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A Child is Born 29 August 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Life, Travelling, Vietnam.
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday I was privy to something truly amazing – the birth of a first born child from a father’s perspective. I expect to never see it again, and I feel privileged to have seen it at all.

My colleague and I are on a work trip. We knew his baby was due around this date, but he said it would be ok. His wife had gone back to the country side some weeks earlier, so he wasn’t thinking he would miss much.

On Friday, though, he got word that she had gone to hospital. Not quite labour, but his daughter was close. He changed his flight to go home a day earlier, but still did not cancel the trip.

Yesterday, we had a great day of sightseeing, but at noon he got the call that his wife was in labour, and if the baby did not come within ten hours, they would do a c-section.

All our talk that day was about family, growing up, the American war. We stood at the edge of a crater and thought about destruction. We spoke about Vietnamese traditions and customs.

That evening, he calls everyone again. No news. He is not visibly anxious, but is vigilant. We eat dinner and enjoy ourselves.

Then, not long after nine, his phone rings. He speaks on the phone hurriedly, the first signs of anxiousness clear in his voice. He hangs up.

“I’m a father.”

We all cheer! He throws his hands up, and says it again.

“I’m a father!”

Hugs pass around, vodka shots are ordered. His whole demeanor finally shows how nervous he has been all day. His shoulders relax, he leans back on his chair, huge grin. He swigs his beer with more gusto. It’s elation, because mother and daughter are well.

He finally tells us the name they have chosen for her. He is beaming with pride.

As the night wears on, a full range of emotions set in. By one in the morning, after finally speaking directly to his wife, he is crying on the balcony of our hotel.

The realisation is there – he is so happy, but fearful. Will he be a good father, will he be able to give her everything? Guilt for not being there with his wife, and the most tender love for her. He admits to missing her so much, but can’t say this without choking up. Three days. Three whole days before he gets to see his little miracle and the wife he adores.

He is lost for words, emotional.

He is feeling what I hope all new fathers feel. This is it – the most difficult job a man could ever have lies ahead. I feel privileged to have been able to share the moment with him. Congratulations, little one, you have a most amazing father.

Welcome to this world.



1. lizeth - 8 September 2010

A great report of a great event. Congrats to the new daddy!

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