When I first heard my daughter Lincoln cry as she came out of the womb at 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning last September, I was numb, sleep-deprived, and in disbelief. The baby had arrived, and however brave a face I tried to put up, I was not ready. The day before, I had a life of my own that I shared with my pregnant partner Kara. The next, I was responsible not only for myself and an exhausted partner, but also a living, breathing, newborn daughter being handed over to me to claim as my own.
The disorientation was profound. And yet, as a father, I had not endured hours of labor and delivery. Nor did I have to carry a fetus for nine months. Nor did I have months of breastfeeding awaiting me.
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