When I held my newborn in my arms for the first time, it was not what I had imagined it to be. My newborn looked wrinkled and dirtily patched with white stuff. He was not smiling. He was struggling to open his eyes. He did not let out loud cries, though. I have always read about how parents are overjoyed to hold their newborn in their arms and which many described it as a spectacular experience. I belonged to the minority group I guess.

When I was wheeled out from the operating theatre, I threw up due to the side effects of the epidural. It was a bad feeling. At least the only positive thing was the relief of some weight after birthing. Then I had to learn to breastfeed my son. It was awkward, to have someone sucking my breasts for milk. And after a few rounds, my nipples were so sore because my son was learning how to suckle for milk. I remembered staring at my son and feeling so helpless.

Time flew past quickly and my son was a month old. Relatives and friends came by for his baby shower. And it was during the event my friend pointed out to me that the way I cleaned my son’s penis was not correct. Well well…..? She said that I should cut my nails (for fear of scratching my son accidentally), use a clean cotton pad soaked with clean water, and wipe my son’s penis left and right, up and down-under (especially the down-under where dirt is trapped). To be frank, all my life I have not tried cleaning a penis up so that was indeed something new. So what had I done during the first month of my son’s life? I was confined to bed due to first time c-section and my family helped me with looking after my son most of the time. I only started to bathe my son by myself from week three.

For a first time mom, there were so many things to learn and especially when my child is not of the same gender as me. It is a boy whom I am taking care of. It was not what I had imagined. It was overwhelming. Each time I cleaned my son up, and having to look at that penis for many times a day, it just felt weird. It is just different from looking at your husband’s penis during our intimate moments. I laughed. 

Oh well, those were the moments I could recall as a first time mom. 

the Mommy