Name: Damarqio Williams | City: Detroit, MI | IG: @detroitfather
Take us through your thoughts the moment you realized your child was ready to come into this world.
The moment when you realize that your child is about to enter the world feels like time just stops and nothing else matters in the world. I have been in this space several times, but the time that stands out the most was with my last son, Joseph. We anticipated his miraculous arrival for many months because he was diagnosed early in his development with Trisomy 13 . I can remember the day my wife began having compilations with preeclampsia (a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure). I was really nervous and quite honestly scared that I would loose both my baby and my wife.
What were your physical, mental, and emotional feelings while in the delivery room as your child was entering the world.
In the labor and delivery room, there is a quite and unspoken anticipation as you child is making their arrival into the world. It is both mentally and physically exhausting; and sleep is virtually impossible. I can remember physically supporting my wife and doing everything I can to make the process most comfortable for her. I wanted to preserve as many emotions as I could because we knew that even if our son, Joseph survived the delivery process, we may not have much time with him after his birth.
Describe what it felt like holding your child for the first time?
I felt a great sense of hope. To know that though many doctors and specialists told us that we should terminate our son’s life due to his condition, but to hold him if only for a few moments as he struggled to breath was important. As a parent and especially as a father, my role is to protect and shield my children from the dangers of this world. Holding my son validated that goal.
Do you have any advice for fathers who are expecting for the first time?
The single greatest thing you can do for your child is to be PRESENT. You will make mistakes and may not know what to do in every situation, but if you are active in your child’s life starting from that delivery room, they will always know that they are loved and valued.