The First Time I Was A Father


I fled the newsroom. I hailed a taxi. I entered the hospital.

It was June 21, 2012. Several days later, after 36 long weeks of poring over becoming-a-dad books and blogs, of ultrasounds and birthing classes, I was finally there. My first moments of fatherhood. There were tight embraces from anxious family members who grabbed me by the shoulders and told me to be a man. That thick resistance as I cut through my daughter’s umbilical cord. The second when my wife, having given her last push, could finally just stop.

When I held her in my arms, my tiny girl, Nadiya, at 5 pounds, 4 ounces, was badly bruised. She looked almost like she was sleeping. But she never stirred, never cried to life with the wail all new parents await. Nadiya arrived stillborn…

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– Neil Parmar
Published in OZY