Being a Dad by Chad

I thought everyone would enjoy a post from my very talented husband, Chad! He is an incredible writer and really blows me out of the water. Hope you enjoy!

I'm honored to provide a guest post for such a prestigious blog!

First, as a Dungeon Master I'd like to address the fact that Hilary is much higher than level 20 now-a-days (The incision fiasco alone has been an XP gold mine). I'm a huge fan of this blog, and not just because it always has such nice things to say about me, but because it's so honest. I find that honesty incredibly refreshing, and I'll try to keep with that theme.

This morning Hilary asked me, "How do you feel about becoming a father?" This question is the pivot-point of my text.

To be a father you have to be a good liar.

Let me explain. Multiple parents have told me that the best day of their life was the day their child was born. My experience was completely opposite. I've never felt so simultaneously horrified and powerless as I was in the hospital on January 10th. I watched the love of my life shudder under more pain than she had ever felt before, and when they finally gave her the epidural, the color drained from her face, her temperature dropped dramatically, and she couldn't stop convulsing. Additionally, the heartbeat monitor on our unborn son was dropping to non-existent levels every twenty minutes. Meanwhile, I'm holding her frigid hand (because I can't do anything else), looking her in the eye and telling her that "everything will be alright." I was lying.

Externally, I had frozen my face with the serene smile of hopeful support. Internally, I was screaming at heaven. You've read the birth story, you know that Geddy didn't breath for 4 minutes. Well, neither did I.

My entire lifetime hinged on that period; the single most desperate, stressed, pleading moment of my consciousness. Pleading not only for the life of my son, but for the life of my wife (who was now covered in more blood and gore than I've ever witnessed).

"Why can't I hear him crying?" she said.
"He's okay, they're just cleaning him up" (they are palpitating his chest and rolling him violently)
"How does he look?" she asks.
"He's beautiful." (he's green. he's not really moving)

I begged God for his life.

Don't take him from us. Please. Don't take him from us. Help him. Please.

I lied to Hilary, but divine providence delivered our son from death. He was spared.

Now I hold him in my arms, and I recognize that he is a living response from God. In his face I see not only the reflected generations that have brought him here, but the moment of mayhem he was delivered through. In him I see my father, and I understand his actions with more clarity than ever before; his self-sacrifice, his reliability, his constant care, his loyalty, and his forbearance all come into brilliant focus through the lens of my own son. I look at Geddy and I see myself. I see my own fears and insecurities, my attempts to grapple with the expectations of a patriarch. He's caused me to shed my childhood; as he lives, it dies. And I can no longer look back, only forward into his little face.

In Geddy I see myself, I see my father, I see my God. And I see the chain that connects us together, the chain that I will never cause to break.

Happy Wednesday!


Haley said...

Chad is a wonderful writer. This was a beautiful post - so many stunning insights into the stressful delivery. Geddy is a lucky boy to have such dedicated parents!

Elizabeth said...

*gasp* I'm crying.