FATHERS DAY
Michael Ellis

Just a little over nine years ago late one Sunday night my wife started her contractions. We had planned on a home birth, thinking that our biggest decision would be which cassette to put in the tape player. But alas that wasn’t to be. Her blood pressure skyrocketed into the danger zone and we rushed to Marin General to meet our backup doctor. I ushered her out of the car, leaving the door open because I would be right back to park it.

Laurie was suffering from pregnancy toxemia. One of the few modern conditions that can result in death of the mother during childbirth. After a brief but intense labor that involved depressed heartbeat of the baby, still high blood pressure of the mom, broken ammoniac sac and low glucose levels (many of you will know what I am talking about) dilation was complete and the baby was ready. I switched quickly from my prime position right next to my wife’s face just in time to catch my child as he came rushing out into the world. Much to the relief of everyone the bright red, thin little boy was weakly crying. I put my face against his and whispered my love and welcoming and all my promises to care and adore him. I was the first being that he touched outside his mother and I can still hear, smell and taste him. I cannot imagine a more powerful bond. The child was immediately rushed into intensive care, he was grossly underweight. The nurses apologized for his pitiful voice, they said it would improve, but to me it was the most beautiful sound in the world.

I finally made it back to my car the next morning, there it was, right where I left it in the drop off zone, door still wide open. I smiled as a slammed it shut; I was not the same person who left it there. I was now a father.

I am now so aware of every “I love you, Dad”, of every game of catch and badminton, of every precious first. I try to immerse myself in the feeling, I close my eyes and think “this is a perfect moment, these are the good ole days”. Nearly a decade later I am still one happy father.

This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.

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December 1, 2010