Friday, December 3, 2010

birth day (or, how to never forget)

as of 10:53 pm tonight, emmi has been on this side of the world for a whole year now. it still amazes me how much i remember from that day. as we know, i am more than a little scatterbrained, and i'm usually hazy on details not 10 minutes after the fact. the roller coaster actually started the night before around 1am when kathy said something i will never forget: 'ok. either i just peed myself, or my water broke...'

the contractions started around 2am, and me being the nerd i am, has to punch the 'start/stop' button on the handydandy contraction timing iphone app. folks, when apple says 'there's an app for that', they really effin' mean it. but i digress.

our first step is to labor a few hours at home, then go to the doctor's office. the act of walking into the office from the car was a 10 minute process. walk a few steps, contraction, breathe, massage, breathe....aaaand we're clear! once there, the doctor takes one looks and says, 'oh yeah, we're having a baby today.' ok, on to the hospital!

upon arriving at the maternity floor, we discovered that all the rooms were full, and that we would have to wait until a room opened up. this is where i learned the most valuable lesson of having a child: no matter how well and thoroughly you plan, something will always throw it off in some way. we had an entire plan of playing relaxing music, kathy quietly meditating, possibly even laboring in the shower to ease the pains. instead, for the first few hours, poor kathy is laying in a bed in the c-section recovery area, complete with a fresh-out-of-surgery mommy (as well as all the things that go with post-c-section), nurses constantly walking in and out, and a husband with a gallon-sized red bull in his hand constantly asking 'are you ok?'

finally a room opens up, so they roll kathy into her new private room. it's been close to 12 hours of labor, and by this time, she is getting tired and she decides to get an epidural, not so much to ease the pain of the delivery, really just to take the edge off so she can rest. it is this time that i go to get the most non-offensive smelling lunch i can find.

after a few more hours, it's time to push!!! and push!! and push! and push. and. push. my beautiful wife pushed for 3. effin. hours. there was a point the doctors and nurses left and i was the only one in there with her! after the threat of a c-section, to which kathy replied 'i have not been here pushing for 3 hours to have a c-section!', finally a little 6 lb. 13 oz. peanut made her debut.

we did not know she was a her. we didn't find out in advance if the baby was going to be a boy or girl. there are so few true happy surprises in life, and we took this chance to do it the old fashioned way - we'll know when it gets here.

only problem was, now that she was here, we still didn't know. the doctor, forgetting we didn't know in advance, turned to start cleaning up, and as it is laying on kathy's belly, the umbilical cord was covering up the telltale parts. and i was not about to go lifting it up like a kid peeking under the covers. kathy asked, 'what is it?' i said, 'i don't know!' i turned to the doctor, and he was almost out in the hallway! i had to chase him and get him back to lift up the cord to see what was (or as it turned out, wasn't) there. as i turned and got close to kathy and excitedly said to her, 'it's a girl! it's a girl!' she looked up and said, 'what??' her pregnancy hunch was that it was going to be a boy. i honestly had no clue; as long as it came out with 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 arms, 2 legs and 1 head, i was happy. they cleaned her off, i cut the umbilical cord, (it feels very similar to cutting raw calamari) and then there she was, emmi delfina.

as i held emmi in my arms for the first time, i couldn't help but be amazed how alert she was. her eyes darted back, forth, up, down, and all around as if to say, 'hoooly crap where the hell am i? that was really freakin' trippy...'

a whole year later, it is still exciting, and scary as hell, to say the phrase, 'i have a daughter.' as she gets older, i'm looking forward to doing lots of things with her, but i'm not rushing. she took long enough to come out, i may as well follow her example and take my time and just enjoy being with her.

happy birthday beautiful baby. daddy loves you.

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