The nurse went out into the hallway and spoke to the man in the sterile gown and mask pacing up and down saying, "The delivery is going so well, wouldn't you like to come in now?"
"Oh, no." The man shook his head.
The nurse returned to the mother's side, and the labor progressed
As the birth neared, the nurse returned to the man, now pacing frantically in the hall. "She's doing so well," she assured him. "Wouldn't you like to at least come in and see her?"
The man seemed to hesitate slightly, then shook his head again. "No, no, I couldn't do that." He jingled car keys in his sweaty palm and resumed his pacing.
The nurse went back into the room and coached Mom's valiant efforts in pushing the baby into the world.
As the baby's head began to exit the birth canal, the nurse raced to
the hall, grabbed the man by his elbow, and dragged him to the bedside saying, "You have got to see this!"
At that very moment, the baby boy was born and placed on the tummy of
the mother whose radiant smile shone through her tears.
The man began to cry openly. Turning to the nurse, he sobbed. "You were right! This is the greatest moment in my life!"
By now, the nurse, too, was tearful. She put her arm around him, and
he rested his head on her shoulder. She soothed, "No one should miss
the birth of their son."
"This isn't my son," the man blubbered. "This isn't even my wife. I've never seen her before in my life. I was just bringing the car keys to my buddy across the hall!"