7 Years Ago She Fit in My Hand: Now She Fills My Heart

7 years ago, my wife and I watched a very tiny, blue, limp, little girl enter the world. She immediately was taken from my wife and placed onto a table. A pediatric doctor and four nurses huddled over her as they yelled at one another. Letting go of my wife’s hand, I slowly walked towards the table. Three of the nurses quickly blocked my view while the fourth put her hands on my chest and tried to direct me back towards my wife.

For 8 months, my wife and I had planned for the moment, but not this moment. This was something we weren’t ready for. With the nurse’s hands still on my chest, I attempted to get around her to reach my lifeless daughter. A doctor smacked and pinched my daughter, but she made no sound. The doctor looked up and saw the nurses trying to protect me from seeing what was happening to my baby girl. He yelled loudly, “He’s the father! He has the right to watch!” The nurses moved aside and I stepped up to the table, reached out, and held her tiny cold foot.

The first words I said to my eldest son were, “Hello, I’m your daddy.” The first words I said to my daughter were, “Breathe Miciah, breathe.” With that, her chest began to move and she let out a weak cry – it sounded more like a meow. The doctors and nurses continued their work quickly. Her cries were still weak, but she was crying. Oxygen was pumped into her body as they worked to clean her. After what seemed like forever, they rolled her out of the room and I kissed my wife before I chased after her. As I ran behind them, the doctor stopped me. He said I couldn’t go into the next room and that they needed to continue their work, but he said that that things were going to be alright.

I walked back into the room where the nurses were attending to my wife and I placed my head next to hers. My wife asked what was going on, but I didn’t want her to worry. So I lied. Just like the doctor did to me. I said everything was alright.

For the next 8 days, our daughter slept among the beeps and whistles and the constant busyness of the NICU. She was born before her lungs were ready for this world. We watched our daughter miraculously go from being blue, to white, to yellow, to a normal pinkish color. And then, finally, we were able to bring her home.

Miciah tae kwon do7 years later, my daughter is still on the small side. Whenever she’s in a group, she’s bound to be the smallest. But don’t tell her she is too small to do something; I’ve never met a more confident person in my life (besides my wife, that is). There isn’t anything that my daughter doesn’t believe she can do. It doesn’t matter how big the boys are at the park playing soccer, she jumps right in and gets into the mix. She has never met a board in Tae Kwon Do that she couldn’t break in half. And look out if she feels like she is being wronged in some way, she’ll let you know.

For the first few minutes of her life, she was silenced. That was the only time she has been silenced and it will probably never happen again. As difficult it can be to raise a strong-willed child, I have to remember back to those first minutes of when I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to have a “Daddy’s Little Girl.” When I get frustrated, as hard as it can be, I have to think of how special it is that I get to be with her for this time. Because, with the attitude she has, when she’s old enough she’ll probably leave our home and go far away to save the world, or… well, let’s just stick with saving the world.

Other Posts About Daughter:

My morning conversation with my daughter about nuts

A Father’s Pledge to Help End Domestic Violence

The Unfortunate Task of Taking a Daughter Into the Men’s Bathroom

Dads and Daughters


  1. Touching post Jason. Can relate to every emotion you describe as our daughter was born 5 weeks early and spent 2 weeks in the NICU, some of which was harrowing and all of which was an emotional battle. Thanks for sharing your experience and allowing me to remember my own.

  2. I’m glad to see that she’s doing well, 7 years later. Our twins were born 10 weeks early, and spent 6 weeks in the NICU. I’m glad we made it.

    1. I’m glad you did too. 6 weeks is a long time in the NICU. My time was brief compared to a lot of others, but if felt like an eternity at the time. I also had a 2 year old at the time and I had to run back and forth from the hospital to be with him. It was exhausting.

      1. We had the twins first, then our daughter 2 years later. It was made tougher when one was able to come home 5 days before the other. It was a tough few first months of their life.

  3. Wow, Jason! Thanks for sharing this touching moment and you did so with raw passion. It was refreshing to read your words and to have the chill bumps forming on my arms as you walked us through such a profound experience. Great post!

  4. Being a mother of two boys – I am amazed at how well you coped with the panic of the first few moments of your daughter’s birth. The experience has probably brought you all closer. Loved reading your Post.

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