FATHERHOOD BEGINS IN THE DELIVERY ROOM
I was in the delivery room at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Dawson on June 30th 1977, two nurses were attending to me on both sides, trying to hold me up and kept asking me if I am going to be ok. Dr. Maus would occasionally look at me and ask “you OK Paul?” I was sweating and crying, I was a big mess! You see at 10:32pm on Thursday June 30th 1977 I became a father for the first time. I was so overcome with emotions, that I could hardly function in that delivery room. But I did make it through the birthing process which wasn’t easy for me. I was completely exhausted after that ordeal. And oh, my wife Roxie was in the delivery room too and she did just fine.
They can teach you many things in the baby classes that we took, but nothing can prepare you for what you actually go through giving birth. Watching my wife give birth for the first time was hard. I felt so sorry for her, in the 70’s they didn’t use many drugs to relieve the pain of childbirth like they do now. There was a lot of screaming going on! My daughter in law recently gave birth and I asked her how it went giving birth, and she said “Oh, I felt a little pressure when he came out” OMG!
The reason I was having so much trouble in the delivery room is I thought for sure she was going to die!! And all I could think of was…..that I’m responsible for her having to go through this agony.
But you know, they say when you first see that baby and get to hold him, all the pain of childbirth is gone. It’s just pure joy and excitement, and that is so true.
Anyways, back to fatherhood. I became a father for the first time that day, and since then, I paid two more visits to the delivery room and a visit to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport to have another child. The airport pickup was a lot less painful, but just as emotional. When the adoptive social worker placed out daughter in our arms at the airport off the plane from Korea, it was the same feeling as being in the hospital delivery room.
I love being a father. Sure I could have done a better job at being a father, and maybe been around more in the earlier days, but do you know what I’m most proud of as a father? That my three boys, Josh, Jeremy, and Brandon have become fathers themselves and are awesome dads! All three of them do a super job at being a father. I enjoy watching them interact with their own children and to see how much they love them. I see my boys spending more time with their kids, then I did with them. One of my all-time favorite quotes is this. “The most important thing a father can do for his kids, is to love their mother” and I sure see that evidence in my sons as well. So I must have done something right, and that is what I’m most proud of as a father.
So on this Father’s Day, we honor the Fathers.