|After a tumultuous last couple of days, I’ve finally had a chance to put some thoughts of the happenings of the last couple of days down and got some pictures ready as well.I’ve written this story in five chapters. Each chapter has the long story (for those of you who want all the details) and the long story short (for those who just want the gist of the story).Chapter 1: Labour Day
At 12:45 pm, on Thursday, May 27, my wife, Jennifer called me at the school at which I teach to tell me her water had just broke. I told her that I’d call her back in 20 minutes because I had a prep after lunch. She called me back in 19 minutes and told me that that was the longest 20 minutes ever. I wisely decided against pointing out to her that in fact it was a minute short of the 20 minute mark. She told me that the contractions, or something that felt like contractions, had started. She was going to take a shower. I ran around making sure everything was good for the one class I had left to teach in the afternoon. When I got home, about an hour later, Jenn was still in the shower. The time between contractions varied from three to seven minutes. Jenn told me I needed to stay calm because I felt a tad overwhelmed with all the stuff that needed to be done. So I had a quick swim (the weather was a stifling 35 C), dropped off our golden retriever at friends house down the street, and started loading up the car with all the necessities, ready to hunker down for what was sure to be an epic battle of woman versus nature. It took Jenn a bit to get ready, for some reason she had to stop everything every three to seven minutes, but we were finally ready to go at about 3pm.
Long Story Short
Jenn went into labour, we went to the hospital.
Chapter 2: Hospital
When we got to the hospital, we had to wait for Jenn to be admitted. While her contractions came in waves, I was suddenly overcome with dizziness and started to break out in a cold sweat. So while Jenn stood, leaning on a railing, I sat down the hall with my head between my knees. We were quickly admitted into a room where I decided to show my support by lying down on the floor. The doctor had a look at Jenn and what she felt, and what was later confirmed by ultrasound, was that although Jenn was already 6 centimetres dilated, the baby was in the breech position. We had been told all along by Jenn’s doctor that the baby was in the right position, head down, but I suppose this just makes an ass out of the obstetrician. We were told that the safest way to deliver the baby was via a C-section. This was something that Jenn did not want as the recovery time is so much longer and the last time she was given a “spinal” she had a bad reaction and spent much of the recovery time vomiting. The worry was that any pain would be exacerbated by a heaving stomach. I felt another wave of dizziness come on.
Long Story Short
Baby was in breech, so Jenn needed to deliver by C Section
Chapter 3: Operation
They needed to get her in to the Operating Room immediately. They told me to grab my camera. I did and as I was walking to the room I noticed that I had forgotten the memory card for my camera. I couldn’t believe it…of all things. The nurse told me that there wasn’t time to go home to get it and that they would have a camera that we could use. That wasn’t good enough for me. Jenn said to go home and get it. So I did. I was back 20 minutes later. The nurse was waiting for me outside the OR. She told me to hurry. While she was tying up the gown and putting on my mask, she told me that the baby was already out. I couldn’t believe it. Already! I didn’t even have time to be nauseous. The first thing I saw upon entering the operating room was Jenn, lying on a table with a blue sheet raised vertically covering her from the chest down. She was facing me with an oxygen mask on her mouth. She was so happy that I was there. I noticed the baby being suctioned and they were vigorously rubbing and patting it down. I hadn’t heard a cry yet and couldn’t help but feel worried. I noticed tears welling up in Jenn’s eyes. I kept asking her if she was okay, whether these were tears of joy or tears of pain. They were more of relief. Relief that I was there for the experience. That we were there together. She kept telling the doctors to wait for me, that I would be back at any minute.
Long Story Short
Baby was out in less than 20 minutes.
Chapter 4: Gender Bender
Jenn was all baby. She had carried the baby in front, like a growing array of changing sports equipment placed directly on her stomach—a volleyball, then a basket ball, then a beach ball, and finally a 35 pound medicine ball. Everyone who came up to her, felt the need to predict, based on how she was carrying, that the baby would be a boy. It got a little annoying, but we accepted it. We began to feel that it would be a boy too. So after the baby had been suctioned, baby’s extremities were not quite so blue anymore, and baby had its first cry it was time for the presentation so we could see for ourselves the gender of our little one. When the nurse brought the baby over for us to see, for a brief second, I couldn’t figure out why the baby was missing a penis. My face must have scrunched up because it was a confusing moment. I looked at Jenn with disbelief and half stated, half asked, “It’s a girl?” So, we had no name. We were both so surprised to have a little girl. I kept kissing Jenn and saying, “I can’t believe it. She’s so beautiful.” We both had tears in our eyes, and I’m almost positive it wasn’t because we didn’t have a name. We would spend the next three days, considering a huge list of names, each time looking at our baby girl and seeing if the name would fit. We finally decided on a name—Kayleigh Clarissa.
Long Story Short
It was a girl and her name is Kayleigh Clarissa.
Chapter 5: The Vitals
So at 4:24pm, on a Thursday in May,2010, our beautiful, healthy little girl entered the world, weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces. She has a length of 20.5 inches and a nice round head with a circumference of 14.5 inches.
Long Story Short
As I sit here now, typing this note as mom and baby are napping peacefully in the living room, I think of the whirlwind of activity that was the last few days and the miracle of life, I think of what is in store for us, all the chapters left to write, the “firsts” we are about to encounter, the tears of joy and the tears of pain, and then I think to myself, right here, right now, I couldn’t be happier or more excited.