A dad’s birth story
A father writes to his son, describing what it felt like to become a dad.
Dear Scott,

I wanted to write you a short note so that you would know what it was like to be me, on the day you arrived. Your mom was so ready to have you (I think she was tired of carrying you around... but don’t tell her I said that) and I was, well, apprehensive. You see, I hadn’t been a dad before, and I wasn’t sure quite how good I’d be at it.

You may not believe this, but we weren’t even sure if you were a boy, or a girl before you were born. Oh, we could have found out, but we wanted a surprise. This is why so many of your baby clothes were green and yellow. For this, I’m sorry...

You kept us waiting for two weeks, but believe me, it was worth it. On the day before you were born, the gynae decided that we had waited long enough, and Mom was admitted into the hospital for an ‘induction of labour.’ Yes, I know it sounds terrible, but one day you’ll understand. Maybe you already knew, because by the time she was admitted, you had decided that enough was enough, and it was time to come out!

Boy, did your Mom work hard. You should be so proud of her; I know I was. No epidural, no Caesar, only strong painkillers. Of course, this did mean that she was unconscious most of the time between contractions. I did get into some trouble when I tried to talk to Mom during her contractions, but I only wanted to make sure she was OK. The gynae arrived some time later, and then things got really tough. Your Mom was a champion! Before we knew it, you arrived at 07h17 on a beautiful Thursday morning.

I cut your umbilical cord, and began my career as a father as the gynae handed you to me. Mom and I had chosen some names for boys, but as soon as we saw you, we knew that you could only be Scott. You seemed to be so fragile, so tiny, but as I held you I could feel that you had a big personality. You looked around as if to say, ‘Well, here I am!’ and you captivated our hearts forever. What amazed me was how you calmed down when we held you. We wrapped you in the blanket and hat that, 30 minutes before, had seemed ridiculously tiny and they dwarfed you!

Mom and I spent the whole day looking at you as you slept quietly. It seemed as though we were discovering new things about you all the time. (Strangely, this phenomenon hasn’t stopped.) I can’t explain exactly how I felt, but trust me, one day you will feel the same when you have children of your own.

It felt as if I was moulding to this new being, this new role as a father and that I would do anything for you. I could no longer tell where I stopped and you started. If only I was as good a dad in real life as I wanted to be that day. You were, and still are, our greatest gift. I think that we realised that on the day you were born. Life would be different from now on.


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