I was originally going to post this in the thread Everything Changed- A 9/11 World Trade Centers Narrative http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=275468 but did not know if it would be appropriate because the moods are different.
Just a little background:
On December 31, 2000, my then girlfriend now wife, found out she was pregnant. I was awash in turbulent emotions. I was not ready to be a father and in fact, I did not think that I would ever have children. Needless to say, this was an emotional time for me. But as time went by I grew to love the person that I had not even met yet.
Ok, now,fast forward.
My daughter’s due date was 9/4/01 but she seemed to be comfortable where she was and the doctor scheduled my wife to be induced a week later.
When we had gotten to the hospital and went the labor/delivery floor, we noticed that there were no nurses. We thought that was a little peculiar. As we approached the nurse’s station, we noticed that all the nurses were in one of the rooms watching TV. One of the nurses came out to check us in. I asked what was going on and she told us that a plane hit the World Trade Center. In my mind, I was thinking that it was a small plane like a Cessna or something. My wife and I went into the labor room and I turned on the TV. While my wife was in the bathroom getting changed, I saw footage of a plane turning and hitting a tower. I saw then that it was a passenger plane but because the towers are so large, I thought it was a 727 or something. Of course this is not something that you see every day and I thought that it was amazing that someone actually got footage of it. The camera panned back and I then saw that the other tower was on fire. Then in my mind I thought, ok it must have been that the other tower was on fire and they were filming that story and happened to get the plane hitting the building. I thought that maybe the pilot got lost in the smoke and tried to correct but was too late. It was not until later that I figured out that I had seen the second plane hit.
My wife came out of the bathroom and we started watching the news reports. As the story unfolded, it started seem like it was the end of the world. We saw the Pentagon and then the plane that crashed in the field in Pennsylvania. We heard the reports of all planes being grounded and then we saw the towers collapse. Neither of us could believe what was going on.
Then my world truly changed.
At 2:20 my wife’s water broke and the TV was turned off. At 3:20pm my daughter came out into the world. There she was now. The thing that had created so much fear in me but had also brought so much joy when I finally came to accept I was being a father. As I held her in my arms, the rest of the world disappeared and it was only me and her.
Now three years later we are coming up on the anniversary of that tragic day, but I cannot be sad. For on that the greatest thing that ever happened to me occurred, my daughter’s birth. The world has changed from what I knew growing up but now my life has meaning.
It is hard to believe that my daughter is going to be three years old and it is amazing watching her growing up before my eyes. She is smart, she recognizes almost all her capitol letters, she can count to ten, she knows most of her basic colors, and of course, is getting into everything. The little bugger even figured out how to flip light switches using a broom handle.
In retrospect, even though it was such a tragic day and not something I would ever want to happen again, it was also the greatest day of my life. I hope that as we remember the tragedy and the sacrifices that were made on that day, we also remember that miracles do happen.
Marlena Ashley born 9/11/2001