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Sunday, June 21, 2009

father knows best

Eight years ago yesterday, She Who Does Not Obey came into this world, refusing to use the usual exit I might add. She was a breech baby and, having determined early on which way was up, wasn't about to change her position on the matter.

I was three weeks from my due date and when my doctor heard the result of my latest ultrasound, she sent me off to hospital to spend my last few weeks within arms reach of medical attention in case She Who Does Not Obey decided to send an exploratory limb out into the world first.

Her Father decided this would be a perfect opportunity for him to kick into action and make the final preparations for SWDNO's arrival. He went home that first night full of plans and schemes.

About 3:30 that morning, I called him up and told him he was out of time. That bit of gas that woke me in the middle of the night turned out to be minor contractions and the doctor was recommending a C-section.

Her Father was dismayed and complained of losing his three weeks, but She Who Does Not Obey is also She Who Will Not Be Denied and just over two hours later - 5:46 a.m. on a Midsummer's Eve - I saw her for the first time in Her Father's arms.

I was still splayed out on the operating table, shivering and puking from the spinal and generally feeling miserable, so she was briefly placed on my chest and then given to Her Father. He got to hold her first while I admired her from afar.

He also hogged her for ages afterwards while I tried to get warm again under the heated blankets. Anaethesia turns me into a popsicle.

It wasn't the first time I had seen him hold a child of ours. Just over a year before, I had seen him hold our son. Our stillborn son. Our son who never had a chance to find out what an incredible father he had.

I can't tell you what it meant to him to be holding our precious daughter after losing our son, but I can tell you how amazing it was to see the two of them together and hear her grunting away in his arms.*

Eight years later, it is still amazing to watch him with her, watch him make her laugh, watch them butt heads, watch her snuggle in to him on a Saturday morning while she watches cartoons and he tries to snooze just a little bit longer.

He packs her school lunch bag every day, he makes her favourite food even when he doesn't particularly feel like it. They carve Halloween pumpkins together and bake muffins and the odd birthday cake. He buys her yet more Webkinz against his better judgment.

He gives her his time, which is the most precious thing anyone can give.

SWDNO's birthday has a way of shagging up Father's Day celebrations and he is not fond of the sloppy sentiment of a Hallmark card, so each year I find myself wondering how I can make this day special for him.

I know I couldn't have gotten this far without him.

I hope this will show him how much I appreciate that he is Her Father.

She is a very lucky girl.

*C-section babies often have fluid in their lungs which is normally ejected during the normal birth process. The fluid causes them to grunt. The cure is pissing them off enough to have a good bawl.


  1. Goddamn you! Was there a need to make me cry today??

  2. I don't have a remotely intelligent comment except to day that I totally get what you are saying...

    Beautiful post.