Ok, ladies and gents……its GO TIME!!! Every single crazy, miserable, funny and exhausting moment has lead up to THIS DAY!!! If you are anything like me, you are probably scared out of your friggin’ mind, right now, even if you are trying to hide it from your baby mama. Especially if it’s your first time around. Even though delivering a baby is considered pretty “routine”, in the eyes of medicine….it’s a wicked scary thing, especially when it’s YOUR wife and baby that are on the line. Here’s how our last 24 hours of pregnancy played out:
I’ve told the first part of this story a few times leading up to this. I took the girls to school (Emma in pantyhose) and put them on standby: “Mom’s having contractions, and if she goes into labor our friend will get you from school and bring you to the hospital”. We let our family in Oklahoma know that she had started having some contractions a little bit early but we were still on schedule to be induced at 5:30 the next morning. The anxious feelings, the impatience and the excitement was literally nearly more than I could bear. After all this time, she was almost here!!! Well….April’s water never broke. I never had to run around in the middle of the night like a crazy person, throwing bags of clothes around and helping her waddle to the car. I didn’t have to run red lights and screech in and out of traffic. The nearest thing to that “moment” I had, was when she went to the bathroom for a while, came back out and said, “well, I just had my bloody show”. Ok, guys. If you’ve read anything about the pregnancy, if you were paying attention in child birthing class, or if you’ve ever seen the movie Knocked Up then you’ve HEARD about the bloody show, or the “mucous plug”, which is a HORRIBLY gross term. We decided to call it a “baby plug”, just to make me feel more comfortable with it. But whatever you call it, it’s basically just a huge, bloody loogey, and it ain’t pretty. April wouldn’t let me see hers…..so I Googled it. I kind of wish I’d maybe just let that one slide. Seeing a picture of that god-awfulness wasn’t really necessary for the process. I recommend if your significant other says “hey, I just had my bloody show”, that you respond by saying “cool”!, and give her a high five.
True to form, like all the other women in this family, Gracee took her sweet time in getting here. She didn’t care that her Daddy, who is hyper anyways, was on the verge of hyperventilating for a solid 24 hours, or that her mama was about to lose her mind wanting her OUT of her belly. She wasn’t the least bit concerned with any of that. So….we waited. I tried to keep myself as busy as possible that afternoon. The first thing I needed to do was put the car seat in my truck. It had been sitting in the box in the garage for a month. I’m in the driveway installing it when April comes out to help. She’s 39 weeks pregnant and got a baby head nearly protruding from her in-between, but feels the need to come help me put in the car seat. So as she is leaned over into the truck, supervising my work, she screams….loudly. Which made me scream…loudly. My heart stopped, and my only thought was, “Oh dear Jesus, she’s having the baby in the driveway”! But no. A red wasp saw her fine, pregnant butt sticking out, and decided that would be a good place to stick his stinger. Wait, that sounded wrong. He stung her. On the butt. I laughed. I realize now that this may not have been the appropriate response, but I did. I laughed pretty hard. Thankfully, my girl is tough as nails, and I hugged her and patted her bottom (not where she got stung), and she forgave me for laughing. Cuz she’s cool like that.
Fast forward 12 hours:
5:30 am, March 29thWe are checked into our room, just the two of us, hanging out. She is cool as a cucumber……I’m a jittery mess. She gets her epidural and handles it like a boss while they run a needle and a wire into her spine. She’s a pro, and I’m impressed. I’m supposed to be the “support”, but she’s absolutely the one that’s in control. She’s keeping me calm by staying calm herself. “Calm” isn’t one of my standard emotions. So, here’s the deal. After this hard, seemingly endless pregnancy……we had the EASIEST birth ever. I suppose my wife could possibly say that I’m not in a position to say that, but even she would agree, everything went SO easily, and happened so fast that frankly, I was not prepared.
Boom…..it just started happening. The nurse came in and “checked” April and said “oh my…..you’re getting ready to have a baby”! She ran into the hall, came back with the doctor, and said “Let’s have a baby”! They unfolded the bed she was laying on into Optimus Prime, stirrups flipping up from out of nowhere, handrails folding down, the end breaking over in the front……it was like a ninja came in and samurai’ed the room into baby mode. I stood rather dumbfounded, and for once rather quiet, over to the side. I began texting everyone, “ummmm…..I think it’s happening”, “yep, it’s happening”, “omg, it just happened”! I guess that God decided that our pregnancy had been hard enough, so he made the labor as easy as possible.
The nurse told April to push FIVE TIMES. It took less than 3 minutes, and then April pooped out a slimy, bloody, little perfect and beautiful angel, the likes of which my eyes have never seen. I’ll admit it now, and only now, that all those know-it-alls that said “there’s no feeling in the world, like the feeling of the first time seeing your baby”……you were right. It’s the most amazing moment in your life. Hearing that first loud scream, watching her kick her feet and wiggle around. It’s a miracle.
And then…..the 270-ish days before this get lost somewhere in outer space. For now, at least. My hands were shaking so bad I had to steady my hand on April’s leg so I could take a picture of our new tiny creation. It will forever be the most incredible moment in my life. And most of you have a story nearly just like mine. Or maybe you’re getting ready to have your moment in the coming weeks, or months.
Just know this…..you have never done ANYTHING more worthwhile in your life. She was healthy, she was big, she had a hella set of lungs on her, and she was MINE. Yes, I’d had Abby and Emma before this, and I love them more than they can comprehend. But I wasn’t there when they were babies. I hadn’t seen them born. I’d just watched a tiny human person come out of a vagina…and that’s intense. Holy crap…
I’m a DADDY. And this is my Family.