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11 dads describe the first time they saw their newborn child

Posted January 12

Parents have about nine months to prepare to have a baby, but it seems like you aren’t exactly ready for it until you are holding your screaming newborn in your arms for the first time. It’s a mess of emotions that can’t exactly be explained, but these 11 dads do their best to share that beautiful moment they saw their newborn baby for the very first time:

1. Our perfect child

“I was so overwhelmed with emotion. So I just laughed and cried with my wife as we gazed at our perfect child.”

2. Welcome to fatherhood

“I was awestruck.”

3. It can take time

“Nothing. It took a while to ‘discover’ this little explorer I had been put in charge of.”

4. Being truly happy

“I was filled with so much hope for his future. I was proud and truly happy.”

5. Phew

“A relief. My wife had a long and difficult labor, but at the end everyone was healthy and happy. All the anxiety and stress was finally gone. It was blissful.”

6. Now I get it

“I felt like I finally knew what unconditional love was. I was not ready to have another ‘heart’ grow in my chest, one that is all love and only love for my newborn. I cried for about 30 minutes without being able to stop it... nurses even made fun of me a little. I love my daughter more than anything.”

7. Now what?

“I remember being left alone with her, and thinking 'The nurses are leaving ME alone with her? But I have no idea what to do!'"

8. Uh-oh

“When we were driving home with the first one we were stopped at a stop light. Both of us looked back into the back seat and then looked at each other. ‘What have we done?’ I whispered to my wife.

"‘I don't know’ she whispered back, and we drove home very carefully going ten under the speed limit.”

9. Papa bear

“It was like a switch went off inside me, and I instantly went into 'protector mode' in lack of a better word. I felt very connected to them, and felt my role was to shield them from others.”

10. Exhilaring and terrifying — sounds about right

“It's hard to describe. Like the whole 9 months my wife was pregnant, I knew I was going to be a dad, but it was still sort of theoretical. The baby wasn't a real thing I could see and hear and touch. It was just the idea of a baby. And then I was handed this tiny, living human being. 100% real and who I'm responsible for. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.”

11. Awwww

“I cried when hospital personnel first congratulated me and called me ‘dad’.”

Editor's note: comments have been edited for grammer and clarity.

Emily is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is a staunch believer in pie as breakfast food. Read more about her travels and tastings at ercummings.blogspot.com.

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