It’s 9:58pm on August 30th 2011. So much has happened since yesterday and my life has changed once again. Out of all the greatest moments I have experienced there is one that tops all of them; the birth of my children. The most recent addition to my family is Lola Mae. My little girl has finally arrived and this time yesterday my wife was in labor. Rebecca had been having contractions for most of the day yesterday but nothing significant or close together. We ran some errands and went to the airport to pick up her mom. Rebecca told her mom how she had been feeling and that she believed that something might happen tonight. I was excited and remembered that the day prior, Rebecca mentioned that within 24 hours she would go into labor. I wondered if she was right and when her contractions got closer and closer the evening of the 29th I knew it was going to happen.
My wife had labored for a while at home and when her contractions were less than 5 minutes apart for more than an hour I called the on-call nurse. We had been told to head on in and I tried to remain calm. It was definitely surreal and although it felt like I was dreaming the sight of my wife’s painful contractions told me this was reality. We got into the car and headed to the hospital. It’s about 5 to 7 minutes away from where we live and even though the speed limit is about 35mph the whole way, I was slightly over the limit.
“We don’t have to rush there. We’re not that far.”
I had not realized that I was hauling butt to the hospital. I was already sweating bullets and I thought about how this was going to go down. I couldn’t wait to meet my baby Lola. We arrived at the hospital and walked up to the window.
“Are we trying to have a baby,” asked the nurse.
“No ma’am, my wife swallowed a basketball and is hunched over in pain because she can’t get it out.”
Yeah…that wasn’t my actual response but I did want to say something to that effect. Instead, my wife and I let out an awkward chuckle and nodded our heads and we were pointed to the front of the hospital. The hallway to the front is not that far but it felt like forever. Rebecca stopped at one point with a bad contraction and I couldn’t help but feel bad. Once we got to the front of the hospital we mentioned to the people at the front desk that Rebecca was in labor. They told us to head up on the elevator and when we got in we forgot what floor the birth center was on. I felt like a fool and jumped out of elevator and asked which floor it was. The ladies laughed at me and told me it was the third floor and Rebecca and I were off.
Once we got into our room the nurse checked my wife and she was dilated between a 5 and 6. As for me I was dilated at a 9 but this isn’t about me, this is about my wife. Her contractions were getting closer and closer and more painful as time passed. She was having back labor and it seemed as though the only thing that helped ease the pain was me rubbing her back. I was happy to oblige and eventually my wife tried out the jacuzzi tub. She seemed to enjoy it but in the end it wasn’t working. What did work was the back massage and standing rather than laying down. Rebecca started feeling some pressure and I knew she was close. She had been checked again before the pressure and she was at an 8. Our doctor had not yet arrived because he was delivering another baby and when my wife said that she felt like she had to push I began to freak out. She squatted slightly and I helped her on the bed. I pressed the nurses button and she rushed in.
“What’s going on? Are you ok?”
“She feels like she needs to push.”
“Ok, good because the doctor just got here.”
The nurse checked Rebecca one last time and immediately said that it was time. My heart was racing and my blood pressure was up. The doctor walked in and said hello. I responded with a friendly hello but I wanted to say,
“Come on doc, let’s do this! There’s no time to dilly dally!”
I stayed calm and continued with my coaching. I kept telling my wife that she was doing great and that she could do this. She had begun to push and I felt so close to her. I coached some more and the doctor said she had a few more pushes and she would be done. I could see that the baby had her head out and I told Rebecca that she was almost there. She took a deep breath and pushed with all her might. Lola was born and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I shed some tears when I saw her and heard her cry for the first time. Even as I type this my eyes are watering. The doctor placed Lola on her moms stomach and we both gushed over our little girl. It’s a feeling that is hard to explain but I felt my heart grow a few times larger than it was. Think about the ending of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and how his heart grew in size. That was me…well…minus the Grinch part but my heart grew the moment my daughter was born. I cut the umbilical cord and put on her first cloth diaper. I will admit I had a little trouble with my nemesis “The Snappi” but I got it and Lola was styling.
In the end, we got to the hospital around 9pm on 8/29/11 and Lola Mae was born the same day at 11:27pm. Rebecca did great and both of my ladies are in good health. At the time Lola was born she was the only girl on the floor surrounded by a bunch of boys. I hope this isn’t a sign of what may happen in the future but then again; Logan was the only boy on a floor surrounded by girls when he was born. It probably doesn’t mean anything but no matter how I look at it I might be in for a slew of riffraff when she gets older. It’s been a crazy couple of days. Watching your wife go into labor and give birth to your child is amazing. It truly changes your life and tugs at your emotional strings within. I’m a proud father and another chapter in my life has begun. I will cherish these moments and I have once again experienced one of life’s greatest moments…Birth.