Nothing really prepares you for seeing your child for the first time. I had been asked to sit in the waiting room while my wife labored alone in the women-only labor room. At some point she had begged for me and her doctor let me in.
I held her hand and tried to imagine what a contraction felt like. Her face contorted into a grimace of pain as she squeezed my hand harder than I thought was possible. Then I was asked to leave.
“Sir, wake up, see your baby.”
I was tired and groggy, having been in the hospital for hours, waiting to see what was going to happen. When it was decided that my wife would need a caesarean after all, I sat in the waiting room and fell asleep.
“Hey, wake up, your baby is here.” The guy next to me grinned as he pointed to the nurse standing in front of me.
The nurse was holding a tiny, screaming bundle. “Sir, this is your daughter.”
I took the baby in my arms and her screams quieted to sobs as I spoke to her. Her red face turned pink and her ears perked up as she listened to my voice. That was all it took to quiet her. I held her close and took her to our room so she could be dressed. Then I took some pictures.
I was now daddy to a little girl. I tried hard to digest that information. Just hours earlier I only had a son; now I had a daughter too. She was perfect. She could have anything she wanted, just because she was mine. I would give her the world if she asked. Her large brown eyes stared into mine as if to say “I’m so happy you’re my daddy.”