Hello, little one. It’s so good to finally see your face! You are, without a doubt, the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Up until your arrival yesterday, your mother has been a whirlwind of energy, and in the last month I’d estimate she’s made an entire grocery aisle worth of prepared meals, labeled, sealed, and fitted neatly into our kitchen freezer. She decided, during her bout with morning sickness, that she couldn’t count on me to feed her anything with flavor, so she took matters into her own hands. Between all of that work, she’s shopped for the final few items we need, organized the baby accessories, cleaned the room, and hung the animals on the wall.
We also finally moved everything downstairs and into the office, and the door to the old exam room is in, courtesy of Mr. Scout and his trusty pneumatic nailgun. Daddy loves you, he loves your Mama, and he loves chocolate cake. But Daddy LOVES the pneumatic nailgun. When I told Mr. Scout I’d installed all the trim and woodwork on the porch by drill and hammer, his eyes got big as dinnerplates. “That’s old-school,” he said, as he shook his head sadly.
It was a good thing we got that done on Saturday afternoon, too, kid, because mama woke me up at about 2:45 on Sunday morning with bad, bad cramps and contractions in her upper back. “I’ve never felt anything like this before,” she said. It was at this point I knew your arrival was near. Contractions were short, anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, but as soon as we started timing them, they got longer and averaged about five minutes apart. Mama paced the bedroom while I notified the doula, and she muscled her way through some earth-shattering pain laying on the bed. The breathing exercises we’d practiced seemed to help her get through a little easier, but I have to tell you girl, your mama is a strong woman.
The books tell you there’s a point when things are kicking into higher gear: it’s when the mother-to-be hits the first sign of doubt. When mama said, “I don’t think I can do this,” I knew I needed to get her into the car and on the road as soon as I could. but first, we needed to get down the stairs and outside. We timed the next contraction’s valley and she hustled downsairs to lay on the couch, while I ran outside and debated the wisdom of backing the Jeep up to the front door. I settled for parking it on the lawn directly outside the hedge, figuring you would not appreciate bouncing over two four-inch speedbumps as we came off the curb to the driveway. Immediately after another contraction, we hustled out to the car and sped off to the hospital as the sun peeked over the horizon.
When you’re old enough to understand, I’ll thank you for throwing the switch at 6AM on a Sunday, because there was nobody on the road other than the three people I almost hit while trying to dial the wrong numbers for both the doctor and the hospital. Opting for safety, I hung up the phone and we bombed into the hospital unannounced, leaving the Jeep in the valet spot, and raced up to the sixteenth floor to the delivery ward.
After wheeling your mama into the tiny Registration office, we had to fill out the paperwork they promised us we wouldn’t have to fill out while your mother did her best not to scream her head off or strangle the harried woman typing at the computer. Once we made it into our room, they got mama into a bed and had a midwife check your progress while friendly nurses offered epidurals. There was a brief glimmer of hope in mama’s eyes at the thought of drugs, but I asked them to give us some time and made her concentrate on breathing. When the midwife quietly announced “eight centimeters”, I could hear the gears click into overdrive, any chance of drugs evaporate, and we were suddenly surrounded by trays of instruments, monitoring equipment, and busy nurses.
The doula was driving in from Pennsylvania, so she got in about a half an hour after we did. She was great in helping me help your mama through the last hour of labor, especially when the doubt hit her again. This was at the point when she was having problems resisting the urge to push. Right about that time, the doctor came in, your water finally broke, and HOLY SHIT, WE’RE HAVING A BABY: you were fully dilated and at 0 station.
I will say this many times in my life, and you can always return here to read it in print: There’s no way in hell I could have done what your mama did, even if I was drugged to the gills. She did everything herself with no pharmaceutical aid, and after she squoze your head through her vajayjay, she was cracking jokes with the doctor while I was sitting on a nearby chair, trying to get blood back into my head. Someday you may have children of your own, and robots might deliver them painlessly with the aid of magic Star Trek drugs, but you can always tell people your mama is HARD-CORE. I imagine the only way I could come close to understanding that kind of pain would be to drag a car with no wheels from one side of the city to the other using only my penis. Oh, and NO THANK YOU.
When you finally popped out, little one, it was like the whole world just came to a stop while you took a good deep breath and started crying: I’ve never heard a sweeter sound in my life. And, a girl!
Holding your warm little body in my hands for the first time, I felt that cliched feeling where my heart felt so big and full of love for you and your mama that it about burst. You squirmed a little, you cooed a little, and your big blue eyes blinked all around the room as if you were checking out a hip new club. And then you looked in my eyes, and squinched up your face, and sneezed, and looked at me again, as if to say, What is that fuzzy shit on your face? you better not try and kiss me with that beard, Mister. It was that moment when I realized I’d have not one but two women in my life giving me a hard time, and I was in love.