Someone told me I would want to write out exactly what happened when Jackson, my son, was born so one day I could tell him everything. So I started working on this close to when he came. We will see how much I remember.
Friday February 20, 2009
10AM – I am heading out to eat lunch with my brother and do some afternoon prep for a DNOW in NW OKC
10:11 – Get a text from my wife. Says the following. “Just totally lost all of my mucus plug.”
10:12 – Dry heaves set in. My wife is gross.
10:14 – Get this text to follow: “I got a spoon so I could get the plug out of the toilet and look at it.”
10:15 – I am now screaming how gross it is. Then she calls to see if I am grossed out. I am
11:00 – Meet my brother Kurt. He is more squeamish and weak-stomached than I am. I inform him about the mucus plug. He is quite offended.Time passes. Things are moving along. My very pregnant wife is eating dinner with a friend. Then they will drive over to hear me speak Friday night. Before she gets there, she sends me this text at around 5PM.
5:00PMish – I wonder if my water broke.
We (meaning she) decides to wait until after I speak to call the hospital and see if we should come in. We live in Newcastle. We are going to deliver at Mercy. After I speak, she calls Mercy. They ask her some basic questions. She answers honestly. They tell us to get out fannies to the hospital.
9:30PM – We get our fannies to the hospital. We are admitted. She is pushed in a wheel chair. She loves that.
9:31 – David the head ER nurse sprints away with my wife in his wheel chair. I struggle to keep up. Apparently David has had to deliver a baby in the elevator and refuses to do that again, hence the rapid pace. (after going through all the mess of birth, I don’t really blame him)
9:40 – A piece of paper is brought in to confirm whether or not we are in labor. If it comes out blue, we are staying and having a baby.
9:41 – It is blue.
9:42 – I pass out briefly.
9:45 – We make some preliminary phone calls and texts. Jackson will be here by Saturday night. We are waiting for a new room.
9:50 – The wife complains about the ugly small room we are in presently, while we await the Birthing Suite.
10:15 – More complaining about the yucky, ugly room.
10:30 – We get into our room that we will be in until Sunday. Her mom and dad arrive. They are planning on staying until they have a grandson. Which means sleeping will not be happening on the love seat and foldy chair we have.
11:00 – We meet out nurse. We like our nurse. We will like all of our nurses. She explains that the wife is still at a “2.” You have to be at a “10” before baby comes. “2” is a long way from “10” I think to myself.
11:30 – Apparently it is not THAT far away. They give her this medicine called pitocin. It will inflict crazy pain on her innards and help speed things along.
12:30 – The pain of contractions are now enough to merit the epidural – or Cousin Eppy. Cousin Eppy will be the second most anticipated arrival all weekend for my wife and me.
1:30 – Eppy is administered. I watch as much as my weak stomach can handle. Which is surprisingly a lot. That epidural needle…intense….getting woozy right now typing…
2:30 – She is not feeling the pain so much. Her legs are wobbly and heavy. Her feet are rather tingly. She will not be in the bed until well after Jackson comes. Apparently her legs will be all higgledy piggledy for a spell. Now she knows how I felt when I got the mucus plug text.
During the next eight hours we called brothers and mothers and family and friends. Her brother Ward made the trip home from a fly fishing retreat to be there. My brother Kurt and his family await word on when things start getting serious to come up. My mom agrees to come up after Jackson comes so she won’t be in the way!? My mom is different, to say the least.
The Loveseat: Her parents curl up into some awfully uncomfortable-looking human pretzel on a little loveseat. We will find out later Saturday night that it pulls out into a full fledged sofa. Thanks to all of those nurses who came in to poke, prod and fidget with my wife who never told my poor in-laws that it expanded.
Her brother Ward arrived at about 7AM. My brother and his family made it around 10ish although my sister-in-law arrived before that. About then things speed up significantly.
10AM – People are beginning to show up. Julie, Ward, his girlfriend Reese. Some friends from church in Newcastle. My brother and his family.
10:30 – She is about a “6” even after all of that action. Nurses have changed and now we have the one who will be there when Jackson comes. Our doctor (well, HER doctor) is unavailable but not to worry, another doctor from the same office, Dr. Wayman, will be there to deliver and she is great too.
11:00 – We meet Dr. Wayman. She is small. But that size will prove to be deceptive.
11:30 – The nurse clears the room so we can check and see what number we are now. I am assuming “7” or “8” tops. HOLY COW we are a “9 1/2!” I ask her to tell the family to head to the waiting area since we are getting close.
12:00 – The nurse begins working with Danielle on practicing pushing. About that time, I am basically just window dressing. I better be there but don’t say or do anything. This is the moment when most dads acquire or develop the “dad’s blank stare” as we realize that women are crucial to the world, the planet, our species. They will be so involved and have to shove and sweat and bleed and move and create. My part was essentially over back in early June. So I just stare.
1:10 – After trying many different pushing techniques, all working different muscle sets, Danielle and Jackson are ready. The doctor comes in. A tech comes in. Some nursery type person comes in. I have two important jobs in the delivery. Three i
f my stomach holds up.
1) Cover the TV with a sheet so the wife won’t see anything horrifying reflecting back at her.
2) Take pictures.
3) Cut a chord.
I am holding the camera, ready with fresh batteries. The TV was covered back around noon thirty. I am still having the internal argument over cutting the chord. A room full of woman pushing and bleeding or standing and working in all that life-giving goop. And I may or may not cut a chord. We will see. After that, maybe I can get all these ladies a tea or something. Craig = nansy pansy.
The doctor arrived. Danielle is in position. And she is shoving. Pushing. Working it like a summer job. She is a great pusher now. Her first start back around noon was not so successful.The nurse said, “Okay, Danielle. Let’s practice pushing.”
Danielle squints her face and pushes.
“Not so much with your face.”
But now she can push. She pushes and strains for three straight ten counts. Then a rest. Then the doctor performs what I now call “The Maneuver.” I saw it. Holy-God-sitting-on-the-highest-throne-in-Heaven-with-Jesus-right-next-to-him I SAW IT. And MAN was it impressive. Then she tells Danielle to push.
Danielle pushes. It was impressive. The doctor was even impressed by it. Danielle hulked out. “Whoa! What was that! That was a huge push. Okay, Danielle, a gentle push.”
A gentle push. Some wiping and cleaning. A catch-all on her stomach. And there he is.
Jackson is laid out on my wife’s stomach.
Some men get emotional. Some cry. Some weep. I wiped away a tear or two later that day. But when he came out I was just overwhelmed. It was really cool. And really gross.
But there is nothing like it. Nothing at all. I texted my brother-in-law to tell him he was an uncle. And that was how the rest of the world heard about Jackson Ward first. I texted Ward: “Holy cow! You are an uncle!”
Then I texted my brother the important stats and snapped a picture or two. Then I cut the chord. And kept the scissors. Cause that is how I roll.
I gently kissed my wife and told her how beautiful he was and how proud I was of her. Then they poked and prodded and did what they do to newborns. After that flurry my wife asked for it to just be our family for a bit. It was quiet. Jackson was there with us. My wife and son.
Then I was sent to get and gather up people two by two. My brother Kurt brought her some lunch. And then a few hours later Danielle would send me out to finish speaking that night at the DNOW. I thought it was some spiritual female intuition. Some insight into God’s will that she possessed after child birth. Besides, I saw what she did. I am not screwing with her after that. She wants me to quack like a duck in a speedo, I am doing it. But she just wanted to guarantee that I got the paycheck. So I spoke. I ate two bean burritos from Taco Bueno to celebrate. One for her. One for Jackson.
Then I spent my first night with my wife and son and a converted love seat.
Since then? I am not exhausted. I am slightly tired. I refer to it as “an hour short of normal.” But I think I have been like that my whole life. Jackson is a sweet and cute and awesome little dude. And everyone who holds him falls absolutely in love with him. That is the truth. He is the coolest person.
Now I cannot wait to hear him laugh. I know that comes later but still I hope that I get to hear his first laugh. I hope it is in response to something silly or stupid that I do for him.
And my wife? She is absolutely my hero. I think every dad feels that way, deep down. Their wives are their heroes. And their kids are their everything. At least that is how I feel. I cannot wait until Jackson wears his Beatles shirt and listens to my ipod.
Ed. note: I did get the first laugh. He was sitting on my chest and I was holding him and doing crunches and I would get my face right next to his and he would laugh and laugh on each consecutive crunch. He has never laughed at that again. I try all the time.
From the husband of Danielle Wulf.
Father & Son image here.
Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I’ll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I’d love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.