The Birth

Matt Orlando
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“You’re going to have this baby in the next 10 minutes.”

You don’t except to hear that from your doctor, but I suppose after almost 23 hours in labor it’s a welcome statement nonetheless.  To know that 10 minutes from now, the stress of the labor, the 9  months of anticipation, and the uncertainty of will my child be born healthy will all be over.  In 10 minutes you’ll go from being two married people with a child on the way, to Parents.  Yes, Parents with a capital P.  Because being a parent is a title, a badge of honor, something to say with pride.  But I digress…let’s go back to the birth.

It had all started about 30 hours prior.  It was my first day working from home, in what was supposed to be over a week of working from home since my wife’s due date was still a week away.  My wife came downstairs and said “I don’t think I’m going to exercise today.”  First sign something was up.  Even though she was 39 weeks pregnant, she was still out there walking 2 miles a day, trying to keep in shape.  That impressed me every single day. So the fact that she was tapping out made me knew something was up.

A few hours later and the contractions began.  And so did full on panic mode.  You can be prepared as you want to be, but the second I realized it was really happening I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  Is this packed?  Is that packed?  Are we forgetting anything?  What’s traffic  going to be like?  So I frantically got everything together I thought I’d have another week to pack and ran it to the front door.  And then the wait began.

We waited for the OK to go to the hospital. We waited in a “holding” room while they monitored her for a while.  We waited for a few hours for things to speed up.  I waited alone, outside of the room, while they gave her an epidural.  Then we waited for things to speed up…and waited…and napped…and waited.  She was given something to speed things up…and we waited.  And then, finally, the nurse told us it was time to start pushing.

“Ok, Dad, it’s time to help her push.”  You mean breathe, right?  “Nope, come down here, hold her leg up, and help her push.”  Whoa!  We took the birthing class, I thought I was prepared, but NO ONE EVER MENTIONED HELPING IN THE PUSHING PROCESS.  Looking back it wasn’t really a big deal, but hey, give a guy a head’s up about what he’s about to be involved with, what he’s going to see.  Some images just cannot be unseen.  But I manned up, and helped her push…and push…and push.  For almost 4 hours.  And then, the doc said…

“You’re going to have this baby in the next 10 minutes.”

The room filled with nurses and NICU nurses.  All of the sudden our private soiree was like a frat party.  A few pushes later our boy was born!  After 9 months of pregnancy and 23 hours of labor, our baby boy, Jacob Gaetano, was born into the world.  Unless you’re a parent it’s really hard to describe the joy and pride you feel to see your child come into the world.  Sure, he’s covered in gook and looks sort of alienish before they clean him up.  But it doesn’t matter.  He’s your child, and all of a sudden nothing else really matters.  I’m sure that there will be many more proud dad moments, but I doubt any will outshine that first moment with my son.

Let’s Hear It!

How long was your labor?  What’s your fondest memory of the whole experience?  Comment below!