I qualified for Father’s Day by the narrowest of margins. Everyone who called or visited that first day lead with “Happy Father’s Day!” and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it didn’t make me giddy every time. But as fathers go, I had hardly proved my worth yet. Technically, yes, I was a father, and I had been blessed with the awesomest of Father’s Day gifts. But the truth is that this day really belonged to Mama.
Sarah was amazing. She handled birth like a tornado dispatching a small town, with uncompromising force and swiftness. One moment we were just sitting around, one-week late, and the next we were sitting in a hospital bed with our boy in our hands, marveling at the whirlwind of the previous four hours.
Sarah had never doubted her desire to take this childbirth naturally and neither had I. There are many arguments to eschew drugs, but having just witnessed Ezra’s birth, one rises above the rest: the literal moment he was out, Sarah was alert, and awake, and ready to take him in his arms and start being his mother. It was awe-inspiring to see her switch from wailing banshee to cool, collected mother in one teeny tiny heartbeat.
This is not just a proud husband speaking. When we tried to thank our midwife for making the birth so easy, she wouldn’t hear of it, turning it around and thanking Sarah instead for the blessing of a lovely birth. The next day, Sarah was up and walking around and had gobs of energy, enough to greet the twenty-one visitors who came by. The kid was who they came to see, but each one stopped first to offer their awe and congratulations to the wonder woman who delivered him.
I know that children can be blasé about the suffering their mothers went through to birth them, and I expect nothing different from Ezra. And while we may whip out this trump card of guilt when he’s at the height of teenage insolence, secretly I think we won’t really care. Every impression I get was that it was Sarah’s absolute joy to carry and birth him. It was certainly my joy to be there to watch and help.
Folks have said Ezra picked the right parents to be born to. I happen to agree.