. .:: This dad is the first of all dads to share his perspective on the blog, as a letter to his son, and it's so honest and beautiful. (Be sure to keep scrolling to read mom's perspective!) ::. .
There’s nothing quite like waiting for your beautiful son to be born. As a dad it’s a weird experience ‘cause you’re not the one doing the work so you just gotta comfort your wife in whatever way possible and keep all of your anxiousness and impatience to yourself because expressing those feelings sure ain’t going to help your wife out. Surprisingly, after an hour or two you find yourself pretty well steeled and committed to the long haul.
At some point while Emily was pushing the midwife alerted me to the fact that we could start to see your head. I was happy, but not exceptionally excited, mainly just reserved. It’s hard to get excited when you’re so focused on being patient, plus, at the time, it still seemed like we were a long way off from getting to see you.
A few minutes later the midwife and the nurse started smiling after noticing that you had a full head of hair. It was hard to tell the color in the dim light of the delivery room, but it was definitely blond or red. I remember still feeling somewhat detached at this point; focused on Emily. I recall thinking to myself that it was weird that even though the top of your head was right there I still wasn’t really excited (I even touched and felt your hair! God, is something wrong with me? Look! Look at that! It’s the top of his dome. I poked it! Why am I not excited?).
It was several minutes before the real pushing began and your little head finally poked out. At this point, the midwife grabbed ahold of your head and shoulders, gave a couple yanks, and out you popped!
I remember the whole room went kinda quiet for a very brief moment as everyone felt that relief and release of anxiety (remember, this is after 20 hours!), and you broke that silence with your first baby squawks and shrieks. It was at that very moment when the flood of excitement totally overwhelmed me and I started crying full bore. Your cute wiggliness was just too much to handle. You were, and are, perfect. You are my son!
These words don’t do it justice, so I hope that one day you too can experience that feeling. It is the only time yet in my life that I have wept for pure joy. And will undoubtedly be the happiest moment of my life, only likely to ever be equaled by the potential future birth of any of your siblings.
-Dad (or daddy, or old man, or grouchy-pants, or whatever you end up calling me)
P.S. You are almost 5 months old as I am writing this and even though your hair has thinned, it is still red. It better stay that way..."
Your birth was basically nothing like I expected. My pregnancy was so easy that I thought my good luck would continue on through labor and delivery and probably your whole life. Then your due date came and went, and you were three days past due before my water broke at work, which was a complete surprise. I just stood there and said “I think my water just broke! Wait...yep, definitely my water breaking, there’s more. Wow, this is a lot of water!”
We thought that we’d stay at home for a while letting my labor progress, because at all of our classes they told us “Don’t go to the hospital until your contractions are five minutes apart, one minute long, and have been like that for an hour, or they’ll just send you home!” When we called, though, they told us to come in for assessment since my water had broken, and then we ended up staying at the hospital until you were born.
I knew labor would be hard, but all the stories your Grandma ever told me about my birth made me think that it would probably be short, and I could do it on my own, no drugs or anything. After finding out after twelve hours of labor that I was only halfway dilated, the midwife’s suggestion of an epidural and pitocin sounded amazing, even though I’m terrified of needles in my spine. It was amazing, by the way, and your dad has a picture of my best “yay, epidural!” face to prove it.
I expected your dad to be there and to help me, but I didn’t think he’d be quite so excellent at his job. He held my hand and rubbed my back, brought me water, reminded me to breathe and make low sounds instead of high ones, held my legs while I pushed, and was brave enough to cut your cord once the midwife pulled you out. He even cried when you were born, which made me cry too.
I asked when we got to the hospital to make sure the nurses put you on my chest so we could be skin-to-skin right away after you were born. When they did, your feet and hands were all pruney, like you’d just come out of a nice long bath, and you were just so wrinkled and ginger and perfect, surprised and all mad at the world for being so bright and loud. I didn’t expect to be so glad that they didn’t take you out of our sight while we were at the hospital, because all I wanted to do for the whole three days was look at you. You’re so much better than I ever thought you’d be, and I think that good luck has started back up again.
Finlay's Afterglow Session : Denver Fresh48 Photographer