Today is a special day in our family. My daughter Billie is celebrating a birthday. I had just put in a line commenting on the number of candles on her birthday cake. But then I thought of how some ladies don’t like their age revealed. Yes Billie, memory guy here does remember the number. In fact I have a very clear memory of that special day.
You came into the world at 1:19am. which officially made you 1 hour and 19 minutes over due. I remember that evening having friends over, playing cards and watching your mothers stomach, waiting for something to happen. They left about midnight, disappointed that there were no signs of anything happening.
We got ready for bed, your mother decided to have a quick shower just in case. I did my bedtime routine and climbed into bed. It was about 1/2 hour later say about 12:40am your mother woke me up. Our conversation went something like this.
mom. “I just went to the bathroom and there was a little bit of show. Do you think we should go to the hospital?”
me: “uh, uh, gee uh. how far apart are your contractions and what is show?
mom: “Have had no contractions and explained show.
me: “all our classes talked about contractions and how far apart they should be before we go to the hospital.”
It only actually took a few minutes and feeling it was better to be safe than sorry off we went. Now the Health Sciences Center is a big complex with different building and numerous entrances and at that time I still didn’t know the city very well. Wanting to be a good father to be, a week or so earlier I had driven the route so I would know exactly where to go. Everything was fine until we got to with in about 2 or 3 blocks of the hospital. What appeared before me, ROAD CONSTRUCTION, my route was completely blocked. I think panic would have set in, except there had still been no contractions, none.
Needless to say after only a couple of minutes I found our way and arrived at the right entrance. I got your mother out of the car and into the hospital. She was doing perfectly fine, so I ran head about 20 steps or so to tell the nurses at the desk. “My wife is having a baby”
The nurse calmly replied asking: “how far apart are her contractions”?
I will never forget the look on the nurses face, when I replied in my usual articulate manner: “well uh, uh, she hasn’t actually had any”. I remember a big clock on the wall proclaiming it to be 1:01 am. Your mother then very calmly stated her water had just broken. With that the place suddenly became a bee hive of activity. She was rushed down the hall, with me hot on the trail. A doctor is paged and I am asked to go to the father’s waiting room. I will be called as soon as the doctor has done his examination. This waiting room happened to be directly across the hall, so even I in my now with my increasing panic was able to find it.
I had literally no more than just sat down when the nurse came running in, saying if you want to be in the delivery room you had better come now and hurry. In the hall, I can see your mother being wheeled out of the room. Another nurse hands me what I now understand are called scrubs and points to a linen closet saying you can change in there. I done the scrubs as quickly as I can and out into an empty hallway I come. Now I had seen the general direction they were going, but exact destination was unknown. Now I am nearing full panic, I so wanted to be in the delivery room. Thankfully one of the nurses was watching for me as I came running down the hallway.
I got in there in time to hear the doctor say, “one or two more pushes and the baby will be here”. I went to your mother but it was very obvious she was past caring about our breathing and my coaching. Understandably she was a little distracted by what she was doing. Her being so engaged I wandered down to the business end of the table. I got there just as the final push was underway and saw the most beautiful baby I had ever seen come into this world.
I was so lucky so blessed. I suppose it was because I was standing right there, but as soon as you came into this world the doctor wrapped you in an appropriately place blanket and put you in my arms. I got to hold you while, I am not even sure what they did, I was just lost in my own little world of love. How long it was I have no idea, seconds likely but I was told to place you on your mothers tummy.
How can one little baby and a screaming one at that have the power to melt your heart so completely. I don’t know, but Billie that is what you did to me and still do.
I love you