There was nothing to fight against. There was no foe to defeat. There was no crazy situation to overcome. There is just a single moment when someone tells you “I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do” and you must accept it no matter how much you do not want to. For me, that day was Sunday, December 15th, 2019. My wife and I were expecting our first baby, a girl, we decided to name Zalayah. On December 15th, 2019, my wife had just made it to term. We were expecting our daughter within the next week or two.
My wife had gotten up that morning after having cramps the night before and said she could not feel our daughter moving. We called her midwife who told us to meet her at her office. She searched and searched for a heartbeat but could not find one, so she called an ambulance to rush us to the hospital. My wife was beginning to panic but I just kept telling her everything was going to be okay. Little did I know how wrong I was. The ambulance came and loaded her up. They told me I would have to follow behind in my car. That drive alone was the longest drive of my life even though I was speeding as fast as I could. By the time I found parking and ran up to the maternity ward, my wife had already been checked. The nurse met me and brought me down the hall to her room and up until that point I still managed to convince myself that everything was going to be okay. And then I heard the screams. It was like nothing I had ever heard before, screams of pure agony, screams of a broken heart. That is when the nurse spoke to me and all I can remember is “I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do”. At that moment, my world fell apart. The rest of the day was a painful blur. Our daughter was born the next day and it was the saddest day of my life. I kept waiting to hear her first cry, but it never came, just pure terrible silence. My mind knew she was not going to make a sound but, in my heart, I pleaded with her to wake up, take a breath, open her eyes, anything. That day I cried more than I ever have in my life.
The next few months passed in a haze of sorrow and grief. Before I knew it, Father’s Day was just around the corner and I did not know how to feel about it. Many people I spoke to told me I was indeed a father and that I should be celebrated but I did not feel that way because I did not have my daughter with me. I could not hold her, play with her, or give her kisses so I did not feel like a father. I debated telling my fiends and family not to bother doing anything for Father’s Day and to just treat it like any other day. In the end I decided against that idea and I let my loved ones do what they felt was best. Some wished me Happy Father’s Day, some did not. Regardless, for me, it just felt like another sad day like every other one since Zalayah died.
This year, Father’s Day may be a bit better. My wife and I were lucky enough to welcome our rainbow baby, Ezrah, on December 24th, 2020, the happiest day of my life. So, this year I will be able to spend it with my little boy which will surely be better than last year. I know, at the same time, I will be missing what could have been. My daughter Zalayah will always be in my heart. I speak to her everyday and this June 20th will be no different. It will surely bring tears to my eyes but this year at least my little Ezrah will be here to give me one of his beautiful baby smiles and I know that will make it a bit better.