Tag Archives: Giving birth

Reflections of a Godfather on Father’s Day

I’m the only About Men Radio member who is unmarried and childless, but I do have four godsons.

The first was born with some complications. I remember being in the waiting room with my brother reassuring him that everything would be OK and praying.

I may have also offered whatever was needed, such as blood or bone marrow, not really knowing then if they were needed.

My nephew and the incredible medical staff got his fever down and a few days later he left the hospital.

I guess that’s why I was chosen to be his godfather — because I would’ve given up anything to save him.

As time passed, I’d always thought of myself in that “protector” role.

Several years later, I was teaching him to ride a bicycle without his training wheels. I made sure that he had a helmet and pads and while he pedaled, I ran alongside to make sure that he would be OK.

My second godson was born on the evening of a nor’easter.

My sister-in-law, whose labor had started, asked me to go to New Jersey to watch the older two children.

It took me a few hours to get out there as roads were flooded. Cars were submerged on the FDR. I safely made it to their exit and to their home and a few hours later my nephew was born.

I had put the other two in their beds and told them a bedtime story until they fell asleep. They were afraid of the thunder and I kept reassuring them that it would be OK.

I conked out on the rug in their room because I was reading with a flashlight and didn’t want to wake them.

I awoke the next morning with a blanket on me. My brother said that the kids insisted that I had a blanket and stuffed toy because I had kept them safe.

A few months later, I was helping my brother paint their home and was behind a bookcase when I thought I heard my nephew say in a gurgle, “Where’s Uncle John?”

I popped out and said, “Here I am” and he began to laugh.

My sister-in-law looked puzzled and asked me if I knew what he said. I said didn’t he just ask, “Where’s Uncle John?”

Years later the kids wanted to go trick-or-treating and my godson dressed as Darth Maul.

My other nephew was Luke Skywalker, and my niece was Queen Amidala. I donned my Darth Vader costume and chaperoned them through the neighborhood.

My third godson was born to my ex-wife’s sister. I only had about a year’s contact with him because my wife and I divorced.

My fourth godson is the youngest and he’s the son of one of my fellow AMR posse members.

I haven’t had a great deal of contact with him apart from seeing him at family gatherings and on Christmas Eve. I hope this summer there may be some more opportunities to see him.

Although I don’t have the same day-to-day stories as my fellow AMR members, I have a few that I have shared with you on this Father’s Day.


Oh Baby! The Miracle in the Bathroom

On Aug. 25, 2002, one of my daughters, Emily, came into this world in a hurry, and she has been running nonstop ever since.

My wife and I were blessed with three children, a first-born son and two daughters, and then we had No. 4 on the way.

The pregnancy was going smoothly and as we approached the due date, my wife’s grandmother came from Puerto Rico to help Millie with the kids.

Let me say something about my wife’s labors: My son took two days while the third one was out an hour after we arrived at the hospital.

Each kid’s arrival got exponentially faster, which should’ve warned me about what we were in for with this fourth child.

It’s late August, the due date approaching and the kids are playing around the house.

Zach is 7, Rebecca not quite 5 and Audrey is barely 2.

Great-grandma is speaking Spanish to them, and then my wife comes out of the bedroom and informs me that her water broke.

I figure we have plenty of time since the hospital is only seven minutes away.

Bad move.

I’m finally ready to get to the car and my wife tells me we are not going anywhere: This baby is crowning!

What?! My head explodes.

My wife knows the mess this is going to be and she settles herself on the toilet in the hallway bathroom.


I can actually see the head of the baby coming out! She is not going to wait.

Meanwhile, the kids and great-grandma are all looking in and my wife is telling me to call 911.

There is no way I have time to even talk to a 911 operator, so I call my neighbor across the street to make the call for me.

Logical, right?

My poor neighbor had just gotten out of the shower and had a house full of his own kids and his neighbor’s kids.

He came over with no shoes and had the 911 dispatcher on the phone.

By then, that baby was out. Her head came out easily but she got stuck at the shoulders.

The umbilical cord was up over one of her shoulders and I had to gently move it and then the rest of her came out quickly.

She was beautiful, with thick dark hair but not making a sound. I opened her mouth and swept the mucus out with my finger and she began to stir and breathe.

Thank God!

We laid mom and baby down on the bathroom floor on some towels.

We wrapped up the baby and mom held her tight.

Audrey came back with her own baby doll and stayed with mom and her new sister until the ambulance arrived.

I was finally able to call the doctor and let him in on the delivery. He would meet us at the hospital where they would cut the cord and finish up.

I actually had to sign the birth certificate since I delivered the baby. That was cool.

Some days later, after all that excitement at home, we busted my son charging neighborhood kids money to see the bathroom where the baby was born. (He’s going to be a successful person someday.)

I am thankful that there were no complications and it all went well. It was an amazing experience that we will always remember, especially for Emily and I, and that bathroom.

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