I Have A Son

November 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm 6 comments

I now have a son. He was born on Monday afternoon via Cesarian procedure a week earlier than his natural birth due date. This was because he is large and my wife is not.

My daughter’s birth just over two years ago was physically traumatic for my wife. So, in the interest of not tearing her to pieces again the decision was made early on that our second child would be brought into this world via a common and frighteningly efficient procedure.

Accompanying me during the birth was my wife’s sister. Even though none of her three kids were delivered this way she is a veteran at childbirth and was an invaluable source of support for me on this amazing day.

Go Time

The nine-month wait was finally over and it was time to meet my new child. So, with my white plastic suit on, my booties, hair net, and mask in place I was ready to enter the operating room and experience one of the biggest moments of my life. I had no idea what I was supposed to do during this procedure so I looked to our nurse for guidance. Just before she opened the door she gave us one very important instruction.

“Don’t touch anything blue.”

Then she opened the door and we walked in to a brightly lit, cluttered, yet very clean room. Most of the space was filled with people, lights, machines, and steel. I looked around the room and saw a lot of blue. The medical staff was dressed in blue. Ok, I can see why they wouldn’t want me touching them. There were blue lids on containers, blue sheets on steel trays, blue cables on the walls. The operating table stood in a circle of blue floor tiles. My wife was sitting on that table being attended to by a bustling medical crew. Fortunately, she wasn’t blue.

We were told to stay put a few feet from the table while the crew prepared for surgery. It was during this time I began to feel the weight of what was about to happen. I looked at the lights, the tubes, the trays of steel implements and began to get light-headed. Don’t lose it now, I told myself. For about a minute I struggled to maintain focus and looked around me for a direction to fall that would cause the least damage.

Then suddenly we were told to go to the other side of the operating table by leaving the room and entering via the other door. I can only assume it was because of the blue floor tiles. That quick walk was enough to shake me from my temporary dizziness.

Back in the room I was given a stool to sit on next to my wife at the head of the table. A blue sheet went up between us and her big belly. There was a 10″ x 10″ plastic window in the sheet for us to view our baby during the big moment. Thanks, but I had no interest in seeing my wife being cut open.

While the doctors began their prep work I sat with my wife, held her hand, stroked her hair and told he how proud I was of all of the work she had done to prepare us for this day. It was the best I could do to protect the most important person in my world from harm. I may not have helped calm her but it sure helped me.

Soon the doctor did what I later learned was called “surgical pause”; he announced what was going to happen. This step prevents people from receiving heart transplants instead of appendectomies.

Our doctor firmly announced, “We are doing a primary Cesarian because there is an enormous baby in there…”

Slice, Slice, Baby

For all I know the doctor then simply drew a sword and slashed my wife open. Because in what had seemed like only a minute’s time they were telling us the baby was on the way. I heard my wife’s sister give that unmistakeable gasp that happens when you witness a baby first emerging from its mother. I couldn’t help but look now.

Suddenly I heard a baby crying. The doctor shoved our newly born up to the little window for us to see. All of my nervousness gave way to tears of joy as I saw my son gasping and roaring to life. He was covered in blood and slime and shuddering from the shock of leaving his comfortable home inside Mom.

He was also blue.

Once the cord was cut an assistant whisked our new child over to a bassinet a few feet away to be cleaned up. I was torn between wanting to go with him and staying with my wife; both of them were in such vulnerable states. But then my sister-in-law went to see the baby and I felt relieved that our little one was being looked after by trusted family. That gave my wife and I a moment to finish our tears and joke about just what the heck we were going to do now. A son!

The doctors quickly began the process of stitching and stapling my wife back together. When she felt more comfortable she encouraged me to go see my new son.

Now that his lungs were working he was a healthy, vibrant pink. The assistant wrapped him up in a blanket, wiped away the last of the birth goo and gently handed him to me. I rejoined my wife and together we held the newest member of the family.

The labor and eventual delivery of my daughter took almost 24 hours. From the moment I walked in to the operating room to the delivery of my son was 24 minutes.

The Calm During the Storm

As I write this I am laying on the little Dad mattress in our hospital room. It’s after 3AM and I am wide awake, listening to the pouring rain. Frequent visits by nursing staff through the nights and copious amount of coffee during the days have ruined my sleep pattern. In the dimmed light I can see my wife is sleeping peacefully under the merciful guidance of a pair of Percoset.

This wing of the maternity center is filled with five new patients ready to deliver babies. In the room next door a woman is moaning, yelping, and screaming her way through labor. If I manage to fall asleep now I will certainly dream of being in a haunted house.

It is amazing how we can translate all of the pain, blood, and terror of childbirth into a welcome and meaningful process. Had I witnessed the events that brought my child forth in any other context I’d have run screaming for a priest. It is no wonder that people who receive their children alive and healthy through it all consider themselves blessed.

And blessed we certainly are because after nine months of growing and planning, anxiety and anticipation, we have welcomed our son into this crazy world. Now a new kind of joy and pain begins – learning to be a father to a boy.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joe  |  November 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I don’t know what to say. You told an incredible story. Congratulations and you will both be awesome parents is about all I can say now.

    Reply
    • 2. Hop Dad  |  November 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      Joe! It was an incredible experience that needed to be put in writing. The memories can fade quickly, as well as the opportunities to do the actual writing so I had to get it done fast. Life just got a whole lot busier.

      Reply
  • 3. Auntie Jo  |  November 24, 2011 at 7:39 am

    What a beautiful story, especially to read on Thanksgiving morning,, almost felt like I was there!! Congratulations again!

    Reply
    • 4. Hop Dad  |  November 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Auntie Jo! It has been a crazy week. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday and thank you for reading my post!

      Reply
  • 5. Happy Birthday, My Big Boy « Hop Dad  |  November 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    […] have your mother’s eyes. It was the first thing I noticed about you on the day you arrived. Since that glorious day you have grown into a big, strong, happy child; happier than I ever […]

    Reply
  • 6. Four in the Morning | Hop Dad  |  November 21, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    […] upon a time there was a Dad who had a son, a son who was the joy of his life. On one cold, November morning this Dad woke up earlier than he […]

    Reply

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