Even though our appointment (if you could call it that) was scheduled for 5:30 PM, I continued to work thoughout the day to keep my nervous mind busy. For any fathers out there, or new fathers to come, I don’t think there is any way to not be nervous about the birth of your first child. I asked the big man upstairs to hold my hand as I plunged into the great unknown of new life. Since my wife Katie had gone almost ten days past due, the doctor decided to induce for the safety of her and the baby. We checked into the hospital and started to get settled before they started the pre-induction dialition. The plan was to start dialating her and then induce labor in the morning and let nature take its course from there. The first couple hours went pretty smoothly and then with the contractions steadily increasing things got pretty interesting.
The absolute worst part about the whole process is seeing someone you love in pain and there isn’t much you can do besides comfort them. By midnight, Kate’s contactrions had grown strong enough that they were too painful to lay or sit so we started doing laps around the hosptal floor. We would walk for a couple minutes then when a contraction started she would throw her arms around me and yelp. There was a couple things that made matters worse. First, Katie took the recommended sleeping pill to get her rest prior to the big day, but the contractions were too strong to sleep, so I was walking around with a stoned zombie having contractions. Secondly, AND WORST OF ALL, there was a mix up and Katie’s stir fry she ordered for dinner was not gluten free. Katie is celiac and very allegic to gluten so I’m betting you are guessing where I’m going with this. YUP, straight back to our room and in a BIG hurry.
By the time the first rays of light came creeping through the hospital room window we realized we hadn’t slept a wink. This quote by Norman Maclean sums it up quite accurately and nicely. “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.” We were now both stoned zombies from sleep deprivation and I couldn’t believe Katie had to give birth! The doctor was soon to come in and we were going to start Pitocin (labor inducing drug) to really kick start Maclean’s arrival into this world. Before things got too hot and heavy Kate’s mom delivered me a thirty seven shot latte so I could get through the day. By the time I had got back to the room Kate’s contractions were already narrowing and the pain was steadily increasing. It wasn’t a couple minutes later and she literally had tears shooting out here eyes during contractions so she asked for the epidural.
After what felt like hours watching Katie in pain, a nurse went to check and said she was dilated to an 8 and it wouldn’t be long now until it was time to have our baby. Both being very happy and excited, I held Kate’s hand and told her how strong she was and how good she is doing. I whispered in her ear that it wouldn’t be long until we meet our little girl. And then it happened, and it happened fast. Thinking it would be go time the nurse checked Katie to see if she was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. Katie was in fact fully dilated but we had a huge problem. When the nurse got done checking Katie I could she had a very scared look on her face. Being new to the birthing process I kept patient and confident. After consulting with the other nurse they told us that our precious little angel Maclean was breach (meaning she was head up and not down.) The nurse said what no parent ever wants to hear, “we have an emergency and have to go into surgery immediately.”
We did a one-eighty from almost starting to push to a serious emergency to save our baby girl’s life. Everything in the room became very dark and you could feel the panic amongst everyone. All I can remember is cords being ripped from walls and oxygen masks and papers to sign in a huge hurry to get Katie to the emergency surgery room. At this point it was a race for time to get Maclean out of Katie before it was too late. Remember how I said I asked the big man upstairs to hold my hand…well let’s just say I squeezed tighter than I ever have. Katie didn’t want to let go of my hand as they wheeled her off and I told her everything will be just fine and that I loved her. They consulted me that I would have to wait until the surgery room was prepped before I could join my wife. I can promise you there is no longer fifteen minutes in this world than sitting there terrified waiting to see my wife.
When they finally came and got me Kate was already cut wide open in the hurry of getting our baby out in time. I quickly sat down beside her face and kissed her and said everything would be ok again. A few moments later the doctor said, “Trevor, here is your daughter,” and I watched him lift a tightly curled ball of white paste from Kate’s tummy. Hardly recognizing she was human a quick little “wah” came from her precious mouth. Then her little arms and legs started to kick and they quickly took her over to the heat lamp. With her heart rate very low I didn’t know if she was going to be ok and all I could do was pray and try and hold the tears back. She was the most precious and beautiful thing I had ever seen. She was the biggest fish I ever caught! Once she was stabilized enough I carried her over to her momma and let them be face to face while the surgeons finished putting Katie back together. After Katie was ready for the recovery room we placed our sweet little six pound two ounce and almost twenty one inch baby skin to skin on her momma. This was as beautiful as the sunrise on the eastern Montana skyline or the fall tuxedo of the male brook trout.
To make a long story short we had a few other complications we are still ironing out, but our beautiful little girl is now home safe and sound with us. We sure do appreciate all the continued prayers and thoughts…it means so much to us! We had a prolonged stay of five days in the hospital because of the emergency birth of our daughter. The docs had to keep a close eye and both Katie and little “Max” to ensure everything would be ok. She is now sleeping wonderful through the nights and is already best pals with our Lab “Pika” and our English setter “Dixie.” Katie is having a bit of a tough time recovering from the surgery, but all in all she is a tough gal and I couldn’t be more proud of her for everything she endured and how brave she stayed! We feel so blessed for the opportunity we have been granted and the chance to be parents to this beautiful child. I am the luckiest man alive and have never loved so much. And guess what…I am already an expert poopy diaper changing machine!!
Here is a quick funny story to lighten the mood after our big scare
It was Maclean’s first trip to the pediatric office and I kept giving Katie crap about how tight her car seat was. She is just so tiny I was afraid it was going to squish her. As Katie was checking in I was looking at Max and she started to turn bright red and it sounded like she was coughing and choking. As I panicked thinking she was choking, I threw her blanket on the floor. Katie being a germaphobe, and not knowing what was going on, came over to tell me that the floors are dirty and not a place for her blanket. I interrupted her, telling Kate that Mac was choking. Katie pushed me out of the way in a panic to get her unfastened from the car seat and quickly got her into her arms and started patting her back. Before I could have a heart attack, she made another very loud noise…but this one didn’t come from her mouth. She is going to kill me someday for telling this story but it’s just too funny not to share. What I thought was my daughter choking was her intense concentration of letting the big one rip. I think the nurses in the next office building heard Maclean fill her diaper. Sharing a great laugh with the office gals we asked what direction to the changing room…ha ha ha!!
(Written by Trevor Johnson of Kit’s Tackle)