Kenyan in and around Cape Town

Rookie Dad- 1 month later

When we found out that we were going to have a girl, for a moment I felt like Rookie-dad Sean “It’s A Girl! Wait… Oh my, it’s a girl. I don’t know anything about girls…” … In those few seconds I did a time travel- I thought boobs, periods, love, heartbreaks, girl games etc … really what do I know about girls?! For the larger part of my life I have lived around boys- 5 brothers, a boys boarding high school, a 90% male campus and only 1 girl in my architecture class … for 6 years!! To add salt to injury I work in a male dominated field and our office is all male save for the receptionist and accountant. So really I have spent my entire lifetime mastering being MALE… yet now I have to get as much understanding as I can possibly get about the female existence because I want to know about my little princess and help her along as much as possible.

Contented little baby:
My wife and I purposed in our hearts to make our baby as comfortable as possible. We therefore armed ourselves to the tooth for a much anticipated face off with first-time-parents challenges. We stocked up our library with Gina Ford’s book “the contented little baby” … “What to expect in the First year”, among other books and many conversations with been-there-done-that parents. But when the exam came it reminded me of my 2nd year at varsity when as a class we signed a petition not to sit a Geometry exam after seeing the questions claiming that we had not covered the material in class. The last 4 weeks have felt alot like that Geometry exam.

1st night at the hospital:
When all the visitors left, I moved my girls (that sounds nice) to a private ward where I could also be accommodated for the night as I could not imagine leaving them at the hospital. My wife was tired … (more like exhausted) and still all wired up with medicated drips (pain killers). Little princess Gaila on the other hand was swaddled and safely put to sleep in her hospital cot between our beds. I cannot tell at what point I blacked out only to be woken up by a little girl crying. Both of us woke up, looked at baby, and then back at each other full of question marks. Almost instinctively we reached out for the nurse call but common sense got the better of us … “this is our baby … she is crying … we need to find out why and do something about it…” and right there we had our first very nervous and shaky diaper change! Did I mention babies have black poo to start with? There is a whole science behind it but that is not my area of expertise 🙂
The rest of the night was rescued by the very friendly nurses who took the baby to the nursery to allow us some sleep after the veeery long day we had had.

Baby Chocking:
On Monday morning I woke up to go to work. (I wanted to take my paternity leave once they were out of hospital). Late in the morning I got a call from my very shaken wife. She was all tears and could not speak. All she could say was, “there has been drama at the hospital!! …. sob … sob … sob … ” … then silence. She managed a “I’ll call you back sweet… ” in between sobs. “Is Ciiru ok?” …”yes she’s fine now” … The next 5 minutes were the most agonizing in my life… ever! I wondered what could have happened. I was shaking at my desk as I had never heard my wife shaken like that before (she is a strong Nyeri-blooded-Kikuyu woman). I called her back as I walked to the parking lot in a rush.

That morning, while Ciiru slept she chocked on some kind of sputum. Her face had turned purplish and was having a strained cough while kicking and desperately gasping for air (I could be exaggerating here but that is the picture my wife painted). My wife jumped from her bed reached out for the nurse call and ran to the nurse station outside shouting “nurse! nurse! nurse!”. Remember my wife was a 100m champion at Nairobi River primary school and won medals at the national levels (only the school lost their certificates) … sorry I digress. The nurses came running and quickly turned the baby on her stomach while smacking her back and then took the baby to the nursery, my wife in toe. Here they used some tubes inserted through the mouth to help the baby get rid of the mucous. All the while tears flowed freely. After they were done they handed the baby over to my wife who refused to take her (My heart sunk when she told me this … where was I ?????). It took several nurses to calm my wife and luckily on that day our Gynae was around to give some much need reassurance. When I arrived all we could do was hug for a long time. We sat in silence as we absorbed what had just happened and thanked God it wasn’t something worse and that it did not happen at home.

Leaving mummy and baby at the hospital:
Needless to say I could not leave my sweetheart in that state. I stayed with her and by the end of that day she had come round. In the evening I had to go home. I had spent 2 nights at the hospital and and needed to make sure everything was alright at home to welcome our new addition. Daddy’s visitation ours end at 8pm, but I managed to push it to 11pm in light of what had happened earlier in the day. Before I left we shut the door to pray. This was the first time I fervently prayed for my daughter and wife. My tear ducts were on overdrive as I asked God to take care of them through the night and to shield and protect them from in more drama! When we were done we could feel the presence of the Lord in that room. My wife was even stronger than I was after that prayer. She said to me, “honey go home. We will be ok.” With that reassurance I hugged and kissed them and drove out into the cold quiet winter night playing our usual favorite Linda Randel CD … “God of the mountain is still God in the valley ….”

Sleepless nights:
Now its been almost a month since Ciiru graced our home with her presence. And she has made her presence felt. For those contemplating having babies … sleepless nights are not a myth, and more than 3-4 hours of continuous sleep is a distant memory. Between feeds, diaper changes, and the many own compositions we have managed some level of sanity. It is so difficult to watch your little girl cry. Your heart breaks just a little for every whimper and tear that falls. And you will do absolutely anything to bring her comfort. I have found myself rushing home at 5 to catch some much needed sleep before we start another long night of baby stories and out of tune Kikuyu lullabies… “tiga kurira mwana, tiga kuriraa … oga munyonyi mwana, tiga kurira mwana….”

When all else fails … this always works! photo courtesy of mama ciiru sneaking up on me 🙂

Angels with food:
In-between all the challenges we have faced our love has remained steadfast and God has been merciful towards us. He has sent us angels with food almost every evening for the last 3 weeks. We feel alot like Elijah being fed by ravens and Abraham and Lot that got visits from angels in their homes. My sister Muthoni, the Koech family, Joe & Beryl, Steph & Peter, and Mama and baba Sierra have been our amazing angels. I have learnt that family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile. These have made our transition to parenthood much easier and their support has been immense. These angels have supported us, fed us, prayed with us and loved us immensely! For their friendship we are truly grateful! I cannot fail to mention all the friends and family who through their SMSes and phone calls have offered very insightful advice to first time parents … but that’s a post for another day – parenting 101; advice from friends and family coming soon!

Ciiru is 1 month old tomorrow…! (Can you imagine that?). And now we have settled into some kind of routine. I hope to blog more consistently and regulary on this journey that we are taking together with my wife and daughter!


17 responses

  1. Anonymous

    Hey Mommy and Daddy Ciiru! Wow this blog indeed is showing the wonders of this amazing journey of love, marriage and now parenthood…its incredible. You are an amazing writer. Keep up the good work. God bless you and your family.

    September 10, 2012 at 19:45

    • Thanx somebody! We appreciate your comments much!!

      September 11, 2012 at 09:40

  2. Anonymous

    Congratulations K-gee and Ngeci!!! Beautiful girl, I promise you, 8 hours of continuous sleep is around the corner ( ok maybe not !), the journey will get even more beautiful ( and comical). Just you wait till she has a few things
    to say in gibberish!

    September 7, 2012 at 13:55

    • Thank you!! Keshi* and I are looking fwd to those 8 hours of sleep

      September 7, 2012 at 14:42

  3. Melissa

    Wow Moses and Wangeci!!!Praise God. i’m so coming to see Ciiru..just recovering from a flu so i dont want to pass it on to her…but i’m coming..

    September 5, 2012 at 13:04

  4. Anonymous

    ooommmg *holding back tears* I have so much to say but the worst part is I get to miss out on all the happenings!!if ever I wish I was in cpt now to share this joyous moment
    2.Ciiru is aaaaaaaaaaaaaaadooorable aaaaaaww so angelic -chunga tusikuje tumuibe daddy 🙂
    3.Congrats Ciiru you are one month old, I still cant wait to meet you..Ninapanga tuje na Kyle
    3. Im glad to know you n Wange are doing great 🙂 the pics say it all keep enjoying the parenthood journey..the joys and scarey moments have jus begun LOL
    4. Thank God for earthly angels and yes its true Family isnt always blood its about people who want you in their lives and you guys are indeed my family
    5. many XOXOXOOO to ciiru and please dont scare us again like that baby..Im way over here and I almost had a heart-attack 😦
    God protect you all and please send me the pics

    September 4, 2012 at 12:32

    • Thanks jenny for your kind words!! The journey only just begun!!

      September 4, 2012 at 12:50

  5. Wangeci Gathua

    Baba Ciiru and Baby Ciiru, you are the best gift God has given me.I thank God for you always! Love you…xoxoxo….I definitely enjoy reading our experience 🙂

    September 3, 2012 at 19:04

    • Thanx mama Ciiru. Love you two!

      September 4, 2012 at 09:19

  6. Anonymous

    I have enjoyed reading this Baba Ciiru, and as a writer, I must say you are welcome to the Writer’s club. Very well written and captivating. Our prayers and love remain with you, Mama Ciiru and Ciiru. Delivery angel on the way this week! God bless you a lot!

    September 3, 2012 at 16:31

    • Anonymous

      I have enjoyed reading this Baba Ciiru, and as a writer, I must say you are welcome to the Writer’s club. Very well written and captivating. Our prayers and love remain with you, Mama Ciiru and Ciiru. Delivery angel on the way this week! God bless you a lot! Beryl Joe.
      September 3, 2012 at 16:31

      September 3, 2012 at 16:32

    • Thank you! Some of you is rubbing off. Glad to have you guys- you inspire our family lots!! Looking forward to the next delivery!

      September 3, 2012 at 16:39

  7. Unko Ng'ash

    I like, I like,,Rekgo you need to come to Cptwn soon and meet her before she starts talking have your share of holding the baby. I got my first experience of trying to bath a baby yesterday. It made writing my literature review look easy, mad skill by baba Ciru silencing her in btwn her protests for the bath. Left to me she would have stayed without the bath for another day just not to hear her cry. I have to admit I now have second thoughts of being a parent. The other party need not know this but project baby has been prolonged by another 2 years as I continue acquiring some much needed practice as well as accumulated sleep arrears(tshhhhhh). Baby seating 101 thanks to the Gathuas and there little angel.

    September 3, 2012 at 14:44

    • twas a pleasure having you on internship Ng’ash! you should come around for more lessons

      September 3, 2012 at 14:59

    • rekgo

      Wow!!! Uncle Ng’ash; you just made me all the more eager to come! Just 2 more months and I will be that side. Rolling on the floor laughing at your bathtime experience. I say more babysitting sessions for Ng’ang’a, what say you Mama Ciiru and Baba Ciiru?

      September 6, 2012 at 17:50

      • Rekgo we only offer 1 lesson. So Ng’ash we just have to step up, then we can hire him!

        September 7, 2012 at 09:24

  8. rekgo

    Amazing! How gorgeous is baby Ciiru! Parenthood looks good on the pair of you. We thank the LORD for HIS grace and tender mercies. Send my love to the stunning ladies. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us. Looking forward to the next post!

    September 3, 2012 at 14:14

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