It was a Friday afternoon and I had just finished yet another long day at Watauga Middle School. It was my first year as an assistant principal and by early February, students and teachers were more than eager for spring break. I knew while driving home that this may be the weekend you’d be born – I just had no idea in about an hours’ time, we’d be frantically driving to the hospital.
I greeted your mom and sister when I came home; noticing they had been to Sam’s to stock up on groceries. Most of the items were already put up but a few were left out, which I had planned on helping with once I changed. I walked back into our bedroom and took off my dress shirt, tie, and shoes, sitting down on the bed to take my socks off when I heard a crash. My immediate thought was that Kinsley had knocked over one of the barstools, so I jumped up to run into the living room. I was wearing my khaki’s, white t-shirt, and socks.
Before I rounded the corner I heard Kinsley crying, then saw her standing – looking in the direction of the door out to the garage. It was confused at first, because I couldn’t see your mother. But once I made it into the living room I saw your mother lying flat on her back (behind the couch), about four feet away from a fallen barstool, and toilet paper rolls lying all over the kitchen area. She seemed light-headed, and I automatically knew she had fallen and hit her head without her having to tell me.
I jumped up to get a pillow and held her head in my hands when she suddenly realized she was sitting in something wet. I looked down (almost simultaneously with her) and we both realized she was bleeding. But from where exactly? I looked at her knees and thighs only to notice it wasn’t coming from a cut or scrape, but from inside where you were. The impact had burst or popped something, and the blood continued to run down her legs. My immediate feeling wasn’t panic (I knew women had delivered healthy babies after surviving a car accident or falling out of two-story windows), but I knew we’d be making a trip to the hospital in the next 20 seconds. I gathered Kinsley up and threw some shoes on and met your mother in the front seat of our car and we were off.
Kinsley was fairly calm – which kind of surprised me looking back at it now. Your mother was pretty frantic and I tried my best to keep her calm. In the car she posted to Facebook that she had fallen and we were on our way to the hospital…please pray. We prayed in the car and despite the time of day (a little before 5:00 pm) we made it to HEB Hospital in about 10 minutes.
When we arrived your mother jumped out of the car to go and check herself in, notifying the nurses of her fall and due date which was just a week or so away. The passenger seat was soaked with blood and her skirt was drenched. I parked the car as Kinsley and I made it inside just three minutes later – escorted into a room where your mother was already being tended to by about four nurses. The first thing I remember looking at was the monitor they had to see your heartbeat – and it looked like it was reading fine. Any fear I had of losing you was eliminated now and the only thing I could think about was your mom’s plan for a “natural birth”. She’d worked so hard, read so much, and prayed every night to have a better birthing experience than she did with your sister, and I was afraid (even then) that this accident would crush those plans. This was the first time I cried.
Her midwife was called as well as the on call OB and would arrive very soon. The nurses couldn’t (or wouldn’t) make a determination of the next steps until Zimmer and the OB arrived, and so we waited while I called family and friends to let them know everything was now looking okay.
Zimmer arrived in the room, and as soon as I said hello, I somehow knew that I needed to leave. There’s a bond that grows between an expecting mother and their provider (at least there was between your mom and Zimmer), and I felt they needed that time to both cope with the fact that your birth would now go much differently than they expected. I stayed in the hallway with Kinsley until Nona arrived to take her off my hands, and I walked back into the room to see your mother’s eyes full of tears, yet happy knowing you’d be safe and delivered healthy all the same.
Over the next hour or so we prepped for the C-section process, and I put on all the garb they gave me, trying to remember their directions. This time would be a little different from your sister’s birth because I’d actually get to be in the room when they performed the surgery. Your mom had already been wheeled back as I sat alone in a doorway for at least thirty minutes, waiting for a nurse to retrieve me and bring me in to the operating room. I wondered exactly how you’d look or how big you’d be – if you’d have hair or a funny cone shaped head like your sister initially did. I also wondered what I’d be “forced” to see in the surgery process, not really wanting it to be much, but still there to support your mom though the whole ordeal.
I was ushered in and a crew of about twelve doctors and nurses were all performing their own task, going about the process like it was second nature. I was fairly amazed, and it made me feel better about the whole situation. I held your mother’s hand, and softly stroked her neck as we both stared at a blue sheet, waiting to see what would come out on the other side.
Not too long after, I heard a cry and all was well with the world. You were quickly cleaned up and held under a light (in a small little tub with blankets and towels) while the nurses tended to your mother and began sewing her up. I did my best not to look in that direction, instead snapping picture after picture of you before following a nurse into yet another room where they’d take various measurements and whatnot.
In no time at all they were asking me if I wanted to hold you, and I was surprised by how calm and alert you were. Zimmer came in just a few minutes later and I let her hold you, capturing the moment yet again with a picture because I knew your mom would want one.
I was able to invite my mom and dad in (Nona and Papa), and Kinsley of course was curious what you were and why we were all hovering around you. I remember the entire ordeal being much less stressful than Kinsley’s birth (once we arrived at the hospital), and all the nurses were so complementary of how beautiful you looked. They were pretty entertained by Kinsley as well.
After a while your mom arrived in that “measuring room” (located right by the nurses station) and she held you for the very first time; thrilled to have you in her arms and likely relieved after an initial scary situation. I could tell that all the planning and prepping for a natural birth really didn’t matter now. Sure, she was upset, embarrassed, and likely feeling some form of regret. But you were safe, healthy, and resting in her arms. A beautiful baby that we’d been eagerly waiting for – a son I’d always longed to have. Our family was now complete in our eyes – a group of four that’d share countless memories together in years to come.