I Am Blind and Just Became a Dad

I am blind and just became a Dad.   

Let’s rewind quickly to August 17th, 2023 – the morning of the night my wife was supposed to be induced– and I woke up to her in labor. I knew from the time we found out she was pregnant that I would need a plan for this moment because I cannot drive us anywhere myself.

I had three separate people on call and now it was time to figure out who to try first. I quickly called my cousin who arrived 10 minutes later, and we were off to the midwives. My wife was in denial that this was all happening, but I knew it was time.    

Long story short, our baby girl arrived after 23 hours, a few scares, and so so so many emotions. We had no idea if we were having a girl, or a boy and I have dreamed of yelling out “It’s a GIRL!” or “It’s a BOY!” my whole life.

Our birthing team was amazing and kept telling anyone who entered the room that this was my dream and when the baby came to remain quiet while someone would whisper the gender in my ear, and I would yell it out. I do not know how it was possible, but we found a way and at 3:10am on August 18, 2023, I screamed out “IT’s A GIRL!” I became the happiest Dad in the world. It was the most exhausted I have ever felt but the most joy, excitement and more than a little shock. Like, I am a Dad, wow.  

How did this change my life? 

For starters I fell even more in love with my wife –which I did not know was physically possible. Watching her go through the entire journey of pregnancy, being so strong carrying a life and then bringing it into this world. She is a champion. It also made me love something more than I love myself. In a sense, becoming a father really got rid of an ego and caring about things that did not matter that I didn’t know I lived inside.

It has really forced me to put my life into perspective and helped me to not be selfish by only focusing on my personal goals. I evolved as I held my baby early on and the transformation continues still. The feeling that she is all that matters in this world forces all the thoughts going through my head to fade away.

Her life becomes a focal point for me. I need to protect her, I will always love her, and already I wish I can take any future pain away from her this life will bring. It’s like every day my whole life flashes before my eyes multiple times a day but I am grounded by the one simple truth – she is now my life. 

Fatherhood has taught me to be more present than ever before. I still can’t believe how time flies and we can never get any back. Having a child has forced a different type of patience in me than I was expecting, and I now realize how few things are permanent. It has taught me to be especially innovative.

I might not be able to do things the same way a sighted parent does, but I have found my own unique ways to really bond with her. I love making a lot of noises with her, reading her braille books, putting bells on her so I can find her but most importantly, loving her with all my heart. I will never let my blindness get in the way of being a good father.   

All in all, I think the most important thing I have learned is how to trust myself. To be confident in the way I do things and how I’ll continue to figure out how to do things as I need to. It won’t look the same and no one’s fatherhood journey should look the same or be compared to any one else’s.

The best part about being on this journey is being able to wake up every morning, no idea what that day will bring but knowing there’s a little person who loves me, wants to learn from me and is ready to take on life with me no matter what. It’s chaos at times and pure bliss at others and I am proud to be on this road with all the other fathers who have gone before me and will go after me. We’re all in this together in a sense. One love.  

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Anthony Ferraro