Journey to Fatherhood
Project Medishare Program Manager Dr. Wladimir Casimir was born and raised in Haiti by his mom. As is the case for many single parents, raising a son on her own wasn’t always easy for Wladimir’s mom. His father was absent for most of life, often leaving his mom struggling to provide for her son and leaving Wladimir feeling like a part of him was missing. However, the absence of Wladimir’s father in his life intensified his own desire to be a dad. He is currently awaiting the birth of his first child with his wife Cassandre. Read on to learn more about his journey to fatherhood.
Born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Wladimir studied medicine at the Université Notre Dame d’Haïti. He is a general practitioner and has served as a Program Manager at Project Medishare for nearly two years.
Several years ago while reflecting on his life, Wladimir realized he had what most young Haitians his age could only dream of: A growing professional career, the opportunity to travel, lots of good friends and a long-term relationship with a beautiful woman. Yet he still felt that something was missing — the traditional family he always wanted.
Raised by a single mom, Wladimir didn’t have much of a relationship with his father growing up. His parents separated when he was just two years old. His dad married another woman and had more children, focusing his attention on his new family. As Wladimir became older, he and his father formed a bond, but sadly their time together was cut short when his father died of cancer in 2012.
“My dad and I started getting to know each other around the time he was sick. He wasn’t really part of my history, but as we started to get closer, I felt we could share new memories together,” Wladimir explained. “So when he passed away, I was full of sadness and regret but I was also grateful because we had the chance at least to meet and to discuss a lot of things that were on my mind since my childhood.”
Driven by a desire to create the family he never had, Wladimir and his girlfriend of five years, decided to start a family. On March 18, 2017, they officially tied the knot. The following month, she became pregnant. As someone who really loves children, Wladimir was excited to learn that he was going to be a dad. Unfortunately, they unexpectedly miscarried early in the pregnancy.
“We were extremely shocked when we learned that we had lost our baby,” Wladimir said. “There was no known cause and even until this day, we don’t know what happened.”
A few months later in November, Wladimir’s wife suspected she might be pregnant again. “Impossible,” he thought. They went out and bought a pregnancy test and waited together for the results. Much to their surprise, they found out they were expecting again.
Due to the miscarriage, during the first trimester of the pregnancy, the couple was very stressed; they didn’t want to experience another loss. Wladimir did all he could to help reassure his wife and make sure she made it to all of her prenatal appointments. Thankfully, they’ve had a healthy pregnancy with both mom and baby in good health.
“When I found out my wife was pregnant, honestly I was a little bit concerned since we had a miscarriage for an unknown reason for our first pregnancy and that just a few months after she was pregnant again, but I also was confident in God that he would take care of everything and give us the strength to face any situation. Since that moment it’s been nothing but good news.”
Wladimir is hoping for a smooth, safe delivery, and is impatiently waiting to welcome his first baby later this month or in early July. An ultrasound revealed the couple is having a boy. They even have a name for him already: Yoann Gabriel. They also recently had a baby shower to celebrate with family and friends.
As he prepares to become a father, Wladimir has thought a lot about the type of relationship he wants to have with his son. He wants to play an active role in his child’s life, and nurture, guide and teach him — everything he wished he had in a dad growing up.
“I have loved playing soccer since my childhood. I used to be very sad because I could not play with my dad. I want to play soccer with my son. I want to be a role model and positive influence in his life,” he said. “I will provide my son with the best things a dad can give to his child. I am going to teach him love and responsibility. That’s the type of beautiful relationship I am going to establish with my son and I hope that I will inspire him to be that type of father as well,” he said.
After the birth of his son, Wladimir hopes to have more children. In fact, he wants three in total.
“I was my mom’s only child, so I always wished I had a brother or sister to grow up with,” he said trying to hide his sadness. “I want my son to have siblings. I want to be a father to more children. I may not have known what it feels like to have a good dad but I will know what it feels like to be a great one.”