Baby makes 3

Baby makes 3

You may not know it, but my wife and I had immense difficulty starting a family. 5 years, 3 rounds of IVF, blood tests, surgical procedures, heartache, despair and tons of prayer have finally come to an end.

It is with great emotion that we welcomed our daughter, Caitlin Laubscher, to the world at 12:01pm Wednesday April 22nd.

I consider myself to be an extremely sentimental guy; true to my nature I’ve been making and saving as many memories as I could over the past week. One day when she’s old enough I want to be able to sit down with her and share the things that I remember. That dream can only be realised if I take the time to document the images, emotions and milestones as they come.

So with that in mind, I’d like to share a few images and sentiments from that momentous day in the life of my wife and I.

The sun rises on a truly HUGE day in our lives. This is what the morning of April 22nd looked like, and the world our little one would be born into. I am truly happy to be living where we are. This was the view from the hospital room where we’d been sleeping during my wife’s induction. I’ve seen a lot of sunrises in my life, but this particular one, more than any before, made me really feel that a new day was dawning.

Ground zero – Birthing Suite Room 8.

6 Nervous hours followed by intense elation and gratitude. I’ve spent my fair share of time in hospital rooms, but always on the other side of the doctor-patient relationship. It’s very different being on the receiving end, but at the same time, the fact that both of us are doctos removed all the nervousness that we would have felt if the hospital environment with all it’s strange machinery and mechanical sounds was not familiar to us.

The view from the suite. I felt very comforted by the fact that the Sky Tower was within site of the room. It’s my favourite part of the city I now call home. We came here to provide our children with a calm, stable and violence-free upbringing. On this particular day, seeing that tower on the horizon took on a whole new level of significance. The reailty of why we had left South Africa surfaced very palpably that morning. This is a place where I feel my child can grow up safely; an environment where she can spread her wings and fill her childhood with new and positive experiences.

Our last 10 minutes alone before the big push and the birth of our daughter and a whole new way of life.Gretchen was an absolute trooper and made it look like child’s play. This day, and the 9 months that preceded it have shown me a whole new side of the incredible woman I love and adore – no complaints, no grumbles and everything taken in her stride.

12:01 and life changes forever, in an incredibly beautiful way. You don’t get fresher than this…

Mom gets to hold her child for the very first time. I did my best ti focus the camera with a face full of tears.

I get to hold her for the first time. I would need pages to write down the thoughts and prayers that were running through my mind. I certainly wasn’t alone in the room, but this moment was intensely private. I pray that I remain true to all the promises I made to that little person, and that God grants me the strength to be the role model she needs in this world.

Our happy family, with mom looking like this was a walk in the park.

One of this story’s unsung heroes – our obstetrician, Nicholas Walker.

Again, it’s probably the fact that I am a doctor myself, but I have HUGE respect for the effort and sacrifice of every medical professional we have dealt with. It is an honour to be under the care of someone who takes so much pride in his work, and shows his passion so evidently despite all the long, late hours, missed family time and personal sacrifice.

One last surprise awaited us after returning home – Caitlin’s soft toys were there to welcome her. (I am told that there is a friendly competition on to see who she picks as her favourite – daddy has his money on the hyena!)

Through this whole experience there is one universal truth that I kept coming back to. I believe wholeheartedly that it is our duty to give back to the world at least the sum of what we’ve taken from it.

One of the greatest ways I can think of to make a difference is to raise a child who loves and respects the people and places she shares her life with. It is my sincere hope that Caitlin grows into a woman who does amazing things in and for the world.

April 22nd was the day I became a father and a role-model. I pray that I never forget how important that job is.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
– Charles Swindoll