Fatherhood

By Cameron Stewart

Cameron Stewart

Cameron with his son, Ryan James. Photo courtesy of Cameron Stewart.

I still remember the day my girlfriend told me she was pregnant.

She came into the room crying, holding the strip. There’s not too much I could say to comfort her. Myself being 20 and she 21 at the time, and at that age pregnancy is not something that you are prepared or ready for. Shock is the initial feeling: not actually getting my mind around the entirety of what was to come.

Months passed and so the differences to my girlfriend’s body; first the sickness, then a flutter, quickly followed by a movement. It seems to be endless, and though the differences are not happening to me, it starts to feel more real. A heightened sense of responsibility and duty of care. I can put my hand to her belly and feel my child kick and move, an infectious feeling. At times where I’d just think about the change to come, I would just lay next to her belly whispering reassurances that I would always be there.

Just before 9pm on 10th of October, a contraction, 5 days overdue: finally a contraction. It seems a buzz, everything rushing. This is it: we have been waiting all year to see you, little man. I didn’t educate myself too much in regards to how the process would work. I figured, I’ve seen movies, I’ve heard stories, I get the gist of it. But all year you think of what’s inside, not how it comes outside. Nothing can prepare you for watching someone you love go through the pain of labour. The pain on her face, the struggle she went through, it was gut-wrenching.

I can put my hand to her belly and feel my child kick and move, an infectious feeling.

Like most 21-year-olds, I always tried to have a tough manly façade. However after waiting 9 months, watching my girlfriend go through over 20 hours of labour, to see my baby boy come out, I was overcome with happiness and joy. I burst into tears.  I could barely see to cut his umbilical cord. Seeing him being put onto my girlfriend and looking up at her, the feeling is breathtaking. When I got to hold him for the first time, look down at him and tell him I was his dad, it was the greatest moment of my life. And I still promise I will always be there for him.

The word ‘love’ is thrown around too much. I used to love metal music, going for a drive, having a beer with mates. Holding my child is the epitome of love. Correction: at 5:02PM on the 11th of October, I was the happiest man in the world and no words can describe the love I have for my girlfriend for going through everything for him and me, and also the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen: my boy Ryan James Stewart.

Cameron StewartCameron Stewart was just out of high school when his life changed completely: he found out that he and his girlfriend were expecting. His son, Ryan James Stewart, caused him to change his definitions of life and love.

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