By now those of you who follow professional bass fishing know Edwin Evers won the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. Evers came from behind with a massive final day, weighing in more than 29 pounds at the scales to beat out Jason Christie and Aaron Martens.
“It hasn’t quite hit me yet,” said Evers. “I don’t know when it will.”
I know how he feels. The reason I’m late in getting this posted is because as Evers was wrapping up his first Bassmaster Classic title, my wife and I were getting ready to head to the hospital for the birth of our first child.
We decided it would be best for mom and baby to induce, so Monday morning we were in the labor and delivery wing to begin the newest chapter in our lives.
There are few things in this world I enjoy less than waiting around in a hospital room. But that’s what happened for the next 20 plus hours. As a husband and dad-to-be, there are a lot of thoughts that swirl around in your head during that wait: Will the baby be okay? Will my wife be okay? What happens if something goes wrong?
Two hours into my wife pushing, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, she came close to losing consciousness. That’s when the midwife and doctor decided to try one last thing before they felt it was time to perform a c-section. That’s when the worry and stress and praying really set in.
Thankfully, that last thing worked and at 5:48 Tuesday morning, our daughter was born.
The next few minutes were a whirlwind and before long I was holding Jane in my arms, looking out the window and whispering to her that there is a whole big world out there waiting for her to become whatever she puts her mind to.
I’ve caught a lot of fish and will catch many more in my life. No matter how big they are, none of it will ever compare to holding my daughter for the first time or the fifth time or the fiftieth time.
Stef and I have a lot to learn as parents. We’ll figure it out as we go along. We also have a lot to teach our daughter and what we can’t teach her, we’ll help her figure it out as she goes along.
For those asking what it’s like being a dad to a little girl…well, I’ll borrow from Edwin Evers for now. It hasn’t quite hit me yet. I don’t know when it will.
What I do know is my daughter has me hooked and I hope, in this case, she doesn’t practice catch and release.
* Jeff Herman is the assistant news director at WMAR | ABC2. His main passion while not at work is fishing. This column is part of a series of columns he writes for our outdoors page. You can read more of his columns here.