Friday, 11 May 2018

Sweet Child of Mine

In most cases, when you watch an action movie, the protagonist is usually struck with some kind of epic tragedy before their life turns upside down and they become the hero. Peter Parker's uncle died and he became Spiderman, Frank Castle's family was murdered and he became the Punisher, Superman's home planet, Krypton, was destroyed and he was rocketed to Earth by his parents to live out his extraordinary existence. In most cases in real life though, we live through tragedy, we grieve, and then we simply continue on our paths living our lives with the knowledge of what we endured.

My personal tragedy, while admittedly was substantially less tragic than the destruction of my entire planet, has served to change my life for the better. I have proved to myself what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it, I have been offered and taken the opportunity to stand up for others dealing with their own personal tragedies. I have counselled and offered support to people struggling with infertility, and now my hope is that my story will offer hope to those on their own journey. While I am immensely proud of these accomplishments, I am in no way saying I'm a superhero or comparing myself to the likes of Superman and Spiderman. Although, I'm not going to lie, there have been times in the past couple of weeks that I have thrown my fists up in the air, then flexed my underdeveloped dad biceps and declared myself SuperDad in front of my wife and a room full of pets.

My birthday is on April 29th, and at 34 minutes past midnight that morning, my son was born. He came into the world naturally, although he did require a bit of a push by induction. After ten hours of labour, K pushed like a champion for two additional hours to deliver to me the most incredible birthday gift I could ever ask for. I am not ashamed for a second to admit to the tears that streamed down my face, and as I thanked him for the gift of himself, I looked down at that little man and I said, "but I didn't get you anything for your birthday."

Aside from seeing something we'd worked so hard for come to fruition, and aside from meeting my baby boy for the first time, I also came to understand the reason people refer to child birth as a miracle. As K was pushing, I held her leg and did my part to encourage her and tell her how good of a job she was doing. Bit by bit, however, as I watched that baby come I became more and more convinced that there was no way in hell that baby was going to fit.  Then all of the sudden, by some kind of a complete miracle there was another human in the world. It was, by far, the single most incredible thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life, and it gave me a whole new understanding and complete and utter appreciation for the human body and for my wife's accomplishment of giving birth. 

I was in complete awe and I remained so until they finally released us from the hospital (they kept us an extra day because K's blood pressure was too high). The nurse showed us how to strap the little man into the car seat and as we were walking out two things occurred to me: One, I was totally terrified, and two, I couldn't help but feel like someone should stop us and question us to at least make sure we were competent or something, but nobody did. You can't fish without a license but you can make babies on demand and just figure out how to keep them alive - it's mind-blowing to me. 

The drive home from the hospital was the most nerve racking driving experience I've ever had, and I was once in a roll over, in a rented convertible, in a foreign country, so that's saying something. I felt like a new driver all over again. In fact, it wasn't just driving that made me feel like that, it was parenting altogether - it felt like I had just started my first day at a new job, in a new company, and had no idea what I was doing. 

Changing diapers was a whole new experience for me too, especially the black tar-like substance that comes out of a newborn as though they are a tube of charcoal toothpaste. What I mean by new experience though isn't just the colour of the goo, it's that I never thought I would be so okay with having poop on my hand. It's like this weird understanding comes over you and all the sudden, wiping cream on another human's butthole with a bare finger is just something that needs to be done, you just wash your hands and get over it. 

Little by little as we figure out our new life, and in between sessions of staring at our new child in awe, more and more of those parenting instincts kick in and we become better at the job itself. Although, not everything is instinctual, a lot of it is learned, like the lesson learned from getting peed all over because I didn't know that exposure to air is what kicks in the urinary response. Or the realization that my terrible a'capella karaoke voice singing Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine will produce dead silence in a screaming baby while I sing the song as slowly as I can, and on repeat, to draw it out longer.

Of all the lessons I've learned throughout this immensely exhausting and rewarding experience, the one thing I know without a doubt - is that this life, with this woman, and this child is worth every dollar we've spent, every tear we've shed, every heartbreak we've endured, and every fear we have conquered to get here, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

1 comment:

  1. ❤️ thank you for sharing this amazing journey! Your strength and determination has served as inspiration, I feel blessed In having this journey shared. Congratulations and enjoy the ups and down that will no doubt follow. Can’t wait to hear and read the next chapter 😘