It Was the Best and the Worst Day of My Life

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Sometimes coming to the realization that we don’t know what we thought we did is the catalyst for growth.

I’ll tell you my story, its a tough one so settle in. (I’ve only told maybe 5 people this story and I only just told Jessica in April) 

In 2013 Jess and I found out were were pregnant.  I also found out that my career in the navy had an end date (that is a story for another time)

Our daughter Logan was born on January 5th 2014 only 25 weeks and two days into our pregnancy.  I don’t wish that experience on anyone.

We had been in the hospital starting on New Year’s day trying to prevent Jess from going into labor.

After four days Jess told me to go home and get some sleep.  So I did.

At 7:13 in the morning my phone rang.  There was nothing but panic on the other end of the line.

I made it from our house to Portsmouth Naval Hospital in 12 minutes,and I had to stop to get gas.

(thankfully it was a Sunday and nobody was on the road because I would have gone to jail) 

I sprinted into labor and delivery and this is where I found out I didn’t know anything about life or myself. 

The doctor grabbed me and told me there were multiple problems.

She said “Your wife is bleeding and we don’t know why, we have to deliver the baby right now”

At this point something happened that I have regretted every day since.

I wasn’t presented with a decision to make, the doctor didn’t tell me I had to choose, nobody gave me a ultimatum.

But that is where my mind went.

I never said it out loud, but at that moment I made a decision I don’t think I will ever understand.

“If they make me choose I’m going to choose my wife……….”

I don’t know why or how that came into my mind but it did.

About 30 minutes later Logan was delivered, I parted ways with Jess from the delivery room and followed a nurse to the NICU.

As I stood in the NICU and watched the doctors and nurses work their magic I just cried.

I cried out of confusion, I cried out of fear, and I cried out of anger.

I was confused at how the thought of not having my daughter in my life could ever exist

I was scared because I wasn’t sure how long our time with her would be

I was angry at myself for having thoughts I didn’t understand

As a parent, loving your child is arguably the one thing you should get right.

How could I have been so wrong about the only thing I should have gotten right in my entire life?

I’m not sure how long I stood there, but it seemed like what felt like a decade.

All I could think about was “If I got this wrong, what else am I wrong about?”

That day was the day my life changed.  Not only because I was now a father and had the awesome responsibility of raising a woman into this world, but also because it was the day I realized that I didn’t know much of anything.

– I didn’t know what being a father was

– I didn’t know what being a husband was

– I didn’t know what being a friend was

– I didn’t know what being a leader was

– I didn’t know anything about coaching

– I didn’t know anything about building a community or running a business

It was the best and worst day of my life

It was the worst day of my life because I found out what true helplessness feels like.

It was the best day of my life because I realized how much I didn’t know and that acknowledging that and learning from it would provide everything I ever wanted.

Since then a lot of great things have happened and continue to happen.

Not because of any other reason than understanding that knowing what we don’t know is most important thing we could ever learn.

When we get off the road of “I know” and we go down the less traveled road of “I will learn” things begin to fall into place.

Do we really  know how to be a good friend?

Do we really know how to eat healthy?

Do we really know how to change our mindset?

Do we really know how to solve that problem?

Thanks to my daughter I try to spend most of my time traveling the “I will learn” road.

What do you think you know that you could be wrong about?

Fern