What a difference experience makes. The second time around, our birthing story was much less dramatic than the first. It helped that we were expecting Blair to come a couple weeks early, so when she held on to 39 weeks, we were quite ready. We had our bags packed, and everything planned.
Of course, there were things outside of our control. Like how I decided to push it on Sunday night and talk to the neighbors until 2AM. Normally, we’d been turning in early and, with everything still limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it hasn’t been hard to be home at reasonable hours. Kate was scheduled to be induced on Tuesday, Sep 8, so I figured I could treat myself on the night before Monday, Sep 7, 2020.
Not 20 minutes after my head hit the pillow, Kate woke me to let me know her water had broken. For those of you that followed our last birthing story, you’ll know that there is no messing around when it comes to my wife and child birth. We’d been waiting for some clear contractions, but apparently this adventure was going to start with a water feature.
Fortunately, due to the aforementioned preparations, I wiped the nascent sleep from my eyes, grabbed the bags, and we hopped in the car with little preamble. We were also lucky because Kate’s mother was staying with us that night (we’d had grandparent coverage for a little over a week or so at this point, just in case), so we let her know, and she held down the fort in our absence.
The drive over did not feature any transitioning, crowning, or reckless driving. It was calm and quiet on the roads at 2:30AM, and we cruised easily to the hospital. Kate was able to actually take in the journey, with only a few contractions interrupting our conversation on the ride over.
We both walked into triage on our own power; no one needed to hover on a wheel chair. We had plenty of time for the initial examination and, at a good 6-7cm, we were definitely eligible for our birthing suite. We got to hang out a good hour or so before everything was ready. (And, by “hang out,” I mean Kate labored while I tried to figure out what to do after goal one of “get her there” had been accomplished so expediently.) Finally, the most intense half hour of any parent’s life was upon us: the actual birthing.
There is really no describing the intensity of the moment. The closest I’ve ever come is probably during the final seconds of some sort of sporting championship, where you feel time slows down and everything hinges on every little decision. Except in this case, as the male support in the room, you’re just sort of sitting there. Even so, you feel completely exhausted when all is said and done, which is just shameful because, again, as the male support in the room, you are on the bench with no chance of entering the game.
My wife, however, having come up through the rough and tumble Triage Delivery minors, was able to actually focus on only the pushing part for this stint in the Big Show. It probably turned out to be overkill for her Perennial All-Star type of birthing ability, as with all the expert support on the field in the form of a doctor and a bevy of nurses in an actual birthing suite, she gave it three good, hard pushes, and we had ourselves a Blair at 5:35AM.
All in all, clearly a quality start, if I do say so myself. Efficient, to be sure, but well-executed labor on Labor Day all the same.
Now, we did have to contend with some pandemic considerations: wearing masks the whole time, not able to leave the premises, extreme hand washing, etc. It was definitely a long 48 hours of no visitors before we were able to take our new family member home. We roughed it by doordashing Cheesecake Factory.
Now, Blair did have the Hofferth-standard Bilirubin Watch (TM). Though the 2020 version features a new, crazy, bedside fiber optic blanket. That, combined with the requisite pandemic masks, really made us feel like were delivering in The Future. What do you think, Dear Journal: