There was no snap moment. There was no transition. I did not feel different. My son came out and was laid on my wives stomach. He was a pale gray, covered with splotches of blood and barely moved with one eyeball staring lifelessly out at us. I cried. I had never been so frightened in my life. The NICU doctors grabbed him and screamed for outside help. His heart rate was dropping and my wife was crying now. She didn’t know what was happening and neither did I. I said I did, but I didn’t. Everything was fine I told myself, as my wife listened. I cried.
I did not feel what they said I’d feel. It was me. I felt like I had always felt. I was Blake. I was Blake with tears in his eyes, looking at his wife who had just revealed she was one of the mightiest women he had ever seen. He admired her. He respected her. He praised her. I was Blake filled with anxiety at the possible harm of his child and the fact that life would no longer be the same. I did not become another person, but I did take one in. As he animated with oxygen now flowing through his system, I realized he was mine. He was ours. We made him, I made him. There was truly something special about that, and then again, there was truly something normal about that. This feeling was not unique to me. It had been happening for centuries, millennia. Millions of people before me had experienced it, and millions after me will.
I tapped into something human. I wasn’t all of a sudden someone else. I was the same old me, only now I had created life. There was something even greater about that story to me. The same old me could create life and be a father. I didn’t have to become something or someone else, I didn’t have to have a moment, I didn’t have to have anything.
As I am, I can be a father. And so can anyone else. What a weird place we live in.