It’s ten O’Clock and you are sitting in the back yard with your dog and you hear a noise. It’s the shed door caught in the breeze banging against the side of the shed. You run in the house to tell me about the door. I asked if you closed it? You said no you didn’t, you are scared, you want me to help and you need me to protect you. You tell me it’s not your fault I raised a princess. I give you a smile and we head out back to take care of that scary door.
Protecting you is a job I gladly accept.
Eight years your mom and I tried to start our family. Then we received the gift of your brother. We thought our family was complete, until the morning your mother came to me to tell me she knew she was pregnant.
The first doctor she went to said she was wrong, but she knew something just felt different and she was right, it was confirmed by the next doctor she saw.
You were on your way to us, our second gift, four years after our first one.
Your pregnancy with your mother wasn’t without drama. You were going in for weekly checkups and ultrasounds and two weeks before your due date, your doctor said go straight to the hospital.
I was at work and received a call from your mom to let me know what was happening and ran home to get all our stuff for the hospital stay.
I couldn’t have felt more helpless then standing by your mothers side in the hospital waiting for your arrival.
Holding her hand, helping her sit up and handing her a cup of ice chips and trying my best not to be in the way of the nurses and doctors.
As is your way, you were going to do this delivery your way and on your time.
Three code blues brought doctors and nurses rushing into the delivery room. We kept losing your heart beat. They had to attach probes to your scalp to monitor your heart rate. I watched as a doctor instructed the resident on the procedure. All I could do was stand to the side and stay out of the way.
You had months to plan your arrival and you were going to make it a grand entrance.
After hours of waiting and no baby, the doctors decided it was time for a c-section. They wheeled you and your mom off and handed me scrubs to change into. Then you two changed the plan again and it became an emergency c-section and I wasn’t allowed in with you. I was left alone in the hall, once again, unable to be of help.
It was not a long wait and a nurse came out with you in her arms. She walked you across the hall to a little room full of monitors. This was the first time I saw you. I stood behind you and started to talk to you, you turned your head and looked right at me.
After a long night mom and baby were going to be ok.
You were home in only a few days and you wanted to put some excitement into our lives, because the hospital delivery wasn’t enough I guess. While your Granny was feeding you, the milk foamed up in your mouth and you stopped drinking and breathing. I scooped you up in my arms and told your mom to call 911. We walked into the bathroom as I watched your tiny body turn purple, your little arms and legs tight and your back arch. You looked up at me, eyes wide with a desperation, “help me Daddy!”
I rubbed your back as we walked trying to keep you calm, maybe that was for me. I knew I had to clear the bubbles from your mouth, so I used my little finger to clear out some of the foam. You took care of the rest. While I was removing the bubbles you started to suckle on my finger. Your body relaxed and your colour returned. The fire department and paramedics were there in minutes. They gave you a good check over and said you looked perfect.
Just for fun you did this again a couple of days later. I was ready for you that time.
Soon we were walking you to the school bus. Talking to you about street safety and stranger safety. We walked with you when you went to visit friends and when it started to get dark, even when they were a few doors away.
Over protective maybe, maybe not, we waited over eight years for your brother to arrive and four more for you. We were going to do what we could to keep you two safe.
We taught you the evils of boys, and you still wanted to date them.
The first guy to catch your interest turned out to be an abuser in training. You knew the best place to meet was in public and with friends. When he tried to separate you from your friends you stayed with your friends.
We share with you our experiences and open our hearts to you. Our conversations are open and honest.
After standing by helpless in the hospital, I wasn’t going to miss out on an opportunity to stand by you to support you. Whether it was to walk with you on the streets on Halloween night, or wait for you at basketball practice, and maybe, if it’s one day down the aisle on your wedding day, I am always going to be there for you.
Protecting and teaching you is a job I proudly accept.