April 5th was a typical Tuesday night, and I went to bed wondering how many days your mom had left before bringing you into the world. She kept saying you would arrive past the due date, and not knowing exactly how she felt – I had no idea we would be leaving for the hospital in just a few short hours. I can’t remember exactly what time we went to bed, but it wasn’t long until I woke up to the bathroom light coming on and your mom saying her water had broken. Throughout her pregnancy with you she almost never complained of pain or uneasiness, and this was the first time I could see it in her face. I knew it wouldn’t be very long now until you’d enter our lives.
For a few hours your mom would lay down on her side in the bed as I asked, “are you ready to go yet?” Her biggest fear at that time was that it was all just a false alarm – she didn’t want to leave unless it was REALLY happening. Was she really in labor? I remember her telling me that once her water broke, the delivery would have to begin in the next 24 hours. Little did we know that only six hours or so after this occurred, you’d be born into this world. I started packing some things and getting everything I knew to get prepared; prepared. To this point I didn’t follow the “advice” of so many people who claimed you had to have a bag packed with this, that, and the other thing a full week in advance. I knew it would only take a minute or two to get what I needed together anyway, and if I forgot something, so be it.
Around 5:00 am your mom finally said it was time, so we got in the car and headed for HEB Hospital. By this point she was in the most pain I’d seen, but still very much in control and needing little help from me. When we got out of the car I opened her door and helped her out as we walked into the maternity ward of the hospital. I remember her having to stop twice on the way in; just to wait for what I eventually found out were back contractions. Now I k new she was definitely in labor. I’m still amazed at how mobile and calm your mom was through the entire process. When we checked in, the nurses gave us a room and Nona (my mom) soon arrived as they were notifying the doctors you were ready for delivery.
It was about 5:30 am once the check out process was finished, and your mom was fighting hard NOT to push – while the nurses kept telling us to wait for the doctor (who was driving in). I think it was around 6:30 am when the first doctor finally arrived, which was extremely frustrating, because we had assumed once we checked in, they’d be there in no time. At this point your mom was dying to get you out, but they kept telling her to hold on and fight the urge to push. Easier said than done.
When the first doctor arrived, she was very calm and friendly (an older, shorter lady), asking various questions regarding contractions and checking to see how much your mom was dilated. She wasn’t there for ten minutes until a German female doctor came into the room to assist in the delivery process. Both doctors still told your mom NOT to push, which made no sense to me since your mom
was 10 cm dilated and ready to burst. They turned her on her side, working to get you flipped around to a position they could deliver you safely. This went on for quite a while – at least 45 minutes – until I saw the German doctor’s face become more and more worried, making me concerned (for what, I didn’t even know?).
When I look back at it, the second doctor was worried from the start, looking at the monitor’s as she walked in, asking questions with a concerned tone in her voice. Having no idea what the machines were saying, I assumed everything was normal. In reality, you were in “distress” and your heart rate began to drop with each contraction or push your mom attempted. It was close to 7:25 am now, and the doctor (now, just the German lady) made the call for an emergency cesarean section, while nurses handed me scrubs and told me I may or may not be allowed in. To be honest, I didn’t know what to think, or if I could even handle going into the room. It was one of my most frantic moments, worrying you might be born with complications or that your mom would endure something she’d never recover from. I had no idea what was really happening, and it all happened so quickly. I’m glad Nona was with me, telling me you’d both be fine and consoling me through the longest 15 minutes of my life.
I was amazed, relieved, exhausted, and thrilled when a nurse came in to tell us you and mom were perfectly fine and the delivery was a success! It was Wednesday, April 6th – about 7:40 am. They said your mom would be waking up from the anesthesia in about 45 minutes and they’d be wheeling “baby Kinsley” up to the newborn area in a minute or two. By this time I had taken off the scrubs they gave me and was getting the camera ready to take your very first picture. I was excited to see you – but I had no idea what emotion I’d feel when I actually laid eyes on you.
I had talked with plenty of fathers up to this point, and as many men will tell you; there’s just no feeling to compare it to. The gravity of the situation and realization that I was partly responsible for bringing another life into this world had certainly been on my mind. But without physically seeing you, I didn’t fully understand what that all meant. As they wheeled around the corner and you came within about ten feet of me, it ALL hit me at once. To say I cried is an understatement. I completely lost it – with joy, relief, happiness, concern, and responsibility all on my mind. You have to realize, I had just gone through the most stressful and scary fifteen minutes of my life, watching that heart rate monitor and seeing the reaction of the doctor as they took you and your mom into surgery. I don’t usually do this, but I was thinking the worst. Looking back, I’m still amazed they did such a major surgery and delivery in so little time.
I took a few pictures and just admired everything about you. I focused in on your blue eyes and light skin tone, your alertness and awareness (which even the nurses mentioned were a rare thing). Nona came to see you and take some pictures, then I went into the nursery area where they gave you two shots and cleaned you all up (checked you out). I continued to take some pictures and just smiled while the nurse went through the process. After a while I went back to the room where Nona was waiting and calling people about your successful birth. I started doing the same, calling my closest friends and co-workers while responding back forth with a few people through text messages.
It was a perfect day. A little bit later they brought in your mom, and she looked great. She was beaming when she finally got to see and hold you. All three of us were together and all was right in the world.
Your birth through the eyes of your mother: http://kinsleycantrell.com/everyone-has-their-own-story/