As a veterinarian, I deliver puppies and kittens on a regular basis, seeing on a level more primitive than ours, the miracle of new life. It never fails to touch a place in my heart when I see the little neonates experiencing the world for the first time, and I observe mommy's maternal instinct immediately kick in as she cleans, nurses, and protects her babies with her life.
As an uncle, cousin, and friend of many who have welcomed their human children into the world, I have seen, albeit as a more heightened and complex conscious experience than the animals, the hope, excitement, and joy that a new child has brought to my loved ones. However, although I have been happy for the joy of my loved ones, and always enjoyed the beauty of their infants and watched in awe as they grew, developed, and changed with time, nothing prepared me for the exhilaration that I felt personally as my son entered this world just three days ago.
The very moment he was taken out of my wife by c-section and so bravely took his first breath and made his first loud cry, I was moved to my core with a rush of love and devotion I hitherto had not felt. All thoughts of self instantly evaporated, except for thoughts of how I could better myself as a person to be the best possible example for my child to emulate, and how I could best optimize my success in order to protect and provide for my wife and baby.
On a level of faith, as a biochemist and veterinarian, having generally viewed life on a scientific level first and foremost, I still never fully abandoned some sense of spirit and divinity much greater than our physical selves. However, since the arrival of my son, spirituality is no longer just a premise that stubbornly refuses to escape my consciousness, but exists now as an active part of my human experience to embrace and enhance the lives of my fledgling family. And while do not at this time subscribe to any one religion in particular (I am currently of the belief that there is truth in all the world's major religions), a sense of the divine is very unlikely ever leave me.
Regarding my own mortality, while I had previously viewed it with trepidation and even fear, all apprehension about this reality of life instantly faded when I met my son. Having turned the page to embark on the next infinitely fulfilling chapter of my life as father, mentor, provider, and protector, I know that I will one day part this earth having done everything in my power and to my best ability to have created a meaningful and solid template for the next generation of my family to build on. My only concern is that I am blessed with the longevity to complete my task - this is only to a certain degree in my hands, so for the most part, one can only hope.
My wife and I are set to leave the hospital this afternoon and we cannot contain our excitement as we anticipate the arrival of our son to his new home, to his nursery that has been finished and waiting for him for over four months. This truly has been the most fulfilling and happiest moment of our lives.
Please join us in welcoming Austin Lee Welton to the world, born June 19, 2008, at 10:33 AM.