I’m finding that as I get older, I have a tougher time remembering things. I often forget where I leave my keys. My wife and I go to great lengths to pack the diaper bag only to forget it at home. I need to write things down to remember them. If my train of thought is interrupted, that train ain’t comin back. In fact, memories aren’t so much things that I have anymore; they’re things that I’m slowly losing.
And that’s why I need to get this down – while it’s still relatively fresh in my memory.
Three years ago, my life changed. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I love the number 5. Five+ years ago, I made a commitment to my wife, but three years ago, my life got flipped turned upside down. And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the dad of a girl called D1.
I still remember the anxiety I felt leading up to D1’s due date. “I’m gonna be a dad!….will I be a good dad?…will I ever get a full night’s rest again?…will I be a good dad?” Her due date came and went and I was more anxious than ever. Each night, I went to bed imagining waking up in the middle of the night when my wife finally went into labor. On the 3rd night at 3am, the contractions began. Like any first time dad, I immediately got into “Oh! It’s on like donkey kong!” mode.
What does that phrase even mean? Am I to light a fire in a barrel drum, grab my woman, climb a series of ladders and start throwing barrels down? But I digress.
My wife had to give me a quick, “Settle down,” and she labored for about 18 hours.
I still remember how windy and cold it was at the birth center that night. I remember thinking, “I really hope the power doesn’t go out.” And then the anxiety hit me again: “I’m gonna be a dad!….will I be a good dad?…will I ever get a full night’s rest again?…will I be a good dad?”
I still remember that she was nearly born on the toilet and my wife barely made it back to the bed. I still remember the time (8:38pm). I still remember the joy and relief I felt when I heard her cry. I remember the tears that fell when the midwife shouted, “It’s a girl!” I still remember how exhausted my wife was as they put D1 on her tummy. I still remember seeing that D1 had the same birthmark as my wife and telling my wife, “She has your mark!” I still remembered how incredible it was when she desperately made her way to the boob like someone looking for an oasis in the desert. I still remember when she latched on and wouldn’t let go.
I still remember when the midwife handed me the scissors and saying a prayer before cutting the cord.
I still remember calling my sister and telling her, “I’m a dad! I’m a dad!” and both of us began sobbing. I still remember looking over at my wife and feeling so proud of her. I still remember holding her for the first time – the only way I can describe what I felt at that moment is that my heart was full.
I still remember putting on her diaper for the first time and being corrected by the midwife that I need to fasten it tighter. I remember putting her in her carseat for the first time and being corrected by the midwife that I need to fasten it tighter.
I remember driving home at 10mph below the speed limit and silently cursing anyone who sped by us, “SLOW DOWN YOU MANIAC!”
I still remember getting home and telling D1 for the very first time: “We’re home…you’re home, D1. You’re home.”
I may forget a lot of things as I get older, and I may not even remember any of the details in this post without rereading it. But I’ll never forget how full my heart felt 3 years ago.
Happy birthday, D1. I am so proud to be your dad. Life hasn’t been the same since you entered my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you.
What about you? Are you losing your memory (or mind)? Do you remember your kid’s birth story?