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6/15/2008

Secret Dad Moment(s)

What, you may ask, is a 'Secret Dad Moment'? Glad you asked. SDM's have nothing to do with those other 'Secret Moments' that usually involve Mom and if the kids get even an inkling of them they go 'EEEWWWWWW'. No, Secret Dad Moments are those times when 'the kid' or 'a kid' or all of 'the kids' do something to bring Dad to an emotional peak that may or may not involve tears, trembling and out and out sobs. By their very nature they are 'Secret', because Dad needs to be perceived as strong and dependable and 'the rock'. They are not the sort of thing that Dad wants observed, because they make him seem vulnerable, and emotional, and human. But they all happen because Dad loves, deeply and completely.

On May 13th, 1982 I had one. One of many.

Annie was pregnant for the second time. And she was in labor. Arrangements had been made for me to be in the delivery room, which was rare back then. She was in her bed and I was in the hall, waiting while the doctor and the nurses examined her. Suddenly, the fetal heart rate monitor indicated a severe drop in heart rate for our unborn child. The baby was in trouble. They ripped out all of the cords and cables that connected her to the equipment in the room, cranked the foot of her bed up high, and ran her and the bed she was in down the hall and into the delivery room. I heard the words "Emergency C Section". The next twenty minutes were the longest twenty minutes of my life. My mind immediately flashed back to a year and a half earlier; to December 10th, 1980. When Annie delivered a full term, stillborn girl. I remembered the ride to the hospital, and Annie saying, along the way, that she hadn't felt the baby kick in some time. The whole thing came flooding back. The delivery. The lifeless form of the baby. The doctor saying her cord was over her shoulder. There was nothing anyone could have done. And now this second child was in trouble. And I sat alone and I cried and I railed against the fates that made it possible to lose another child. No one came to me and said anything for the longest time. And I was panicked. I couldn't move. I couldn't pace or walk or talk or do anything but sit on the stool I was on and pray. Until a nurse came to me and put her arms around me and said, "Your son is fine." And she held me until I could breath again. And put my Daddy face on.

My son's cord was over his shoulder. The same thing that had happened to his sister. But he was lucky enough to have been in the hospital when it happened. And I was lucky enough to be there, too. I had survived my first Secret Dad Moment. The first of many.

The idea for this post arose out of a comment I made on Vikki North's blog. She is an incredible artist, whose work I really love.

18 comments:

redchair said...

That is the sweetest story and such an insight into Lou Ceel. I got emotional just reading it. I hope the son who was born that day knows how you felt and what you and his mother went through waiting on him. Men just don’t talk about there ‘secret moments’ enough and they really should. It is those very moments that make us gals love you dearly.

Vikki

Martha Marshall said...

Thank you, Lou, for sharing that intimate and vulnerable moment in your life. My husband and the father of my kids has had a few of those over the years, but not too many people have ever been aware of them. Sometimes not even me, I'm sure. It's a sign of strength, not weakness, to show how deeply you care about what is real and important.

warriorwoman said...

Lou you're going to make everyone cry.

I have to go call my dad now.

Rebecca said...

I agree with everything they said. ^^

Thanks for sharing that.

Rebecca

Myst_72 said...

Oh Lou I got goosebumps reading that...
I was even holding my breath...

And it reminded me of my husband and the tears he shed when our eldest son was born.

G
xx

LceeL said...

Redchair: He knows. I hug my boys and tell them I love them as often as I can. I also kick their asses when I think they need it.

Martha Marshall: Not too many people SHOULD be aware, because then it comes to question - just who is the emotion for? The audience?

warriorwoman: Good. Call your Dad. I've done my job.

Rebecca: You're welcome. Just thought I'd share something on this, a special day. After all, I'm facing fewer of these than I have experienced, so maybe it's time to tell a few.

myst_72: Yeah, there's nothing like the birth of a child to bring it out in a guy.

Sandy C. said...

I also had goosebumps reading this. I could barely breathe while reading. I can only imagine the intensity of emotions you felt sitting on that stool.

Thank you so much for sharing that Lou. I hope you had a lovely Father's Day.

LceeL said...

Sandy: That I did. It's been one lovely Father's Day. With all three of my boys.

witchypoo said...

Beauty, Lou. I also loved that the nurse was kind enough to hold you until you could breathe.

Nan said...

Phew! We had a hard time having my first boy, too. We thought we were losing him and Sean just bawled when Chas was finally born, blue but yelling!

Alice said...

Lordy Day...making me cry this morning...

I'm so glad she was at the hospital when it happened. When I was having #1, the woman next door was having to give birth to a stillborn (she already knew) and I could never imagine the horror of going through labor with no bundle of joy at the end.

Happy Father's Day!

Hyphen Mama said...

That's a beautiful story. It makes me all weepy.

I never realized until a year ago, how extremely emotional my husband was when we were hauled into surgery for an unexpected c-section when Wynnie was being born. I knew I was a mess, but he kept a stiff upper lip for my sake. I never realized how it tore him up to have to be strong for us both.

Those darned tiny little humans that turn us all into blithering cryers. And totally worth it!

neutron said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing and happy father's day.

nicole said...

*Sniffles* - thanks for sharing these very special moments!
I can only imagine what they would feel like....
Take care of all of your precious family members - hugs!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

Happy Father's Day (belated) to you. I love that story. My hubby was so dippy, he didn't even know the baby was in trouble.

Eve Grey said...

Wow, that was powerful.
So sorry to hear you lost a baby. So happy to hear things turned out well with your son.

Honeybell said...

I've been the nurse in both of those situations. I cried then too.

Nan said...

I was looking for this... It might help? http://thingsivefoundinpockets.blogspot.com/2007/12/loss.html