Friday, July 25, 2008
It’s awfully hard to describe what I’m feeling. The birth of my son has been such an epiphany of joy. Of course it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to bring him into the world and I felt so terrible that my wife had to go through such pain, but now she’s doing great and we’re so happy with our beautiful son.
The events began at about 12:30 AM on the 22nd when my SO woke me up with word that her water had broke. Half in a sleepy daze, I ran around the house making sure we had everything, which we did of course because my wife had packed the week before. So, it was off to the hospital with a cool breeze on a warm summer night.
They triaged my wife first before they moved us to a birthing room where her contractions slowly increased throughout the day. Since we were both at the maternity ward we had to activate our backup plan and have my sister’s husband (Snabulus) pick up my mother-in-law. That’s right; mom was actually on a plane over the Pacific Ocean when my SO’s water broke. Hence Snab was kind enough to bring her straight to the hospital. We were worried that she wouldn’t make it but she did.
My Dad also stopped by, and I could tell his head was in the clouds because he was about to be a grandpa again. He can be a little clueless sometimes though, because he wanted to have one of those hospital chats, while my wife was having spasms of pain. So eventually, I led him out to the waiting area, which worked out well because Snab came back to the hospital with my teenage niece in tow. She kept Dad entertained for a while until he went home to get some sleep as he had worked the nightshift.
The pain got so bad for my wife later in the day that she opted for an epidural. She found some relief for a time and was actually able to talk to her mother that had flown all the way from Japan. My niece decided to stay for the birth and I tasked her with taking pictures, as I knew that my wife would need me when the time came to push.
My wife practiced pushing several times but our son just wasn’t quite low enough until about 7:30 P.M. The Doc had stated earlier that he thought the baby would arrive by sundown. He would be right. When the really hard pushing began we all cheered my wife on but she was in such pain and the epidural wasn’t doing anything by that point. The Doc and the nurse had to instruct her how to push properly so she wouldn’t get too tired and also so she wouldn’t blow out all the blood vessels in her face.
When we were about halfway through the pushing, my mother-in-law was overcome with emotion and walked over and said something in Japanese to her daughter with tears in her eyes. Her feelings were so mixed because here was her only daughter writhing in the worst pain imaginable and yet her grandson was being born.
By this time of night, I was actually having mild auditory and visual hallucinations because I was so tired but when my wife gave a huge final push and I heard my son’s loud cry, all my tiredness went away and tears welled up in my eyes as they placed him all bloody and gooey on my wife’s chest. My wife was now a Mom and I was now a Dad. Amazing.
My niece was snapping pictures like crazy and she got a good one of me cutting the cord. Somehow all these nurses showed up out of nowhere and began weighing and cleaning my tiny little boy and also attending to my wife. He was so blue but he began to turn pink right away. He was (is) so perfect and cute too. I couldn’t wait to hold him and when I did my brain exploded… …when it reassembled itself, I just wasn’t the same person. My niece got a shot of that moment too.
Finally, when I was able to remember who I was, I returned to my wife just as they had removed the rest of the placenta and cleaned her up. We brought the baby over to suckle and my wife was so happy to finally be able to see her boy because she didn’t have her glasses on before.
Eventually we made our way to another room and collapsed from exhaustion. Ready to spend the rest of our lives caring for our little one.
It’s so strange, in the days since our son’s arrival because having him around seems like the most natural thing, like he’s always been with us. It’s a surreal and wonderful feeling all in one. I also realized that for a moment I knew what it felt like to be superhuman (sort of), because when I saw the birth of my son and held him in my arms for the first time I realized that my wife and I together had created life. That life being the little one we now live and breathe for.