Samudra of My Own: note of an ‘unprepared father to be’

I did quite well coping with the fact that my wife was pregnant and I have to prepare everything for the coming of our baby. We even bought two books on the subject of Pregnancy and Raising a Baby. I felt so much better when I finished reading those two books. Well, the Internet also help a lot. I can’t imagine how my father looked for such information in his time (or maybe he didn’t? .. being a very quiet and a calm man that he is).
I think as my self as “an unprepared father to be”, because until the doctor said that my wife’s pregnant -I never really prepared anything for it. I virtually had no savings for the baby, I had no insurance, not to mention that I understand nothing about pregnancy and a pregnant wife -and the worst part is that in Indonesia you are on your own when it come to these things. The state doesn’t provide you with an insurance or a social security service (Indonesia’s State Insurance Policy/ the BPJS is finally available for general public 9 years after I had my first son, Red.), and nobody will believe me if I declare myself poor (a university graduate who drives a car declare himself as a poor? who’s gonna buy that?). Because the fact is I ain’t poor – I just forgot to save .. he he he .. sadly, I think most of us (father to be) did -most of us are “unprepared father to be”.Thanks God that I’m a fast learner and a good money saver. So I was able catch up and go to the doctor every single month for the next eight months. And also, bought nice expensive milk for my pregnant wife (which she resent .. ha ha).

Here’s the picture of the baby in its second month

Here is the USG picture of my baby in its second month Medical Encyclopedia wrote:  In this month, the heart starts to pump and the nervous system (including the brain and spinal cord) begins to develop. The 1 in (2.5 cm) long fetus has a complete cartilage skeleton, which is replaced by bone cells by month's end. Arms, legs and all of the major organs begin to appear. Facial features begin to form.

Medical Encyclopedia wrote:
In this month, the heart starts to pump and the nervous system
(including the brain and spinal cord) begins to develop.
The 1 in (2.5 cm) long fetus has a complete cartilage skeleton,
which is replaced by bone cells by month’s end.
Arms, legs and all of the major organs begin to appear. Facial features begin to form.

That afternoon, it was the second time we saw our baby using that USG device -can you see the head (green) and the eyes (picture in the right)?. He is about the size of my thumb and I saw him swimming freely. My God, what a wonderful sight! We celebrate the moment by “makan sate ayam” (having indonesian chicken satay) before going back home. It was the best chicken satay I ever had.

Talking about satay .. satay is a grilled sticked meat , much like a shaslick, which my wife would love to have anytime during her first three months pregnancy. Indonesian called these first three months as “bulan-bulan ngidam”. They are the harder months in having a pregnant wife. Woman’s sense of smell became so sensitive that they can smell steamed rice from hundreds of meters away -and saying that it stinks (rice? stinks? oh please!). Many of them don’t want to eat at all, luckily my wife wasn’t suffering to much from this “ngidam”symptoms. Every now and then she would refuse to eat anything except chicken satay, and satay became our regular diet. Thanks God that satay is a meal full of nutrition and protein, though I think it has too much carbon, but all and all I don’t have to worry too much about nutrition for my baby. Of course the doctor did give some food supplement and vitamins for her -which sometimes I also like to take (which made me gain about 8 kilograms in 8 months .. ).

Here is the picture of his third month
See him sitting there? (photo on the left)
Medical Encyclopedia wrote: By now, the fetus has grown to 4 in (10 cm) and weighs a little more than an ounce (28 g). Now the major blood vessels and the roof of the mouth are almost completed, as the face starts to take on a more recognizably human appearance. Fingers and toes appear. All the major organs are now beginning to form; the kidneys are now functional and the four chambers of the heart are complete.
Medical Encyclopedia wrote:
By now, the fetus has grown to 4 in (10 cm) and weighs a little more than an ounce (28 g).
Now the major blood vessels and the roof of the mouth are almost completed,
as the face starts to take on a more recognizably human appearance. Fingers and toes appear.
All the major organs are now beginning to form;
the kidneys are now functional and the four chambers of the heart are complete.

In this third month, somehow the lady doctor was able to see what I couldn’t. That afternoon after looking briefly to the USG monitor she said ,”Well, sir. It’s a he”. I wouldn’t lie by saying I wasn’t delighted. I was always wanted a son for my first child, although at the same time I was also saying to everybody that it doesn’t matter to me whether it was going to be a boy or a girl -I guess every parents wouldn’t want to be seen disappointed if they found out that the child they’re going to have is not in the sex they expected ( i had a hard time writing this in English, but you got what i meant , do you?). And don’t get me wrong, I’d love a little girl too -I guess. But I felt I would be a better father if I had a baby boy first -at least I know what a boy would love to play with his father. Did I mention that I only had a big brother in my family? That, i guess, had something to do with my wish to have a baby boy as my first child.

the forth month
Medical Encyclopedia wrote: The fetus begins to kick and swallow, although most women still can't feel the baby move at this point. Now 4 oz (112 g), the fetus can hear and urinate, and has established sleep-wake cycles. All organs are now fully formed, although they will continue to grow for the next five months. The fetus has skin, eyebrows, and hair.
Medical Encyclopedia wrote:
The fetus begins to kick and swallow, although most women still can’t feel the baby move at this point.
Now 4 oz (112 g), the fetus can hear and urinate, and has established sleep-wake cycles.
All organs are now fully formed, although they will continue to grow for the next five months.
The fetus has skin, eyebrows, and hair.
The baby was so much bigger in its forth month. If you look hard enough you could see his face silhouette in the USG print above. I remember trying to feel its kick and punch on my wife’s tummy. It was a bit hard since it was still too weak to be felt by an outside hands, but his mother was able to feel it -and just knowing it was kicking its mother made me feel super.
On his fourth month we held a “syukuran empat bulanan”. It is a custom of Indonesian muslim to thank God for blowing His holy spirit into the baby’s body. We believe he’s finally a human being at the time -a person with a body and a soul which I should give the same respect I gave to other human being. I also remember that I had to lead the prayer my self since I had nobody else to do it for me. Man, I fell like a father already!

The fifth month

Medical Encyclopedia wrote: Now weighing up to a 1 lb (454 g) and measuring 8–12 in (20–30 cm), the fetus experiences rapid growth as its internal organs continue to grow. At this point, the mother may feel her baby move, and she can hear the heartbeat with a stethoscope
Medical Encyclopedia wrote:
Now weighing up to a 1 lb (454 g) and measuring 8–12 in (20–30 cm),
the fetus experiences rapid growth as its internal organs continue to grow.
At this point, the mother may feel her baby move,
and she can hear the heartbeat with a stethoscope
We could see his spine and I felt that he is big enough to have a conversation with his father. We talked about the world, about Indonesia, about happy we are for him, and about how cruel life could be. I never knew if he could hear my voice -or he could understand what I was saying, for that matter. But I guess I needed to talk to him. Well, we all talked to cats or dogs once in a while – and that doesn’t make you a “cuckoo”, right?

The sixth month
Medical Encyclopedia wrote: Even though its lungs are not fully developed, a fetus born during this month can survive with intensive care. Weighing 1–1.5 lb (454–681 g), the fetus is red, wrinkly, and covered with fine hair all over its body. The fetus will grow very fast during this month as its organs continue to develop.
Medical Encyclopedia wrote:
Even though its lungs are not fully developed,
a fetus born during this month can survive with intensive care.
Weighing 1–1.5 lb (454–681 g), the fetus is red, wrinkly,
and covered with fine hair all over its body.
The fetus will grow very fast during this month as its organs continue to develop.

It was our first time to see his face -close up (see green area on above picture). “Is he going to look like me or like his mother?”, that’s the first thing that came up into my mind. Is there going to be another person who look just like me in the world? I beginning to feel excited and yet so relax. This pregnancy thing turned up to be a joyride after all. After six months, the fetus had grown much stronger that we didn’t have to worry too much about miscarriage and stuff like that. I also feel that the baby had really became a part of the family and I kinda got used to all these things.

the seventh month
Medical Encyclopedia wrote: There is a better chance that a fetus born during this month will survive. The fetus continues to grow rapidly, and may weigh as much as 3 lb (1.3 kg) by now. Now the fetus can suck its thumb and look around its watery womb with open eyes.
Medical Encyclopedia wrote:
There is a better chance that a fetus born during this month will survive.
The fetus continues to grow rapidly, and may weigh as much as 3 lb (1.3 kg) by now.
Now the fetus can suck its thumb and look around its watery womb with open eyes.

My son had grown so big that he wouldn’t fit into the USG monitor -all you’d see in the monitor is one big mass of something which is constantly moving. Doctor Sophie her self seemed to be interested in measuring the size of the baby’s head for some reason. I believe the baby was supposed to had developed some sort of intelligence by then, because whenever I press my finger on my wife’s tummy -he’d kick or punch back (my very first lessons on self defense technique to him If somebody is pushing you around -kick him back! .. ha ha ha)

The Eight Month
Medical Encyclopedia wrote: Growth continues but slows down as the baby begins to take up most of the room inside the uterus. Now weighing 4–5 lbs (1.8–2.3 kg) and measuring 16–18 in (40–45 cm) long, the fetus may at this time prepare for delivery next month by moving into the head-down position.
Medical Encyclopedia wrote:
Growth continues but slows down
as the baby begins to take up most of the room inside the uterus.
Now weighing 4–5 lbs (1.8–2.3 kg) and measuring 16–18 in (40–45 cm) long,
the fetus may at this time prepare for delivery next month by moving into the head-down position.

Doctor Sophie predicted that my wife was going to give birth to my son in her eight and a half month of her pregnancy. This is due to the medical history of her mother and her sister who also gave birth during their 8,5 month of their pregnancy. Meaning that I must prepare everything by the eight month .. a.k.a baby stuff shopping week! First of all, we created a long list of baby’s needs: clothes, hats, socks, mittens, shoes, blankets, pillows, bed sheets, milk bottles, diapers, and so on and so on. Then we went to the nearest baby shop and buy those stuff on the list. The good thing is we didn’t find to much problem shopping since we are both aren’t shopaholic -we did it fast and accurate 🙂

A much bigger problem is choosing which hospital for the delivery.Doctor Sophie gave us a list of hospitals for us to choose -complete with the price list, list of practicing doctors, etc. All good ones are of course expensive while choosing a cheap one somehow would be a bit risky (so we thought -we’re so rookies!). We did some survey directly to some of the hospital to make sure that what they wrote on the brochures are true and updated. Finally we chose Hermina Mother and Baby Hospital which was the closest one to our house. It was a brand new hospital where doctor Sophie also practice as a gynecologist. After all the preparation was set, all we needed to do was to wait -but waiting was probably the most exhausting and brain-draining activity of all. I wish I could skipped the waiting if I had to do all over again. I just couldn’t wait to meet my Baby Samudra!

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