Diary of a New Dad – first breath

The second my son took his first breath, I completely forgot to take one of my own, writes Ben Keenan.

Standing at the foot of my wife’s hospital bed issuing forth some well-chosen and carefully rehearsed clichés about breathing, our son decided he’d heard enough and after making his entire family wait by the telephone for 40 hours of sleep-deprived hysteria, entered the world with a whimper.

I consider myself a confident and well-adjusted man and my vocabulary includes some of the finest words in the English language, but seconds after the boy arrived, I doubt I could have told you my own name. I was immediately overwhelmed by sensations of crying, laughing, choking and falling and just as I’d slid down the wall to take a very deep breath from the floor, was told to get it together as I had to cut the cord.

Another round of hard to comprehend feelings later and I separated my son from his mother and stared in amazement at the most singularly perfect moment of my life who Jen and I decided to name Thomas.

I wouldn’t change my son for anything in the world but if I need to, I’ll try and change the world for him.