It was one day past our baby’s due date. My wife and I were relaxing, watching a movie. The movie ended around 11:30PM and I thought it was time for bed. I thought wrong.
I could sense some discomfort from Natalie, my wife, as she clutched her stomach and grabbed her back as her contractions originated from her back and surged across her sides to her naval.
“I think this is it,” she said with pain in her voice. “Pack the car. I think we’re going to the hospital.”
My demeanor on the outside was calm and collective – I was there to support my wife with ANYTHING she needed. I did my tasks and I did them efficiently. On the inside, sirens were sounding as if I were in war and the enemy was near. “RED ALERT! RED ALERT! This is not a drill – we are going to have a baby! Move soldier! Move! Move! Move!”
The back seat of our Ford Escape was filled full of luggage. Blankets, the baby’s car seat, notes, and snacks were part of items packed for this trip – you would have thought we were going out of town. Out the garage, down the driveway and to DMC Hutzel Women’s Hospital so we could meet our special little visiter.
There are so many thoughts that ran through my mind on that trip.
“What do I do? Where do I go? What will the first words to my baby be? What should I say when assisting my wife through labor? What should I NOT say when assisting my wife through labor?”
…Fast Forward to post-labor…
At 7:51AM, a beautiful baby girl came into our lives, changing it forever. Isabella Cristiana Fuoco greeted us peacefully and quietly. So quietly, the nurses had to slightly shake her to make sure all fluids had left her lungs…all was good.
This is the moment when you realize the reality of the situation. I looked into Isabella’s big eyes and saw my future as a proud parent. I saw her crawling, walking, talking. Birthdays. Schooling. Sports. Friends. Graduation. Minor Disagreements. Embarrassing situations. Life lessons. I saw a curious child thriving for answers and more knowledge. I saw a little piece of me in her. I saw my life change for the better and a tender side develop. My heart melted and in that instance I vowed to protect and guide this little soul by actively participating in her growth and development.
From now on, I am a father…