t still go out. The doctor gave her labor-inducing drug to force the baby out but to no avail, the baby is just staying inside the womb.
The doctor called me in the delivery room and told me that there was a chance that my wife would undergo a Caesarean section. This is something that we were frightened of all throughout the pregnancy. So I decided to bring my wife to a bigger hospital.
At exactly 12:13 pm, my wife finally delivered our firstborn son! The EXTREME JOY that I felt the moment the attending nurse informed me about the good news was so indescribable! God heard my prayer, and it was one of the best news I ever heard in my entire life.
After a few minutes of my euphoric happiness, I realized something… I am already a father.
Valuable Lessons I learned
Like what I said earlier, new experiences lead to new lessons in life. I believe there are a lot of lessons during this period of my life, but let me share just three of them.
Lesson 1: Giving birth is so painful to help us appreciate life
For many women, giving birth is a life and death situation. It is something that can potentially take away your life. Many women lived and told the story of how painful their child delivery was. I read this somewhere:
“A human body can bear only up to 45 dels (unit) of pain. Yet at the time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 dels (unit) of pain. This is similar to 20 bones getting fractured at a time.”
I don’t know how true this statement is but I am SO SURE that it is painful. Labor is so painful that I heard my wife said, “I’m going to die.” That struck great anxiety to my heart when she said that. It made me realize how REAL the chance of a woman dying from delivering a baby!
Of course, I don’t dismiss the fact that every woman doesn’t feel the same pain and discomfort when giving birth. There are just a lot of factors that affect the pain perception during child delivery.
In all these, I asked myself, “Why does giving birth should be this painful?” While the Bible reveals that it is part of the curses given to the woman after rebelling against God (Genesis 3:16), I realized something else.
Giving birth is so painful to remind us how precious life is. The almost 10-month pregnancy period that culminates during birth delivery has been a challenging journey for most women. When giving birth, unimaginable pain is experienced to the point that some women would say that they don’t want to have another baby anymore.
With all these pain and struggles, we are being taught that conceiving life and giving birth is never easy. This is the main reason that we need to take care of the life inside the womb. This is the main reason that we need to appreciate the life God has given us and the life of many unborn children.
Lesson no. 2: I learned to love my parents even more
I was a registered nurse, and I have already witnessed women giving birth before. However, the story dramatically changes when it is your wife who’s lying down on the DR table. I have seen the struggle my wife had to go through just to give birth. All the blood and tears that were shed are forever testimonies of the difficulty of giving birth.
I realized that the same thing my mother and father went through when I entered this world. I felt sorry for the times when I disrespected my parents. I felt so guilty when I tried to raise my voice to them. I am so ashamed of myself when I get mad just because they can’t buy the things that I want.
I am so blessed to have parents who loved and cared for me from the moment I was conceived up until I step out of my father’s house to form my family.
So for all people out there: Let us love our parents even more because we don’t have any idea how much they have sacrificed just to bring food to the table, send you to school, and give you a life that you deserve. For that, I salute all the great parents out there who undyingly love their children.
Lesson no. 3: It is not all about me anymore
Life has been so simple when I was still single. I never believed my parents when they tell me about the difficulty of a married life. I just silently laugh at their counsel and thought, “What could there be in a marriage that I can’t handle?” Well, I just found out, there are PLENTY!
When you already have a wife, you know that you are not living for yourself anymore. But when you have a child, that realization will be brought to a whole new level!
If you think you are already spiritually mature, wait until you’re married and have kids! It will develop your ability to sacrifice your happiness just to make your wife and child happy. It will teach you to put the welfare of your family first above your needs and wants.
Instead of playing basketball or going to the gym, I find myself going to the grocery store. Instead of buying a new pair of basketball shoes, I find myself buying diapers. Instead of sleeping eight to nine hours a day, I find myself jubilant to have a four-hour straight sleep.
It is not about me anymore. It is about the welfare, goodness, and happiness of my family.
You may ask, “Is it all worth it?” Well, I will definitely say, YES! It is kind of weird. I actually should feel sorry for myself for having more responsibility as a father. But there is something inside me that changes my entire perspective on life.
In addition to my wife, I have found a new reason for living my life… and that reason is my child.
Yes, life is more complicated from now on, but life is more fulfilling compared to the days when I was single. And yes, I had a very happy life being single but I can tell you, I am happier now that I am married. Much more than being happy, I’m more blessed!