That was the last reason that would make April 20th so special in our family. A milestone. But we plan, and God has his own planning. My grandson was not born on April 20th (the due date), but rather a week later, on April 27th.
Now that I have turned 60, people have been asking me what and how I felt.
Honestly, my answer is “I don’t know.” I cannot describe my feelings. Part of me is in disbelief that I have lived long enough to see the first of my grandchildren. Part of me is happy. Part of me was worried about the health of my daughter-in-law during the childbirth, and the health and wellbeing of my grandchild.
As a father, I have witnessed the birth of all my children, except for Dua’s birth, because I was working in Saudi Arabia when Dua was born in Jordan. I saw her for the first time when she was 3 weeks old. So, I experienced firsthand as a husband what expecting mothers go through during childbirth.
As a doctor, I have witnessed a large number of births, many years ago. In fact, as I mentioned in a prior post, I had delivered a large number of babies as a medical student and intern back in Jordan.
I am also fully aware as a family member of how unknown the unborn child could be, from our experience with Jinan. Jinan had not shown a major sign of abnormality before she was born, but when she was born, we were shocked by her facial appearance and flabby muscles. What struck me was that she had not cried after birth (the universal sign of birth), and never thereafter till she passed away, as I described in the aforementioned post.
When Malak (and we had the name ready for her) was about to be born, I grew more and more scared by the day: Will Malak be born healthy?
As a doctor, I have encountered many babies in obstetric wards who were born with various diseases and problems, or even worse, who were stillborn.
And so when I was asked how I felt this last April 20th, I would answer that I have mixed feelings when I was expecting my first grandchild. As a doctor, a father and a grandfather, as I was waiting the birth of my first grandchild, deep inside, there was nothing I could have done other than praying.