I knew the time was almost here. The day I had known about and worried myself into knots over was about to arrive. I left the little white church saying, “I’ll see you later tonight” in a joking fashion to the strawberry blonde mother-to-be whose face showed that she was less than comfortable. Little did I know that just as I was preparing for bed I would get a call telling me to meet them at the hospital, it was time.
Around 11:30pm, I tried to watch my speed while slipping through the warm moist air of the June summer night. The last thing I needed was a speeding ticket on my way to the birth of my child. The lights surrounding the interstate exits blurred through my windshield as my mind reeled with the fact that in a few short hours I would be a father.
As pain of labor ebbed and waned throughout the night, it was hard to stand by and watch someone I love very deeply in such agony but I clung to the knowledge that this child was more precious to her than millions of dollars ever could be. She fought a brave fight. I did all I could to reassure her with my strength, waiting strong and firm at her side. I made sure that only those she wished in the room were there when the end was near. It was a night that will live in my memory for the rest of my life so that when I am old I will look at my child and see the film of this night play in my head.
I stood beside her helping hold her up as she pushed; her voice weak and frustrated as she swore to the doctor that she could stand no more but I knew she could. I knew her strength was deeper than she ever dreamed and no matter what she said, she would do whatever was necessary for this child. The time passed like a fast-forwarded movie and before I knew it, I saw my child, my son, in the hands of the doctor. Blue in color, covered in blood and mucus, he cried pulling life-giving oxygen into his tiny lungs.
The next morning I arrived earlier than everyone else did so that I might have a chance to bond with my son. I held his tiny now pink body wrapped tightly in the thick cloth blanket, his minuscule hands covered by mittens to prevent him from cutting himself with his uncut fingernails, and his head covered with an almost too small hat. As he slept in my swallowing arms, I looked down on that peaceful face and tried to comprehend the enormity of the idea that this was my son. It had not been that long ago that I was certain I would never have children being a gay man but then my best friend asked me a question that at first I could not even imagine. She asked, “Would you be willing to donate sperm so that I could have your child?”
It took me almost three years to answer that question. The enormity overwhelmed me making me examine my life and ask myself what I really wanted. Now that he is here, it is still overwhelming. I am a father. What thing in this world is greater than that?