"Tell me about when I was born"

When putting my daughter, Tania, age 6, to bed, she often asks me to tell her about the time she was born. She likes to hear about it and I’ve been telling her this for at least the past two or 3 years.

I wouldn’t be a good dad if I didn’t gush enthusiastically about my kids (hey! they are great!), but Tania is very special. She has an amazing capacity for languages and understanding relationships is very important for her. How many 3 year olds do you know who could say, “Grandma, will you tell your son to please stop bothering me.” Jason, age 4, has just discovered that grandma is my mother – but he doesn’t really care. On the other hand, you could see Tania working this all out when she was 2 and being very precise about it.

Tania was born on 19-April-1999. She was the only girl born that night (mirroring my own birth, where I was the only boy born among a gaggle of girls).

I remember seeing the top of Tania’s head: tiny and covered in black hair. Then the head came out and I could see her beautiful face – not that I knew if it was a boy or girl. Then a few moment slater she came out and I was entranced by her beauty. I was overwhelmed that I had helped to create this beautiful new life that lay in front of me.

I literally felt like God. The words from the book of Genesis rang true in my heart “He looked at what He had made and saw that it was good.” I finally understood what those words meant.

I cut her umbilical cord. This was a bit of a surprise to me. The umbilical cord is actually transparent, it has no fleshy colour to it whatsoever except for about an inch from the child’s belly. Inside you can see the two umbilical arteries and the umbilical vein. It is easy to cut – or maybe the scissors given me were very sharp. The placenta looks very much like liver, in terms of colour and texture.

Holding her was a joy. I was filled with great pride at her birth and I am filled with great pride every day because of her. I held her in my arm – so tiny and fragile.

I have to confess that I am jealous that I can never experience pregnancy. Pregnant women are beautiful, they literally do glow (this has the same hormonal cause as women looking more beautiful when they are ovulating). I think it would be great to feel a life developing inside you. The vicarious experience of touching my wife’s belly was not enough for me.


Bee said…
wow!That's a great experience u had, Richard. I don't think our fathers here would have a chance to do what u did (cutting embrical cord).

It's so beautiful to see your own child being born ya. I like your description... I already fell in love with Tania... hehe. Yes she is matured for her age... and I guess she immitates the adults around her. So good role model is so important.

Boys will be boys... they tend to be less matured compared to girls of their age or younger. So don't fret, Jason will catch up soon. :)

Btw, God can't be making everybody to experience pregnancy. He makes you guys to love and understand a woman in her pregnancy. She needs you most in that state I guess.

God bless you and your family.
Richard said…
Oh, Jason is catching up, besides he has his own talents. He is very physically coordinated. He started walking at 9 months (actually, he could walk at 3 months if you held his hands) - beating me by a month.

There was never any question in my mind that I would not be present at the birth.

I think it is vital and important for fathers to be involved in the birth. It is a wonderful experience and I think it only serves to bring the father and child closer together. It is a wonderful thing to witness the miracle of childbirth. It is so much more personal to be there and see the birth and your child, to hold it moments after it is born. Father's who wait to see their child for the first time through the glass of the nursery window are missing a lot.

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