How I Unwrapped the Gift of Fatherhood

“These are the days of miracle and wonder. “

Paul Simon 

 She was in a hurry.

Exactly a year ago today on March 15th, 2014, my wife and I were trying to have a nap on a lazy Saturday afternoon. As we tried to sleep, she started felling some contractions and discomfort. We didn’t make it a big deal because the week before she had gone through some “false labor”. The baby was three days overdue by now, though.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv34667-nu=465---6;-;34-WSNRCG=35;3528;-3344nu0mrj (1)As the minutes turned into over an hour, she started having more intense and painful contractions. After an hour, we started thinking that this could be the day…it was go time.

We had hired a doula for the birth, who had actually been to our house to visit twice that day already. She had instructed us that if the contractions started coming in shorter periods and if my wife got to the point where she could not talk to me anymore when I asked her something, then was the time to call her.

Well, my wife was progressing the contractions were getting faster and stronger for about two hours so I asked her if that was time to call the doula. She wasn’t sure, as it was our first child. As we approached the third hour, I asked one more time if I should call the doula. She said she was not sure but if I were more comfortable calling, I would go ahead and do it. Not knowing how to comfort and help my wife in her pain, I decided to call the doula.

The doula came. After about 10 minutes working with my wife to relieve the contractions’ pain, she started crowning. The doula told me to call 911 because she would probably be unable to make it to the hospital. My wife and I looked at each other like deer in headlights…this was NOT the plan.

As I frantically called 911, I could barely process what was happening. Within about 10 minutes, seven paramedics were in our bedroom, where my wife was now in active labor. The paramedics wanted to put her in the ambulance, but the risk of my daughter be born in the ambulance was high. She was going to be born here at home whether we like it or not! While the doula was helping her prepare for our unplanned home delivery, I was following the paramedics’ instructions to get towels, heat blankets, all while trying not to pass out.

Just as I came upstairs with the warm blankets, I was able to hold my wife’s hand, just minutes before my daughter entered the world. Ava Isabel finally came after just 4 hours of intense labor. Ava was ready to enter the world and could not even wait to get to the hospital! The funny part was calling my mother-in-law from the ambulance to tell her that the three of us were on our way to the hospital. She was with my sister-in-law in the highway.  She almost drove off the road.

Ava came so fast that I even didn’t have time to process everything. I couldn’t even notice I was a father!  Yes, fatherhood was a gift given to me that I didn’t even have time to unwrap!

Ava is truly a gift from God to us. Her name is a variation of Eve. According to the dictionary, it may be from the Latin “avis,” meaning, “bird.” It could also be a short form of the name Chava (“life” or “living one”), the Hebrew form of Eve. Isabel means,”pledged to God” or “consecrated to God”.

We wanted to give our daughter this name because that means a life that is consecrated to God.  That’s what I want to see for her life. I want to see her life set apart for Him. I want her to see and follow God’s specific purposes and unique plans for her life. God knows His purposes and plans for her and I ‘m very excited to see those plans manifest themselves in the upcoming years.

I think part of a father’s job is to let our kids be in God’s hands because we know it’s the best place to be. It’s the act of exercising it every day that is probably the most difficult but also the most rewarding gift we can give our kids.

As my final thoughts for Ava, I pray the words in Matthew 7:11:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to you children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” 

I love you.

Your father

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