Daddy's Coming Honey!

Behold…The Little Goober!

It was just going to be a normal, routine visit to the OB. Well, not so much routine. She wanted to see what was up with the whole being-one-week-late thing. We get there and find out Carrie’s been having contractions and didn’t know it. Apparently these are mild ones, called like Brian Higgs contractions, or something.

We drive to the birthing center and answer questions. “Do you drink? Do you smoke? Do you use cocaine?” “No. No. Not since the 80s.”

“Any significant changes in your life?” “Yeah. She got knocked up.”

I took a nap listening to the heart rate monitor, and imagined being in the womb myself. And that’s really what all sleep is: Reliving the womb.

I sent out the signal to the relatives. Code orange. See, code yellow is when the belly drops. Code orange is the warning. Code red is severe contractions. Labor is code crimson. Because there’s a tide.

I tell Carrie I love her freckles. We wonder if Noah will have them.

Staying in a birthing center is like staying in a hotel where they keep checking your cervix and there’s no carpet.

You know how they say that when you’re in the hospital and there’s nothing to do but watch TV everything you see on TV reminds you of your condition? You get burned, everything is on fire; You get shot, everyone is shooting guns; You swallow a thimble, everyone is pooping thimbles.

Well, it’s true. We flipped through the stations and everything reminded us of birth. We see a woman in labor on some reality show, then another, one of them being that fourth or seventh or fifteenth wife on Sister Wives. Turk is performing a C-section on Scrubs while nurses are bouncing around his baby and JD visits his ex only for her to lie to him about not being pregnant. I look for something on Netflix and see a TED talk about dinosaurs hatching from eggs. Back to the TV. As soon as Carrie’s mom walks in the door they start the movie Grandma’s Boy. Even the American Gypsy wedding bride is pregnant on her wedding day. Are you serious? Is there a conspiracy?

But maybe we only perceive these patterns because they’re on our minds. I’m sure if we’d payed attention we’d have seen there were also people getting burned, shot, or choking on thimbles.

I played Angry Birds, Sudoku, Mah Jong—when I beat Mah Jon the fortune cookie at the end said, “Never wear your best pants when you fight for freedom.” Like apples of gold in pictures of silver, I tell ya. Carrie wasn’t wearing any pants, so there.

We had some trouble with his heart rate, and after some deliberation the doctor told us that we would need to do a C-section. That wasn’t happy news, not after all we had done to prepare ourselves. But misfortune happens, and in the end, we would have a healthy child who would love us. It’s not cool, feeling powerless, like you didn’t do anything wrong, and no decision you make seems to be better than the other. But it’s freeing to know that you did all you could, and you’re still able to make decisions that will bring positive outcomes. Medical science has yet to tell us why Noah’s heart-rate dropped, or provide us with the option we wanted despite that, but it has allowed us to bring him to the world safe and sound.

We agreed to the procedure. While they prepped her for surgery I got a fix from her oxygen mask for good measure. I was able to sit with Carrie during the whole thing. They work fast. Barely had I sat down and held her hand when I hear a baby cry. It’s ours. That first cry—whoah! The first thing you hear is a sound of distress, and yet you’re so overwhelmed that it’s a sign he’s alive and can breathe that your endorphins prevent you from fear. I look at the little sucker, and he, well, looks like a baby, and looks gross and adorable all at once. And by the way, when they first come out, they don’t look beautiful. They look more like Newt Gingrich after an orange rind bobbing contest.

Since Carrie couldn’t hold him close to her skin directly after the birth, I did. And no, I did not breast-feed.

Babies are boring and gross. They’re boring because whenever we announce they’re born all we have to say about them is how much they weigh. Their faces are all the same, they’re covered in goo, then they poop goo, they hardly open their eyes or make a face that’s not screaming or sleeping. They just sit there. But that’s all you need. To anyone else it’s cute but it loses your interest after a few moments, but if you’re the mother or father, you could hold that thing for years. And you usually do, or try to.

So he’s 8 lbs 11 oz. He’s got some hair on his head; they say it’s like Cha-Chi’s hair. He’s a big boy with big feet. He was all sleep for the first two days, now starting to cry more. He’s a greedy eater but not the most efficient yet. But he’s got all his fingers and toes, and I’m pretty sure mostly his momma’s face.

All wrapped up, he looks like a little glow worm. Adorbs.

We get home, we’re pooped, and we just want to sleep. So we do. Father and son.

For the next week Carrie’s mother is here to help us out. She’s an experienced mother and an experienced nurse, so she’s a blessing. We mostly hold him and sing to him.

I’m sitting in the rocking chair just dozing him off to sleep. We had just given him a bath and now he is content. I say to him, “now you’re all clean.” Then he lets out a long ferocious fart.


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