A New Chapter In My Life
As my 2nd year of being an early childhood educator comes to an end while immediately dovetailing into the start of my 2-and-a-half year, it is time to be honest: very rarely do I find myself just sitting a bed and sitting in silence just for the simple joy and peace it brings. No, my brain always is thinking about things similar to “my kids would love this,” or “I want to revise this part.” Thoughts similar to these, the joy of just sitting for the mere sake of it all brings to the soul has become lost among the chaos of life.
Pretty dismal way to start this, but my brain is going to think differently about things … which leads me to say that there is a happy ending to this. Although the exciting part is that my girlfriend has been pregnant for 9 months now, it all started on Wednesday. My girlfriend is on her way to her OBGYN for an appointment. Remind you that when someone is pregnant, the closer to the due date means the more frequent you have to go for visits. So, she goes for her visit and her doctor tells her that she needs to get checked at the hospital. Her contractions were extremely strong, and her blood pressure has been high for weeks.
So we go to the hospital and we are brought to the family birthing center at Waterbury Hospital. I am thinking to myself that they are probably going to give her some medication and send her on her merry way. Her due date was in another couple weeks.
Turns out, I thought wrong.
The midwife comes in the room and explains what is going on. She tells us that the baby is going to come now whether she likes it or not. So, panic sets in for me as my mom was the first one I called to tell. I picked up my girlfriend’s bags and then went home to get my bags and eat a quick lunch. The time has come.
So, while they admitted my girlfriend in the hospital, I made some calls to people to let them know what is going on. On Wednesday, they just monitored her the whole time and they told us we were staying overnight. On Thursday, they decided to begin induced labor. My poor girlfriend went through a lot and even on Friday. They worked around the clock and nothing worked. On Friday night, the doctor came in and assessed my girlfriend again. He told us that there was still no progress. He asked my girlfriend if she wanted to do a Caesarian section (C-section). Without hesitation, she said yes. Two minutes later, I was putting on white scrubs, blue plastic shoe covers and a hairnet that cafeteria ladies wear. I remember telling my friends and family that the next time I would call them is when I am officially a daddy.
Approximately fifteen minutes later while I was holding my girlfriend’s hand during the C-section, I hear screaming. Then the four words that I dreamed of for the past nine months were said:
“Here she is! Congratulations!”
The pain my girlfriend went through was over. I am now a daddy!
I remember seeing her for the first time, and I could not stop crying. I honestly felt proud of myself that I brought a life in this world that is so beautiful. My first words that I told her (her name is Madeline) is that “I would never leave you and will never stop loving you.” I gave her so many kisses that the doctors in the room had quickly tried to take her away from me to clean her. They then asked me to cut Madeline’s umbilical chord.
They then asked me to wait in the waiting area until my girlfriend was cleaned up and put on a new hospital bed. Once that happened, they brought out Madeline in the hospital bassinet. I just could not believe that I was actually now “daddy.”
Since that night and after calling everyone to tell them, my instincts kicked in. Feeding and diapering were intentional and on-point, and given that tonight is the last night we are in the hospital, I am thinking back to how structured it is going to be. Madeline loves to snuggle with us and do skin-on-skin.
The experience I was part of this entire weekend was nothing short of magical. People are considered lucky, blessed, whatever the word is that fits the scenario of being part of a moment in time that you know is fixed for you … a moment that you will be able to point to later in life and say: “That! That was when my world shifted towards a different path.” I have been lucky enough to have many moments that really I considered significant markers of the same type in my life.
However, this is the biggest one.
Before this beyond blessed miracle happened, I remember talking to my friends one weekend over dinner and I told them the news, and one of my friends said to my face (in a joking way): “Have you lost your mind!?” He knew I did not lose my mind because I brought a magnificent piece of beauty in this world and it brought everyone in my circle to a new level of understanding. I learned there is so much to learn and that I am capable of doing anything.
The past few days were the first of many memories to come. It reminded me about the piece that I commissioned with Wesley Broadnax two years ago where our ears and souls were simply a part of the birth of that world premiere and in some ways was just as engaged in the work coming to life as I was in other experiences when playing an active role. This baby is like a musical piece: you spend a very long time developing it, revising it, changing it, and accepting what can not change. And sometime down the road, the piece is final. It is created and it leaves the nest to grow with other people and with other entities and lives.
I am going to always take the time to remember who I once was and remember that the things I once did made me who I am today. And what comes out of that is why I really believe people call events likes these “miracles.”
To my girlfriend – thank you for growing and adapting to our needs each day. Our baby is a better person because of that. And our relationship is stronger every day because of your choices and decisions to grow and adapt.
To my family – thank you for supporting us in this journey. This baby is a part of your lives now and we all are going to be stronger than ever because we have such a beyond healthy baby girl.
To my co-workers and my place of work this year – thank you for allowing me opportunities to work and learn from you. It feels great for me to know that I am accepted and that I can share a little part of me with all of you. This baby will bring us all closer together and I am glad I can wake up and know that I have an incredible job that will help pay the bills and provide for my baby.
To Nancy, Dr. Millerick, and the entire staff at Waterbury Hospital – thank you for your patience and understanding. Your talent and gift of knowledge that you have shared with us these past 5 days is pure, honest, and at times even raw. More people in this world would do well to learn and listen from the vulnerability of your wisdom. Thank you for the assistance, for taking moments to check in on us and for being available when we needed you guys.
I am proud that the challenging, yet rewarding world of fatherhood begins. A brand new chapter in my life starts. I am ready for it. I welcome the struggles as a way for me to grow up and learn to be a better person.
Madeline Linda McWeeney, was born in this world on Friday, November 13, 2020 at 10:22 P.M. weighing 7 pounds and 5 ounces. She had perfect Apgar scores 10 of 10. A baby girl’s first love is her daddy. And her daddy is me! Welcome to the world, my precious angel. I will always love you until the day I die. Welcome home.
I am excited to keep everyone updated daily on what is going on with my little wiggle worm and the newest member to the McWeeney family.