A few days ago I was just going back over some of the wonderful comments I have received as I so often do. I want to acknowledge one dear blogging friend who has been here with me from virtually the beginning. I only know her as babychaos and that she lives in the UK. I don’t get around to visit nearly as much as I would like to, but as with many I occasionally pop in to check up on her. Of late she has been writing of her pregnancy. She of late has been writing of how the baby is over due and that she is scheduled to go into the hospital to have the labor induced. Well today is the day. Now I am not sure of the exact time difference between here and the UK but I so think it would be early afternoon there at the time I am writing this. Based on this I think it is quite possible at this very moment she is in labor. I ask all for prayers for her and the safe delivery of a healthy baby.
Just thinking of this causes my mind to drift back to the births of my own 2 wonderful daughters. My own daughter Billie is going to have a birthday in a couple of weeks. Now I know she would not be opposed to me revealing her age here, but I also know a gentleman would never ask or reveal a Ladies age. Both of my fine daughters are definitely fine Ladies so I will respect that and not reveal her age. Instead I am going to share some of the memories I have of my thoughts and feelings around this time 30 years ago.
I was a soon to be father for the first time. I remember being over joyed yet scared, excited but nervous. Over all I was very excited and happy about what what to take place, I couldn’t wait to see my baby and to hold her in my arms. Yet at the same time I was scared, nervous and worried, what did I know about being a father, NOTHING!!!!. I am not sure if I had even held a baby prior to that point. I was so happy, so excited at the thought of becoming a father, but I worried was I ready.
Back 30 years ago I was living right here in Winnipeg, having been transfered here by the bank. Back then I didn’t know the city all that well and trying to be the good father to be, I went out and drove the route to the hospital. I didn’t want there to be any chance of getting lost or anything of the sort when the big moment arrived. I wanted to be as ready as I could be.
Well ready or not the big day arrived. The due date that is. I remember having friends over that evening and I am sure we likely just sat around looking at her tummy, waiting for the miracle of birth to happen. I think the friends left about midnight all disappointed nothing had happened.
We prepared for bed and my wife came to me saying she had a bit of “show” after going to the washroom. She asked what I thought it meant and should we go to the hospital. Geeeeesh, I don’t know. Now we had taken the prenatal classes and everything was apparently based on contractions and how far apart they were. There had been no contractions so what could this mean? It is better to be safe than sorry and as it was the due date we decided to go to the hospital. Off we go on my preplanned route. My preplanned had had not taken into consideration the road construction Winnipeg is so famous for in the summer. My route was completely blocked and off onto the side streets I went looking for a way around the construction. In Winnipeg that is not always as simple as it would sound. I remained cool and calm, remember no contractions.
We arrived at the hospital, I got the soon to be mommy inside and seated as I went to the registration desk. The first question the nurse asked was: “how far apart are the contractions”. I will never forget the surprised look on her face when I told her there hadn’t been any contractions. I was trying to explain the story, it was the due date, the show and all of that and her look turned more to what I would suppose would be patronizing. I am sure thinking I was just an over reacting father to be and I wasn’t sure if that is in fact what I was. That part actually happened very quickly as my ex proclaimed her water had just broken, now that prompted a beehive of activity. There was a big clock on the wall behind the nurses desk and I remember it being 1:01am as I was first approaching the desk. What followed was a lot of frantic activity as Billie entered the world at 1:19am.
It is absolutely natural and understandable that all the attention should go to the woman about to deliver a baby, that is as is should be and I wouldn’t want it any other way. In this sort of circumstance as the father you are left standing there in something akin to shock. Like this can’t be happening this fast, what happened to the long labor. Basically, they got her into a room, checked her and immediately rushed her to the delivery room. Knowing I was to be in the delivery room as they were wheeling her out of the room, handed me a part, of what I think are called scrubs. She pointed to what turned out to be some sort of utility room saying, “you can put these on in there but you had better hurry.” Well hurry I did but even so when I came out of the room I found the hallway to be totally empty. I knew the direction they had gone but not to where. Here I think the surprise, the shock of it all happening so quickly had worn off a little to be replaced more with panic. I wanted to be “there” but where exactly was “there”. Ultimately it wasn’t difficult at all finding them but even so I arrived as the baby was crowning. It was quickly apparent my wife was understandably to absorbed in what was happening to be interested in me or my coached breathing techniques at that time. Realizing it had reached the point where I wasn’t needed or really wanted at the head of the delivery table. I moved down to shall we say the business end of the table. I witnessed the miracle of birth, I saw my beautiful daughter enter this world. As she entered the world she “landed” on a towel, blanket like thing. I suppose it is because I was standing right there the doctor quickly wrapped her in this towel and handed her to me. I was blessed by being able to hold both of my daughters when they were but seconds old. I held her while the nurses suctioned her mouth and nose etc.. I was then told to put her on the mommy’s tummy. I am not sure how long I got to hold her that time, not long I know, maybe even less than a minute. But that was all it took to change me forever. My heart melted, I totally turned to mush inside. In those few seconds my view of life, my out look on the world completely changed. I was a dad. There are no words to describe how I felt. Feelings of love swept over me, feeling of joy, of excitement. I was the happiest and proudest dad you could have met.
That was a life changing moment for me. By life changing I don’t mean in just the physical ways having a baby in your life will bring. I mean an internal change to me, my thinking, my feelings, my desires, my view on life.
I had a second such moment with the birth of my daughter Shauna, I will write about that as we near her birthday.
I am such a lucky man to have been blessed with 2 such wonderful daughters. I give prayers of thanks every day for that blessing.
Today I am asking all to say a short prayer for my daughters. both are such a true blessing to me and to the world. Prayers are always welcome and appreciated.