My dad has always worked so hard to make sure that we got the most out of life, but he made darn sure that nothing was handed to us on a silver platter. He taught us to work for things that we wanted and that the “easy way out” would get us no where. My parents gave us a place where we were free to make mistakes. When things went wrong, we knew we had a place to go, even if it mean facing very harsh realities. We knew we would be held accountable for our actions, but loved and supported while doing so.
I’ve leaned on both my parents my whole life. They’ve been there for every soccer game, award ceremony, breakup, graduation, my wedding, miscarriages, and everything in between. So, when it came time for me to give birth to my first baby, having my parents in the room wasn’t even a question. It’s common for mothers to have their moms in the delivery room, but I wanted my dad to be there too (if he wanted to be). He was there for everything else, why would I make him wait in the waiting room alone??
If you know anything about my dad, you know he has a heart of gold. He will go a hundred miles out of his way to help a complete stranger. He has such a servant’s heart and he is tremedously reliable under pressure. He is the life of any party and can make anyone feel at ease in any situation. Why wouldn’t I want that energy in the room when I bring my child into the world?
The second I went into labor the first words out of my mouth were “I need pineapple and watermelon, RIGHT NOW”! “Got it”, my dad said. He grabbed his keys and headed straight to the store, no questions asked. As I labored at home, my dad was there, ready to help. He stayed quiet and in the background, but ready for anything we would need.
As we left for the hospital with my parents right behind us. My poor dad, like a pack mule, bringing the snacks and my yoga ball! They stayed outside the room as we got settled and I had my first pelvic exam. A huge part of me is so sorry they had to hear me scream like that, oops. Anyway, as the labor continued, my parents were there with Will. Words cannot describe how thankful I was the they were there.
My labor intensified and Will needed a break from my crippling contractions and holding me up. My mom and dad took turns holding my hand and telling me to breathe. My dad got Will some food and brought some more snacks for the nurses, in true hero fashion. I watched his face twist in pain as I lie in labor, unable to handle the pain of my contractions any more. I could tell he wanted me to get the epidural. I could tell he wanted to take away the pain for me, but he kept his mouth closed and let me fight my fight. I finally had to get the epidural and the room relaxed, especially Will and my dad.
When It came time to push my dad stood back, sealing himself behind the my bed against a window in the back of the room. He stayed quiet while my mom took pictures and Will coached me through the pushing. Full disclosure, I forgot he was there. For hours, it was just Will and I bringing our child into the world.
The end of the story comes from my mom because I was too focused on Winnie. My mom says, when they placed Winnie on my chest she looked up at my dad. He was standing behind the chair with tears rolling down his face. For some reason, that surprised me. I knew it would be emotional for me, Will, and probably my mom, but I never thought my dad would cry! Then again, he has the biggest heart in the world.
Winnie’s birth story would have been incomplete without my dad in the delivery room. Her paw-paw got to see her enter this world and that is not a moment that could be replicated. I’m so thankful for everything my dad has done for me, and I’m even more thankful for the grandfather that he is to my daughter.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You are truly one of a kind.