Labour of love: The day I became a dad
A labour of love
At 26 years old, and with my first daughter on the way, I believed my wife and I were as prepared as we could possibly be.
My wife Pam was checking things off almost obsessively in the weeks and months prior and I felt things were always going to run smoothly.
Pam slipping and falling in a large retail store at 7 and a half months was the first sign it wasn't going to be that easy. But regardless of all of this, nothing could ever prepare you for your first experience of birth.
The fall had caused Pam some pain, and some concern. The following morning, the baby began to move. After an afternoon spent in Christchurch Womens we were told everything was stable, but that Pam would have to stay overnight just to be sure.
I left the hospital for home about 11pm, and fell almost straight asleep. Three hours later I received the call to come back in - our baby was coming.
Grabbing the baby bag we had organised I flew out the door.
Although I had done a tour of the birthing suites weeks ago, walking in again it felt completely different. Heart rate monitors beeping, nurses and midwives walking in and out, there was plenty of noise, yet at 2am, it felt eerily silent. Pam was lying in discomfort and looked at me as if to say, "here we go Luke".
I instantly became scared so I can only begin to imagine what my wife was feeling. As I positioned myself by her bedside, I felt helpless and weirdly, alone. We had read every birthing/pregnancy book in the world together, but I suddenly had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next.
Ten hours of labour and our beautiful daughter Caitlin was born. Another thing that you could never be prepared for is the overwhelming emotion you feel when you see your child for the first time. I couldn't breathe and when the medical staff handed Caitlin to me to take to her mother, I just burst into tears. I loved this little human more than I had loved anything in my entire life - it really just hits you.
I didn't want to let go, but passed her to Pam and the picture was complete. Easily the most memorable day of my life. I can recall every single detail, smell, sight, sound, what was said. Incredible.
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