It was 1:13 pm on January 2nd 2018 when she texted me to call her. I was at my desk and picked up the phone. “What’s up babe?” She tells me that she spoke to her doctor and they decided to induce her into labor. She had reached the 40 week mark and they did not want to go past her due date. “Meet me at the hospital at 4:15 pm ok babe?” I replied “will do” and hung up the phone.
The next few minutes were a blur. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, nauseas, and in total shock. Holy shit, this is really happening! I sat at my desk, still, but my face said it all. My coworker noticed I was turning pale. I told her, “it was go time”. She was happy for me. I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I proceeded to dry heave and throw up a few times. I felt better but the nerves were still present. I grabbed some water and went back to my desk. I acted normally from this point on, but the truth was that I was terrified. Yes, it’s been nine months and this moment was inevitable. However, to get the news that it’s actually happening.. that just jarred the hell out of me.
I guess its better this way than at 2 am and rushing to get out the door right? This was a controlled exercise and both mom and baby weren’t under duress. My best friend picked her up at our house and took her to the hospital. I took the train down from work.
First person that I told was my brother. I gave him the heads up that they were going to induce and that I’d keep him posted on how she was doing and when she went into active labor. He calls me up and says “YO! I’m outside the hospital where are you?” I was surprised I told him as a heads up not to show up. I was surprised and kinda snapped at him. I told him that I’d be there in a few minutes.
I get off the train at 4:05 pm and see him in front of the hospital. First thing I do is grab him and give him a big hug and start to cry on his shoulder. He hugged me and understood my emotions as he has two children of his own. I told him to go back home because this was going to be a long process so there was no reason for him to hang out. Again he understood and I also apologized for snapping at him.
I go inside and meet up with my lady and best friend. She’s in triage and hooked up to monitors to check on her and the baby. As I walk in, I get updated and we wait to get checked in and into a room.
Side note: Why is it that there’s no human touch anymore? As soon as you walk in, it’s like “Insurance card, name, address.” What happened to “Are you ok? Is this an emergency? Is there anything you need right now?” We’ve all become an insurance card and a nuisance. I listened to a podcast on this called “I Wanna Talk About Human Kindness” from You Wanna Do What? The Podcast (www.youwannadowhat.com). Touches on this very topic.
She get’s assigned her room and the first round of labor inducement begins at 8:30 pm. The nurses and physician assistants were all very friendly and explained the entire process very clearly. They answered all our questions and put us at ease. Now, the waiting game begins.
Throughout the night, my best friend and I took turns sleeping so we had one person awake to help my lady at any given time. My lady was calm and in generally good spirits as this entire process was going on. We had her laughing, and generally relaxed.
Around 6 in the morning on January 3rd, my lady was in a lot of pain, to the point of crying. We called the nurse and she asked her to have the anesthesiologist administer the epidural. Once she got the epidural, she felt much better. Well, as “better” as it can get when you’re in the process of getting contractions and in labor.
Throughout the day, we were getting information that led us to believe that the baby would be born sometime in the 8 – 10 pm range. Around 4:45 pm, the physician assistant came into the room and gave her another check. “Yup, this baby is being delivered in the next hour. We are going to get you prepped.” WHAT!!!?? THOUGHT YOU SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE LATER TONIGHT!!!! “She’s just about fully dilated. We’re delivering within the next hour.” My girl, best friend, and I all looked at each other with a collective HOLY SHIT look on our faces. Within minutes, the staff was readying the room for the delivery.
Around 5:15 pm, the staff clears out the room. My lady hugs her mom, dad, and my best friend and tells them she loves them and vice versa. My best friend hugs me on the way out and says.. “Next time I see you, you’re going to be a dad!” Instant tears..lol.
I grabbed her hand, looked her in the eye, and told her “I love you. You got this.” The physician assistant began coaching her on when and how to push the baby out. We began in earnest around 5:30 pm. Push after push I could see our daughter’s head start to slowly peek through (yes, I watched the entire thing). After the baby’s head came out, I whispered in her ear “One more push, and our baby girl is here.” She bore down, and gave one last push. All of a sudden, a loud cry filled the room, and at 6:05 pm, our daughter was born. We both broke out into tears when we heard that cry and I immediately told her “Babe, she’s the most beautifulest girl in this world.”
My lady was a champ. She endured 21 and a half hours of labor, pain, being uncomfortable, anxiety, and in the end delivered our baby girl like it was nothing. The smile on her face when they brought our daughter and put her on her chest was amazing. It was truly a sight; mother and daughter together for the first time.
I know it may be cliche to say this, but words really can’t describe how it felt seeing our daughter born. I immediately went over to the table where they were cleaning her up and watched in awe. When they finished, they let me cut the umbilical cord and I touched her soft, newborn skin. She reached up with her hand and grabbed my pinky with an iron grip. At that same moment, she grabbed my heart…forever.
Welcome to the world Harper Avery Velez. Daddy loves you.
PS: This blog will DEFINITELY be taking a different turn..so stay tuned!