If you’re seeing this post, I’m either at the hospital with Kim or recovering from the birth process of our son Aidan Robert Haggerty.
Today’s guest post is brought to you by none other than my very own dad, who is the pastor of a church in Newport News, VA called Cornerstone Community Church, and is also a High School Bible teacher and the father of seven children.
|Photo used courtesy of Creative Commons user badgreeb RECORDS
It’s been over 32 years since our first born son, Kevin, came into this world. Even though it’s been some time since that totally unique event in our lives, I still have vivid, wonderful memories that I will always cherish.
The day my wife called me at work and told me I was gonna be a dad was one of the best moments of my life. I was going to be a father and that child would have my blood running in their veins. My DNA, my name, and their children and many generations to come would share some of that unique inheritance.
In retrospect, the days, weeks and months leading up to the actual birth seem to be a time-lapse video that still plays in my mind. It all happened so fast. Ironically, it never seems to be that way as you’re living in “real time.”
I can remember the non-stop thoughts/fears about providing for the many needs that this child will have, wondering about what that baby was going to look like – birth defects (this was before today’s ‘uber’ detailed ultrasound)? Long? Short? Blue eyes? Green eyes? Brown eyes? etc., etc., ad nauseum!
From my perspective as a dad, one of the most amazing and miraculous things I witnessed was the continual change in my wife’s body as this child grew inside of her. What was even more amazing was how she seemed to intuitively cooperate and understand the change, as though this was something that God had “hard coded” into her womanhood. Men are meant to be observers of this physical/spiritual/emotional metamorphosis, we are meant to be mystified by this, be awed by it, but never to fully comprehend it.
What I remember most are the days leading up to the birth, the day of the birth, and bringing baby home. When the due date arrived, every contraction was filled with anticipation that maybe this one is “show time.” That took several days, but when it happened, we were ready. Mom had her bags packed, we were Lamaze educated and knew what to expect…kind of.
The child birth class prepared us for the procedures involved in child birth, but nothing could have prepared me for the emotions I was going to experience. As soon as Kevin came out of his mom, I lost all my ability to hold back the tears. I defy any man to be “macho” while watching this unbelievable miracle unfold before your eyes. I wept, heaved and sighed, and never cared less about how others thought about me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him as I gave him a bath almost immediately after his mom cuddled and breast fed him.
I will never forget the trip home from the hospital. I have never been so totally paranoid. Every car I saw was a potential careless assailant. They had no idea how sacred this child was. It occurred to me that I might have something in my DNA that is “hyper”-protective.
As I grew up, my parents often reminded me of an event that took place when I was an infant. While my mom and dad were driving down Santa Monica Blvd., with me, an infant in the back seat, my dad became upset about the guy behind them who kept honking his horn because my dad wasn’t moving fast enough for him. My dad, a very large man, stopped the car walked back to the horn honking driver and told him “either stop the honking or get ready for a beating.”
Who was that guy? He was none other than the famous FrankSinatra
. (You go, Dad!)
While I may not be quite so over-protective today, I’ve come to realize that fatherhood brings out the most unexpected and intuitive emotions out of us, that nothing else can produce.