We protect them from everything that could possibly hurt them, and then we have to take them in to get poked with needles. Pediatricians recommend we vaccinate our babies because the diseases they prevent hurt a lot more than the shots, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to watch.
That’s something new dad Antwon Lee recently learned when he took his 2-month-old son, Debias King, in for his vaccinations. The moment was captured on video and went viral because parents who’ve been there can’t stop sharing it.
When the video starts, Lee’s remaining as stoic as possible, giving his beautiful baby boy a little pre-shot pep talk.“You’re gonna stay strong,” Lee says, looking down at Debias (and maybe to himself as much as to the baby). “I know you’re gonna cry, but it’s okay to cry,” Lee tells his baby boy.
The new dad’s emotions were especially raw, as he’d just been told his father had been hospitalized after complications from alcohol abuse.
"That day I had got a call from my sister, who said my father was in the ICU,” Lee tells Motherly. “When I got down there to go see him there were all these tubes hooked up to him. It was a bad day, it got kind of terrible,” Lee explains, adding that just hours after his son’s immunization appointment he learned his own father had passed away.
Video viewers can see Lee was feeling emotional that day, and when the needles come out, so do the tears. Lee seems to feel each poke as much as Debias does, crying out in pain along with his baby boy. His sobs hit fellow parents right in the heart, because we all know how hard it is to have to say “I know it hurts”, to a baby who can’t know why they’re being hurt.
"I felt his pain," Lee told Motherly "But at the same time it felt good to grab him and let him know that he was going to be alright. At the end, you see how he stopped crying—that was a beautiful moment for me.”
Lee says he didn’t realize his girlfriend was recording the beautiful moment, but after she showed him the video he decided to share it online in the hopes of encouraging other fathers to allow themselves to be emotional.
Anyone who’s held a newborn while they wailed through those shots knows how much it can hurt to hurt the one you love the most, and it’s clear Lee’s video is resonating with other parents. This video has been watched more than 11 million times now.