Great insights from a  first time dad….@KaribaMoko…Interesting read for the guys!!….Also check out his blog here 

Its 3 am on a chilly Nairobi night. I’ve been up the last 45 minutes trying to get my daughter to sleep. Earlier in the day she got her first immunisation jabs and she’s been a bit cranky. Looking back, it’s been a blissful 6 weeks and our little bundle of joy has been a welcome addition. She is a 3 year answered prayer having hit an ectopic bump earlier in our marriage.
Being dad is an exciting feeling but it’s continuously becoming a learning lesson as I contrast the reality versus the expectations of being a dad. Here are my top novice learning lessons

1. Talk
The first week after the surgery was the hardest. Everyone recites the for better or for worse vows, no one tells you your first attempt at being parents would be the first hurdle ending up in a surgical ward.
My first reaction was anger; I immediately changed gynaecologists, talked to my insurer about bad doctors on their panel. Complained! Complained! Complained! Sadly I am a man and we try to fix things not feel.
Talking with other older couples and realising just how many of them had also gone through unsuccessful pregnancies not only helped me come to terms with our loss but also be a partner not a fixer to my wife.

2. Go for experience
If you followed my tweets a while back, I came up to the conclusion that male gynaecologists are generally better than their female counterparts.
My rationale: since the female anatomy is foreign to man. He tends to be curious. We went through 2 lady gynaecologists and a couple of scans only for the last guy to quickly spot the ectopic pregnancy from the symptoms presented. Feminists, before you lynch me. I would still visit a female gyne with my wife but they would have to be ultra-experienced and not only with certificates on their walls. Degrees I feel can be bought.

3. Drop the macho, Get He-Motions
Pregnancy is a dictatorship, and she is dick. Your role in the process doesn’t end at the billion man race ending with a fusion.
With hormones all over the place, prepare for the worst but hope for the best. I’ve listened to a few of my friends’ stories to know I got off easy with ice cream cravings at 10pm once or twice.
Recently, The Hug became a trending topic when the president hugged his wife after the inaugural first lady marathon. Listening in on Maina Kageni’s breakfast show it was sad to realise we actually have folks out there who use traditions and myopic thinking to deny themselves of intimacy/vulnerability.
The 9 months taught me to be there the biggest hurdle being going with her to the delivery room, an experience I found wasn’t half as bad as I imagined. You can be sure that bought me a Gazillion points which I shall bank in the future when I find myself in trouble with the Mrs.

4. Get some S
Babies KILL anything that starts with the letter S…Sex, Sleep, Sanity, Savings, Salary and they do this with their secret weapon Screams! Since you are never sure what each scream means you’ll probably do a few doctor visits and diaper changes before you realise which scream means what. So before your life becomes a living nightmare for about a month…Get all the S you can. The former being most preferred.

5. Plan ahead
Babies don’t come cheap. I remember having a chat with one of my friends after his baby came through and he was thanking me for advising him to raise his pregnancy cover. He had planned for a normal delivery but the baby had other ideas and he ended up paying for a Caesarean Section.
One of the most frustrating lines I have ever seen is the checkout at a maternity ward. Here new fathers are grabbed by the balls as they discover baby delivery costs they didn’t expect. I am quickly discovering what my role in life…to constantly ask “how much is that?” I learnt this when planning for our wedding. The lessons apply to everything after that.

6. Celebrate quietly
Babies are popstars! They attract groupies. From day one, new uncles, aunties, grandparents and friends will stroll in unannounced to give their regards.
Sadly, the first few weeks are hardest for the mother as she’s trying to understand the baby and still keep her sanity while recovering. In as much as family support is needed I have found myself constantly asking for alone time just so that mother and baby can get their quiet time. Of course as time goes by this all changes and the more company around you the better.

7. Mute the world, Trust your instincts.
Everyone cares for your new-born and sadly it doesn’t end at the gifts. Every visit comes with a bunch of recommendations depending on what the little one is up to.
I’ve come to the simple conclusion; despite the well-intended advice sometimes going with your gut is the best policy. In the baby’s world only mummy and daddy exist.

This article ‘Dad Vs Dad’ was originally posted on www.kariba.co.ke All rights reserved to Kariba Moko Copyright 2014