26 years ago, at 8:27 am I became a father for the first time. It was a Wednesday morning and my wife and I had been at the hospital since 5:15 am. Her contractions had started earlier around 12:30 am. I panicked and made her go to the hospital only to be told to go back home and come back later. She was not very happy with me.
We didn’t know the sex of the child. At the time you had just one ultrasound at 11 weeks so I was told to paint the nursery yellow which as any smart husband dealing with a pregnant women would do, I did. My wife is tall and thin and she remained thin throughout her pregnancy with the exception of the basketball she carried low on her frame. I, on the other hand gained twenty sympathy pounds which have sadly remained with me for 26 years.
People, particularly older women, told us we were having a boy because of the way my wife was carrying the baby. If we heard it once we heard it a thousand times. I was convinced she would deliver an onion ring since that is all she seemed to crave. I honestly didn’t care whether we had a boy or a girl. I was hoping for one thing, healthy, ten fingers and ten toes. We were ready with names for either sex using the great southern tradition of family surnames of long since dead ancestors to carry on their lineage.
Our Doctor was a church friend we had known for several years, a calm spirit with a soft voice for a Dad on the absolute edge of panic. We were having a baby, Holy Shit! My world, our world, our life, our marriage was serious now, really serious. I wasn’t ready, I was never going to be ready, but here it was happening in front of me and I do mean right in front of me. At 8:27 am on July 18th I became a father, a father of a daughter and my life has never been the same since. I can’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday but I will never forget the day my first child was born, a day that I changed me from simply being a husband to a Dad. Happy Birthday baby and thank you for giving me the most wonderful gift I have ever received, the gift of being a father.