I would be remiss to continue writing here without stopping to acknowledge Father’s Day. I say this because there isn’t a chance I would be able to manage this journey day-to-day without Daisy’s dad.
Before Daisy was born, I was already a really, really lucky wife. Nick is clean and organized and does does more than half of the housekeeping. To say he’s handy would be an understatement - he can watch a ten minute YouTube video and suddenly the guy is an electrician. When I was pregnant and polyhydramnios set in, I didn’t sleep for weeks. Nick woke up at all hours of the night to run a hot bath then carefully lower me into the water. He would sit on the edge of the tub and keep me company - even if it was 3 o’clock in the morning before a busy work day. He has always, always taken care of me.
In the latter half of my twenties, I dated a lot. Given that what I wanted more than anything in life was to raise a family, my primary focus in dating was to find a partner who would be an excellent father to our children. I promised myself I wouldn’t marry someone who was just a good partner to me. I wanted to find someone who would be a shining example of integrity and kindness and would always love our children selflessly. Nick and I were close friends for a time while I dated other people but when I watched him interact with my family and friends, I realized my perfect partner was right there in front of me.
So, needless to say, when we got married and started trying to grow our family, I already knew Nick would be a terrific father. But, he has truly surpassed my expectations. Watching him with Daisy makes my heart swell. He is tender and gentle and attentive. He reads to her and sings to her and seems to be holding her every minute that I’m not. He has become an expert swaddler, a mean diaper changer and can manage a swift outfit change with one hand. He can place her NG tube like a professional - and snaking a tube through a baby’s nose down into her belly while she is squirming and crying is no easy feat. He’s mastered the trick to pacifying her tears without using the actual pacifier - a complicated process of folding the arms, leaning her forward and bouncing her from the seat of her diaper. He can get us from the car to the house with diaper bag, portable changing station, IV pole, medical supplies hanging from his body while carrying the car seat in one fell swoop.
Perhaps most important, throughout the health challenges we have faced and continue to face, Nick reminds me to be optimistic. He is the source of positivity in every meeting with doctors. He believes Daisy is capable of more than what we or any doctor can see right now. I often walk out of a meeting head down, tears looming feeling hopeless and terrified of the future. Nick on the other hand, does not. He only half trusts the clinical information. Instead, he believes in the brightness in her eyes, the constant reaching and kicking of her hands and wiggling feet, the smiles that pass across her face… And reminds me to do the same.
This Father’s Day, and every day, I am thankful for my partner Nick, Daisy’s Dad. And for my own dad, who showed me what to look for in a perfect father.