I am a doula. I stand in the space of birth while reducing fear and instilling strength and I watch as you become a father.

I have been on the other end of the phone when you nervously called me to say, “She is ready for you to come now…”

I have been greeted by you at the door of your home and I have seen the look of relief in your eye as you welcomed me.

I have ridden in the back seat of your car with your laboring wife while you quickly and cautiously delivered us safely to the hospital.

I have watched you carry luggage and pillows and birth balls all while tenderly supporting your partner through a contraction in the doorway of the hospital at 3am.

I’ve listened as you asked questions of the nurse that indicated your worries, concern and fears.

I watched you remind your partner to breathe and I saw you kiss her forehead with compassion and love. You stroked her hair and you told her how strong she was and I acknowledged that this is what it means to become a father.

You held her hand.

You swayed with her.

You cried for her.

You encouraged her.

You believed in her.

You would have endured the pain for her if you were able.

This affirms that you are ready to become a father and I see it before my very eyes.

I have stayed behind with you as the love of your life was wheeled into the operating room with your baby tucked inside her. I have supported you through the anxiety and fear that comes with this experience. And I know how attached and attuned you are to your family.

I’ve watched you welcome your children with prayer, with poetry, with music that you wrote and with the traditions of your ancestors.

I watch as you become a father.

I watch you struggle to determine where you can best serve, at your wife’s bedside or in the NICU with your baby. I watch as your wife tells you to be with the baby and I see you as you become a father. You ask the right questions and you tenderly hold your finger in the palm of your baby’s hand.

Your baby takes the comfort you offer because she knows you are there for her.

When you are together as a family for the first time I see the gently pure love that lives in your heart. You are changed. You are the best version of yourself ever witnessed by anyone and I see it. It is beautiful and your partner sees it too. You are a father and you are damn good at it!

I see you as you see your parents for the first time since you have become a father.

I see their joy and I see your pride. You share the news of the baby’s birth and your partner’s strength and good health and they see you as a new man.

As a father. Responsible and wise. Endearing and humble.

I watch you hold your baby.

You are in disbelief.

You can hardly believe that the level of love you are feeling right now has lived within you your whole life and that it will stay with you forever.

I’m proud of you and I’m honored to watch you become a father.

Happy Father’s Day, friend and thank you for allowing me to bear witness to the vulnerability that makes you a fantastic father.

Authored By: Randy Patterson