The day my daughter was born was the first time I was in complete denial of a situation surrounding me.
It was 6:30am on a Sunday morning two weeks before our due date. My wife wakes me up saying we need to put together a bag of items for the hospital, the baby is coming.
I told her she was full of shit, that she had gas or something and needed to go back to bed. Little did I know that she had already been up for half an hour packing a bag and her contractions were less than five minutes apart.
I drove her to the hospital once we were ready, which didn’t take long since I can see the hospital from my back yard.
We get checked in through emergency and some nurses check her out but don’t say much. The very first doctor that comes in says “well you are having a baby today and it should be quick, your water is already broken and you are already quiet dilated”. My heart sank.
Never at any point during the pregnancy did I feel ready to be a dad and the surreal nature of the experience was a lot to handle. I didn’t know how long of a day I was in for, I didn’t know how much sleep I could count on for the foreseeable future, I didn’t know how much pain my wife would be in and if she would hurt her chronic back problems. I was worried about everything but the baby. That bastard was coming with reckless abandon.
Miraculously everything went well. Six hour labor, no real pain after the epidural, got a decent night’s sleep that first night.
It turned out she needed some treatment and we needed to leave her in the hospital a couple extra days. We stopped by near constantly, almost every feeding was done by us and we tried not to worry too much, which was incredibly difficult.
But we brought her home on New Year’s Day, just in time to watch the Wings play at the big house. She was mesmerized by the high contrast of red and white and was content. The first memory I have of my child at home is pure contentment.