This Whole Parenting Thing

13 Apr

Cry, eat, burp, poop, sleep, cry, eat, etc… you get the idea.

My life has just been rocked off its hinges into a completely new realm.  It took a while to settle in, but I think now I’m realizing I’m a parent.  My decisions and prayers suddenly don’t just include Michelle and myself; we’ve added a new person to the mix.  My wife gave birth to Ava, the most beautiful baby girl in the world.  Michelle had a planned C-Section because Ava decided she didn’t want to flip, this was due to the fact that she was frank breech.  So into the hospital we went, and in the matter of a couple hours my baby girl was in the real world.  I can remember the shock of the moment, as I wasn’t really sure what to do but stand there and look at what we had just made.  But I looked over at my wife and we both were so filled with Joy.  As the first day passed in the hospital and Michelle started to come out of her “morphine” cloud, we both were saying how people could not believe there is a God after experiencing this miracle.  A seed, an egg, and perfectly timed, created a human being!!

I won’t go into details of the whole hospital experience, but there is one story I want to share with you.  I’m sure we’re not alone in the concerns of parenthood when it comes to procedures, shots, etc… it’s a tough decision to know you’re about to inflict even minor harm.  Immediately upon Ava’s birth, the on call pediatrician of the hospital mentioned that she was a little tongue tied, meaning the skin connecting her tongue to the bottom of her mouth was a little too far down her tongue.  This is apparently pretty common in babies, and we were told that this is usually the cause for future speech impediments and/or problems nursing.  We were asked if we wanted to do the procedure where they cauterize the skin back to allow her better use of her tongue.  Note, that at this point we were parents for all of 2 days.  The procedure was advised by multiple doctors/nurses, so we prayed for guidance and decided to do it. I had a sick feeling about me, but I trusted the Lord to watch over her.

Lucky me, I got to go watch the procedure.  As it was being done, I heard a different cry from my daughter than what I’d heard the last two days.  It was a cry of pain, and it completely broke my heart.  I held her in my arms when it was over and almost lost it right in front of all the nurses.  They agreed to hold her in the nursery for the night to calm her down, and allow Michelle and I to get some sleep as it was now almost 1:00am.  I walked into our room, and started to cry.  I wondered if I had messed up my daughter in just two days!

By this point I had freaked out Michelle so much that she requested for Ava be brought back to our room for the night.  While Ava had trouble nursing earlier in the day, she now wouldn’t nurse at all; that’s when Michelle lost it.  Here we are, parents for 2 days and we felt like we messed up our daughter…yup, Lord you entrusted me with her and now she can’t eat.

Eventually, she did take a bottle and that helped calm both of us down knowing that she could eat.  The next day she began to nurse again, and now better than before with no problems.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  We had made the right decision, but it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to witness in my life. I love my daughter with my whole heart, and I want to be a flawless parent for her, if thats even possible?

A month into being a parent and I know I don’t have it all figured out, however, I think confidence is beginning to settle in.  I won’t always make the correct decisions for Ava, but I know the Lord knows the desire of my heart to be perfect for her.  Just like the Lord walked us through her first week of life, I trust him to guide us through the rest.

I serve an amazing God who I trust wholly with my daughter.  Ava was given to Michelle and I to raise and guide in His ways.  Proverbs 22:6 says,

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” 

Ava is under our care, and it is my job as the head of the household to show her the same kind of love Jesus shows me.  The greatest example a father can be to their child, is to be a living model of Christ.  I try to remember each morning to pray the whole armor of God over my family; this is to protect, guide, and strengthen them for each day. Joshua 24:15 says,

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.   

I’m sure there will be many more difficult decisions ahead, but I know that if I serve the Lord with all I am, and guide my family in Him, then he will work everything out.  You see, this whole parenting thing is not about being flawless, it’s about leading your family in the image of Christ.

-Lucas Dougherty

Lucas Dougherty

Lucas is a worship leader in his local church and a singer/songwriter.  He is also a husband and a brand new dad. Connect with Lucas on Twitter and on his blog.

One Response to “This Whole Parenting Thing”

  1. becomingcliche April 13, 2013 at 17:34 #

    I’m sorry you had such a traumatic experience, and so early on. How sad for you all! I’m glad she’s doing well.

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