Welcome to the World

My beautiful baby girl was born in early April on a whirlwind day of thoughts and emotions. Even now, a couple weeks later, I can’t comprehend everything that happened, but I want to put a few of the memories from that day in writing before they’re lost. Here’s a little vignette of what I can recall:

Waking up around midnight and being told that the contractions had been steady for the past hour.

Bringing my wife a peach and a blueberry yogurt as she labored in the dark in our bathtub, and then sitting next to her eating the one she didn’t choose.

Looking over at her as she hugged the back of our car seat and told me I was doing a great job driving to the birth center; she was working through contractions every few minutes and took time to tell me that I was doing a great job driving…

Watching the midwives and doula as they lovingly supported my wife and hearing their continual assurance, “you’re doing good work, mama.”

Having my heart break at every new contraction as I watched my wife’s face contort into pain.

Thinking helplessly about how insanely tired she was and that there was still so much left to do.

Standing over her, sobbing as I held her face and told her I wished I could do it all in her place.

Sitting in shock as I was all at once humbled, honored and thrilled to be a new dad.

Casie and Olivia
Mama and baby

Some of the things I learned during this one important day:

That natural childbirth is a difficult, harrowing, beautiful and amazing experience.

That midwives and doulas are worth their weight in gold.

That a child can shoot out of a mommy like a cork out of a champagne bottle.

That my wife is my hero and stronger than I had ever imagined.

That I would instantly fall in love for the second time in my life.

That I would make threats to imaginary future boyfriends within five minutes of my daughter’s birth.

That I thought I knew a lot about life, God and the universe and after watching the insane miracle that is birth, realized that I knew very little.

After the birth, I was overwhelmed with a flood of different thoughts. I thought about how we had just gone through this transformational, life-altering experience and how the midwives do it everyday. I gave gratitude for the fact that we had a whole team working with us and that I was able to work with them to support my wife through this journey. I then realized that there are single moms out there doing all of this on their own, and it broke my heart. If you are a single mom reading this: I’m proud of you, my heart goes out to you, and I’m sending love your way.

As I looked at my daughter for the first time, my thoughts turned to her. I thought about the future: helping her tie her laces, teaching her to read and the millions of other things we would be responsible for teaching her. I thought about how she would grow into an amazing woman, the boys we would have to chase away, the college she might attend and the fact the she might also be a parent someday. I thought too about all that I had learned over the last few decades; all the triumphs and failures, the heartaches and blessings, the life stages traversed and the fears overcome. And I thought about the fact that all of it was starting right here, right now, at this very moment, for her.

With that last thought still echoing in my mind, I leaned down for the first kiss I would ever give her and quietly whispered “welcome to the world.”

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Ethan Ruzzano Written by:

Ethan is a former musician and artist who is in love with being a dad. He balances his time between family, work and his other passions. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Casie and daughter, Olivia.

7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Beth Jaeger Mertz
    April 24
    Reply

    Thank you for posting this, Ethan – it is absolutely wonderful and worded so beautifully. Much the same we all feel when first having our babies :) God bless you all!!

  2. Avatar
    Jen
    April 22
    Reply

    This post made me sob. In a good way. Such sweetness and tenderness. You are already an amazing dad. What a lucky little girl! And lucky us to get a window into this day and your humbling thoughts!

  3. I Love this so much! A bountiful Congratulations to you, Ethan & Casie!!! Well written & well done, my friend! I’m glad & honored to be able to celebrate this with you both as dear friends!

  4. Awesome insight into the emotional roller coaster that is childbirth. I shared many of your same feelings when our two kids were born. For me, those two separate days were both my least favorite ever, and my happiest. They were my least favorite because I got to watch my wife labor through pain for over 30 hours the first time, and about 20 the second time – after already long and uncomfortable pregnancies – both times only to end up with our plans for a natural home birth end up in the opposite direction – with a C section in an operating room. Singing hymns to my wife while they cut her open to remove our children, and in the span of about 5 minutes, it shifts from emotionally drained from empathy for the love of your life, to emotionally full of wonder of this new gift. It’s almost too much emotion to process – but it probably pales in comparison to what they feel.

    We are about to have our third child in a few weeks – and I know we’ll be in that situation again – and I know it will all be ok. As was the case with you – it gave me new insight as to the strength of women, and of mothers. Especially to imagine myself in their shoes – where you don’t have a choice – and this time of intense progress is coming one way or another. My prayer is that every mother experiences a painless, harmonious childbirth, and that the parents find strength, courage and humility in the years that follow.

    • Avatar
      Ethan Ruzzano
      April 21
      Reply

      Joel, so sorry the first two births didn’t go according to plan, it must have been such a roller coaster of emotion for both of you. I’m also so grateful that your kids arrived safely and are thriving today. Sending good thoughts your way for the birth of your third child and knowing that, as you said, all will be well.

  5. Avatar
    Lane Young
    April 21
    Reply

    Very nice write up Ethan. I look forward to conversing more with you as I will be starting this same journey soon.

    • Avatar
      Ethan Ruzzano
      April 21
      Reply

      Anytime Lane – so excited for you two!

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