Memory of a Father
Twenty two years and seven months ago, our firstborn came into this world. We have not really prepared for her coming. I have two ob-gyne for my consultations, one in the province and one in the camp, thinking I can have my delivery wherever I may be with the obstetrician knowing my history and the child condition.
My work demands that I travelled long distances to attend court duties even if I am already on my eight months of pregnancy. I travelled to Pangasinan by bus to testify in one of the cases I handled and I have pillow to give me some comfort but the road was so bumpy with so many potholes and unfinished construction. I was able to go home although there was already pain in my stomach.
That night, at around 12 midnight my bag of water broke. we tried to go to the nearest hospital. It is not yet my delivery date so I was also not prepared although we have stock up on things that may be needed for the new baby. The nearest to our place is Fabella Hospital but there are no vacant rooms and patients are already occupying the hallways. We were referred to St. Mary’s General Hospital, an old hospital with new doctors.
The duty that night. Doctor Oray is newly graduate and with little experience in assisting childbirth. I had long waiting time for the baby to come, it was already day time and the pain is almost killing me. By 10 in the morning after much coaching, the baby decided to come out by normal delivery and see the world, it was already dry delivery and medicines did not ease the pain, I can almost feel it this day.
I did not see the baby because I fell asleep but I know I have the right baby since she is the only female baby in the hospital. Not too long after giving birth, I had profuse bleeding and Dra. Oray had already left the hospital. The next duty doctor was a male and more compassionate than his female counterpart. I was brought back to the delivery room and the stitches were removed. My uterus was cleaned and it turned out that some parts of the placenta were not flushed out which caused the bleeding. It was like having another child birth but I was awake at that time praying I live for my baby.
You were alone looking outside and I know you also prayed hard since you are no longer responding to questions. You were looking outside the window and pacing in the lobby and in the room. I cannot describe how you felt and I fully appreciate that even if you did not share the pain, I know you felt it too. You told me later that we need to name the baby, her second name is to be Angela after your grandmother and that I have to choose the first name. I remembered my grandmother so her name is Patricia Angela.
You were a good father, you washed nappies, bottle-fed her and rocked her in your arms until she is sleeping soundly. The second daughter came after five years and she did not experience lack of care. She was always in your arms even if she was big enough to be carried. I love the look of love you gave your daughters. It makes me feel sad that you did not and cannot dance with them on their debut, for that reason, they also decided not to have a debutante party.
You may be in heaven but your love will always remain with us. Happy Father’s Day in heaven.