I was shown to a stool to the left of the bed, and told not to move. I sat on my sweating hands, arms locked straight and my shoulders high, shifting from side to side and peering over the bars along the side of the bed. I didn’t have to wait a long time. A few minutes passed – a blur of exclamation and effort and wails of instruction and encouragement – then it happened. Very red, and screaming without restraint at a volume disproportionate to his size, Sasha emerged into the operating-theatre light.
The birth wasn’t completely straightforward, so I was dismissed from my role as umbilical-cord-cutter (a job I had spent a significant amount of time mentally preparing for). A masked doctor stepped in and did the job, then beckoned me to follow him to a table under a bright lamp. I watched, as he turned the little boy this way and that, and peered closely at everything and counted up his body parts.
In spite of being informed that he had the correct number of everything, Sasha continued to yell. He was handed to me, wrapped in a white towel, wearing a stripy knitted, colourful hat. He settled a little, and looked up into my face. I looked down at him. My tummy turned, and rolled, and pulled, as if all of me were being gathered to one point inside. I had never felt like that before.
It struck me that he was a miracle; he was so small yet so human, so very unknown to me yet so loved by me. More than anything though, the thought that pervaded my mind was that he was completely, utterly, helpless. Needs were all that he possessed, and I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was inadequate to meet even one of them. I was at sea, washed away by the tide, and land was nowhere to be seen.
I carried him, ever so full of care to his mummy, who took him, kissed him and wrapped her arms around him.
Many reading this will be quite familiar with the spectacle that I have described, having experienced something like it even a handful of times. These were my first precious minutes being a Dad, which occurred just over 9 months ago.
This is my first post on Contentedness. I wanted to write about Sasha’s birth, not only because it seemed appropriate to write about something new, but also because it is my great hope that among the words that are to come, you may experience little pockets of new life.
I hope that you will be inspired, not to change yourself, but to embrace who you are. I hope I can help you to come to a new level of understanding of why blood is pumping through your veins, why the sun is warm on your face and the wind cold on your neck – help you know why you are alive. I believe no matter what your age or life experience, that there are new things lying in wait for you; adventures and delights like buds waiting for the warmth and light of the sun to burst into bloom.