II would like to take this opportunity to wish all of the dads out there a happy Father's Day. Today is my 18th Father's Day as a dad. I have to confess that I am a little depressed this morning since my son is away at school, and I will not have the opportunity to see him. We could go out for a visit, but since he is coming home in a couple of days, we decided to wait until Thursday.
One of the things that crossed my mind this morning as I was moping around missing my son was the night that he was born. I remember it well. The entire time my wife was pregnant, I was going with her to her appointments. I couldn't wait to be a father. On April 6th, 1994, my wife received a phone call around 10pm from her OB/GYN. He was at the hospital delivering another baby and asked my wife if she was ready to have her baby. She said she felt fine.
I went to sleep shortly after she hung up from that phone call. A few hours later, around 1am or so, my wife woke me up. She told me that she thought that her water broke. We left the house and headed to the hospital. On route, we encountered a heavy rain storm and I had to have the windshield wipers on high. We arrived at the hospital around 2am and headed to the emergency room. An initial examination confirmed that her water had broken but that our son had not dropped into position for delivery.
They took us up to a room on the maternity wing of the hospital and had my wife rest in bed. We were told that they wanted to have us wait for a while to see if our son would drop into position on his own, otherwise they might have to induce labor. After a few hours, they determined that they were going to have to induce labor as my son had decided he didn't want to leave the warmth and comfort of the womb to enter the cold cruel world on the outside.
As they set everything up for the pitocin IV, they asked my wife if she wanted to have an epidural. She replied in the affirmative. Shortly after the IV began, she started to have some contractions. However, they must have set the initial drip too high as she started to have contractions that were much too quick and much too hard. They slowed the drip down to a more manageable level. My wife was even able to get a few hours sleep, but I was too keyed up to get any rest.
As evening rolled around, it was time to get serious about the delivery. Finally, my wife was suitably dilated and was ready to enter the pushing stage. I did my best to try to be a supportive helper during the delivery. Like Bill Cosby, I was the cheerleader, "Push him out, shove him out, way out!" In spite of our requests to not have anybody come up to the hospital since we did not know how long we would be, my entire family was in the waiting room. Finally, around 9pm, our son came into the world.
The entire time that my wife was pregnant, we did not want to know the sex of our baby. Every sonogram, they asked if we wanted to know, each time we said no. I honestly did not care if we had a boy or a girl at the time. We had names picked out for either event. Our baby's bedroom was painted light green with teddy bears to be gender neutral. However, I confess, that when the doctor told us we had a baby boy, my chest stuck out a little further than I anticipated.
After he was cleaned up and my wife was able to rest a bit, my family came in to see us. My son was the first grandchild of my parents. After they left, I visited a bit with my wife and son until she was ready to go to sleep. I headed home and stopped by Grace's Fortune in Bowie to pick up an order of Kung Pao Chicken. Exhausted, I hit the bed and slept. I have been exhausted ever since, but it has been worth it.