To many of us, myself included, the day we become fathers is a pivotal and hugely emotional life milestone.
The route to pregnancy for us was long and treacherous with doctor appointments, uncertainty, and fear that it might not happen for us. My wife bravely took hundreds of injections of expensive IVF medication. I helped where I could and was there to either sit with her or sometimes administer the medicine. My job was often to just clean up all the antibacterial wipes and empty vials.
We read the books, we’d watched videos, and heard everyone’s “valuable” advice, but when it came down to it, this was something my wife would have to brave through while I stood by and offered encouragement and support.
I remember when I got the call from my wife that she was having a backache every 20 minutes. I was in my usual Monday morning Marketing team meeting and my workmates knew I was on-call. I picked it up, heard the news that she said was “probably nothing”, and drove home. I continued to work while my wife reported to me when she felt something. I wrote every iteration down and watched as it went from every twenty minutes, down to every ten, to every 2 minutes at 6 pm that evening. We left for the hospital and I was a bundle of nerves.
When we arrived at the Vancouver Women’s Hospital, the staff said that she’d have to wait in the empty waiting room. They gave her a preliminary check over but nothing in-depth. She was in pain and we couldn’t do anything. While other women were brought in on gurneys, we waited. She was in labor and I couldn’t do anything. After two hours and a number of calls for assistance, they checked her in one of their rooms and she was seven centimeters dilated! There was blood and I was fuming. I knew that giving the nurses any attitude wasn’t going to help anyone, so I bit my tongue, hard. They brought us up to the delivery room, with no time for drugs. 15 minutes later, I was a dad. My wife was getting stitches as our little girl came out like a cat being taken to the vet – claws out.
There was a lot of looking at our new baby, making sure she’s alright, and plenty of listening to the incredible nurses and doctors about tips, how to bathe the baby, and also helping my heroic wife recover. All those tips also helped me come up with content ideas for my new dad-blog, SocialDad.ca.
We’ve all got unique stories, so I asked a few fellow Dad-Bloggers about the day their world changed:
KC Procter, FitDadLife.com – “I remember changing our daughter’s first diaper. She was 3 weeks early so she was less than 7 lbs and looked so tiny. She seemed like a little toy baby doll. My hands were shaking because I was so nervous and I took too long so she started crying because she was getting cold. When I finished securing the last tab on the diaper and swaddled her in the blanket, she calmed down and as I held her I thought ‘I never knew what unconditional love felt like until this moment.'”
Toby Walsh, GoodBadDad.com – “She was our fifth, so I knew what I was doing – I thought. After the hoopla of labor, I settled into the hospital’s rock-hard lounger for a little ESPN and rest as my wife and newborn slept. WRONG! I remember the sound of my tightly swaddled little girl turning from side-to-side rhythmically. When I hovered over her bassinet, I looked into her somehow alert, blue eyes. She stared up as to say, ‘Are you going to pick me up or what, Dad?’ I was in love and in awe. The first night was supposed to be easy – the baby should be lethargic, right? No, not here, not today – she wanted to move! Now, three years later, her boundless energy hasn’t changed and neither has my love for her.”
Aron Haris, DadRockDad.com – “I remember everything about the days both of my kids were born but the day my firstborn son arrived was pretty damn long. My wife was in active labor for around a day and a half. We arrived at the hospital while it was still dark on an early Friday morning in November.
I describe the time he was born around the same time the musical guest on SNL plays their second song. The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens in overtime that night. No, I didn’t actually watch the game. I cried my eyes out when he finally arrived and was interrupted from that, the most emotional moment of my life to date, to be forced to cut my son’s umbilical cord by one of the nurses. Through tears of joy, I told her I didn’t want to but she told me I’d regret it for my entire life if I didn’t. So, with shaking hands, I cut his cord. When my daughter was born, our birth plan distinctly stated that I would not be cutting the cord.”
Tyler Ingram, ADadsAdventures.ca – “My wife was induced twice over the course of 2-3 days, never progressing more than 1cm in dilation. Went in for the 3rd course but before administering it, the nursing staff had a steady indication of something was amiss with the baby’s O2 levels and heart-rate, the OBGYN came in and gave us two options: 1) Have the emergency c-section now or b) have a Pictocin drip for 8-hours where then afterwards an emergency c-section then. We opted for the first choice. Within 5 minutes my wife was prepped and whisked away to the OR. I came in the OR about 15 minutes later to witness the surgical teams’ hands in my wife’s abdomen. About 10 minutes later our first child was born. The cord was wrapped around his neck and each time my wife had a contraction, it was strangling him. Without that nursing/surgical staff, my son would not be here today.”
Mike Soltys, TheseAreMyOffspring.com – “I sat there staring at these animals in their glass cases in the NICU. Like lions in the zoo exhibit, they just slept. Not sure what I was expecting, but after about 10 minutes, I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do. For the next 20 minutes, I looked at nurses and fellow new parents through reflections in the glass wondering when is it too early to go back up and check on my wife. So after 30 minutes, I’m back upstairs to be met with the encouraging words of, ‘Why are you back already?'”
What was your first day as a Dad like? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook.