The feeling of becoming a father is thrilling and at the same time, it is terrifying. Suddenly it is not just about you anymore, you have to think about that new life first, before you think about yourself.
Your life changes... your perception changes... You might still be the same person, yet you are not. Because now you are a father, a person whom your child looks up to. And you will never want to let down your child in any way.
The day when Noel was born it was the happiest as well as the scariest day of my life. However, the feeling of fear which I am going through now is not the same.
That time I was scared that I might not be a good dad, but today I am afraid to lose my child.
This fear is constantly lingering inside my heart since we have lost our other baby.
But I can’t share my fear with Abigail as I need to be strong for her. I have to prepare myself to stay stronger, no matter what the outcome will be.
Putting on a brave face I enter the room, and my heart shatters watching tears of anguish silently streaming down from Abigail’s eyes.
I know she is in pain, but more than physical pain, these tears are the evidence of the feeling of dread which is engulfing her heart.
I just want to gather her in my arms and tell her I will make everything alright. But I know my words will be hollow, as there are some things which are not in our hands. We are helpless in front of our fate.
“Hey, ready to meet our son?” I press a kiss on Abigail’s forehead, then leaning back I caress her hair.
“Hmm.” Pressing her lips together, she simply nods her head.
“Stay strong.” Wiping her tears with my fingers, I hold her hand giving her an encouraging smile, or what I thought to be an encouraging smile. But the way Abigail gives me a funny look, I think I have failed, miserably.
“Your smile looks like you are suffering from severe constipation.” She blows a breath, her hold tightens on my hand, “Please, don’t smile like this, because your smile is going to scare the baby.” She lightly chuckles which slightly brings relief to my heart.
Then her face slightly turns red as her face scrunches up in pain.
“Deep breaths.” I run my fingers through her hair, “Take long deep breaths.”
Once she has told me that, sometimes when she gets hurt she holds her breath in an attempt to block the pain. That’s why I am continuously reminding her to take deep breaths through her contractions as this is what the doctor has suggested.
Since this is our second child, I pretty much know about everything. And I wish we can just directly get to the part where we have our baby with us. Because I am not looking forward to watching Abigail in pain even more than she already is.
The doctor checks Abigail again and asks her to start pushing when the next contraction comes.
“Listen, Abigail, I know it is early and you are scared.” Serena, Abigail’s doctor, walks to Abigail’s side and gently pats her arm, “But when all this will be over, you will have a healthy baby in your arms. Stay positive, and keep thinking about the moment when you will meet your baby. Okay?” She warmly smiles at her.
It feels weird that the woman who delivered me, will going to deliver my second son as well.
Then she looks at me, with the same smile. I nod my head gratefully at her because her words bring a little relief to my anxious heart. And by looking at Abigail’s face I know even she is feeling the same.
Serena goes back to her position, as Abigail turns her face towards me.
“Levi Theodore Knight,” She whispers giving me a smile that brightens up her entire face amid her pain, “We will name him Levi.”
“Levi.” I smile while repeating the name, “Levi Theodore Knight, perfect.” I peck her lips.
We have been trying to decide Levi’s first name for some time. But nothing clicked, sometimes she doesn’t like the name or sometimes I didn’t like the suggestion. We both agreed to Theodore will be his middle name, as it means the gift of God. And that’s what he is, a beautiful gift from God to us which brought us out of our suffering.
“Levi will keep us attached with his brother.” Her smile turns teary, “Our connection with him.”
A bittersweet feeling flares inside my heart, as at this time we would have been welcoming our twins if we hadn’t lost him.
She tightly clenches her jaws and I know it is time to meet our Levi.
Nearly one hour has passed when Abigail burst out crying.
“I can’t.” She cries turning her face to the side, “I can’t.”
Her cries stabbing my heart like the pieces of glass shards while the feeling of helplessness tearing me from inside.
“You are doing so well.” I rub her arm, “You are so strong, Abigail. I know you can do it.” Slipping my arm behind her shoulders I give her a hug.
“Please, keep holding me,” She pleads.
“I will hold you as long as you want.” I kiss her temple.
Turning her head in the crook of my neck she tightly holds my shirt as her body shakes with silent sobs. I keep whispering encouraging words into her ear, hoping to lend her the support she needs.
She takes a ragged breath as a determined look crosses her face then again agonizing cycle of pushing and silent heart-wrenching cries start.
Closing my eyes, I keep holding my tears back unable to see Abigail’s struggle.
Another hour pass when Abigail gives birth to Levi, her body sags into my arms as soon as she gives the final push.
But the feeling of dread encases our hearts because there is silence.
Her tired eyes meet mine as she bites her lip so tightly nearly drawing blood from her lower lip while tears roll down from her eyes.
“Nathan.” She chokes out when no sweet sound of our baby’s cry reaches our ears.
Swallowing, I look at her helplessly because there are no words coming out of my mouth that can comfort her.
No, you can’t do this to your dad, son.