People always say that having kids changes everything, that you see the world differently after children come into your life. But advice can only be given and taken, not lived. A few blurry days ago, I quickly learned that nothing had prepared me for the intensity of what I felt in that delivery room.
I had decided long ago that I wasn’t going to look down. I have a weak stomach, so I devised a plan that would allow me to be supportive yet comfortable. I would be the around the shoulder coach, the hand holder, the strong, silenced by immovable fear type. But in the heat of the moment, as the pushing and the screaming coincided with the contracting and the breathing, I peeked. And it changed my life.
I watched my son come into this world, dumbstruck with a deluge of emotions. I was speechless, teary eyed, light headed, and woozy. I wiped sweaty locks of hair from my wife’s face as I tried to encourage her, my hands shaking and my voice faltering. It was surreal and natural at the same time.
There in that busy room, the source of all my worrying and wondering came out in one perfectly slimed, purple, amniotic package of tiny arms and legs that absolutely terrified me for the few precious seconds before filling the room with a raucous roar.
As the monitors beeped and hummed, blending with the primitive sounds of brand new life, the frenzied flow of hospital staff bustled about the room as I cut the cord and officially welcomed my son to the world.
In the calm that followed, the nurses and the doctors finished up and gave our small exhausted family a moment in peace, far and away the best moment of my life. Now the real journey begins...