Photo by orchid from Morgue File
Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.
Out of all the firsts I have experienced, I would have to say my first day as a daddy sticks out the most. I remember the evening before as if it were yesterday (this December will be four years). My wife calls me on the phone, having gone to visit the doctor, to tell me she would be admitted that night to the hospital and they were going to induce labor.
This was news I was not expecting! I thought we still had a couple of weeks at least! My mind kicked into overdrive and I started thinking about all the things I needed to do. The house needed straightening up. There was a playpen that needed to be gotten out of the box and assembled.
My mind was frantic! I started running around the house, doing this and doing that. It was such a blur I’m not really sure what all I did!
After a few minutes, my wife arrives home to prepare her things.
Now, I’m thinking we had little time and at any moment her water could break (at least that’s how it happens in all the movies!).
As I am raging like a thunderstorm, my wife is taking a nice, long, hot shower. Not only does she take a shower, but she shaves her legs (I have since learned this is common practice!). She goes about packing her bags very methodically. No rush. No hurry. No panic. No warp-speed like motions.
I was, to say the least, confused. What’s going on here? What are you doing? Let’s go. Let’s hurry up! The baby is coming soon! You’re water could break any moment!
I still had all those movie scenes in my mind of breaking water and harried moms and dads to-be and hailing taxis in the middle of the night and rain-soaked roads and last-minute . . . well, you get the picture.
I learned that night that reality and the movies don’t always add up when it comes to giving birth. My wife calmly informed me there was no rush or hurry. She could take as long as she wanted, as long as we got there some time that night.
I must admit, there was a part of me a bit disappointed to miss out on all the Hollywood excitement!
Nevertheless, we drove to the hospital, went through admittance and waited patiently. The next morning it happened! (I must say the whole “labor thing” was a let down too, or at least from what you see in the movies. My wife was in labor for just a short amount of time and then in literally three pushes our daughter was out! No time for me to say, Breathe, breathe, push, push!) I remember that entire day (and several more to come) pinching myself, finding it hard to believe it had really happened!
That night our daughter stayed with us in our room. I practically held her the entire night! (My wife says this is why she is a bit spoiled now; but I think there have been several, innumerable contributions since that night to explain that fact!)
It is hard to explain. When you finally realize that you are a parent. That you have been blessed by God to take part in the conception of life. It is a miracle of miracles!
That first day was filled with excitement, disbelief and anxiety! It all comes to bear. You are now responsible for this little, precious life. God has given you stewardship over this wrinkled creation. It is an incredible privilege and responsibility all at the same time.
When our next daughter was born (again, only three pushes!), the same feelings returned (minus the movie stuff!). As soon as she is out and crying, you are busy counting fingers and toes. Ten fingers? Check. Ten toes? Check. Two eyes? Check. And then you just hold her in amazement and wonder.
You wonder, how you ever lived so long without her.