Following the failed procedure known as the external version (see previous post), July 6th was the date scheduled for a c-section birth of our baby boy. As with all babies, his personal agenda did not align with our plans.
On Friday, June 22nd, as I left work I received a call from Kacy that she was having some contractions. I know from friends and family that unless they're right on top of each other and extremely uncomfortable, any hospital will send you home and tell you to wait. This was not the case for us, as only minutes after hearing from Kacy about the contractions I received the call that I never would have expected; her water broke.
For some reason, once C-section delivery is planned I seem to disregard the natural process of birth and so when I heard that my wife's water broke, I was in a state of disbelief even though I know she wasn't imagining it. I drove home, swiftly yet cautiously, and walked in the door to find Kacy preparing for a trip to the hospital without knowing the outcome. I had a feeling we were going to have the baby soon, but had no idea how close we were to meeting our son.
We arrived at the hospital shortly after 5pm, at which time Kacy was examined and it was clear to the nurses that the water had in fact broken and our baby was coming, very soon. The doctor arrived, took one look at Kacy and said we had about half an hour before he was going in; music to my ears. I hoped it would go that way, no beating around the bush (no pun intended). The anesthesiologist went over the usual speech of risks, what to expect, etc. They took her away to get ready and I was handed my hospital garb to adorn. The waiting period between dressing in my surgeon costume and being called in felt like an eternity. The anticipation was excruciating, wondering if the epidural was botched or if Kacy passed out when she saw the footlong needle they use to administer it.
At approximately 8:30pm I was called in the operating room and stood by Kacy's side, taking occasional peeks at the action on the other side of the curtain that shielded Kacy from seeing herself in a way she never imagined. I heard the words "uterine cut" and knew they were ready and were going in to pull out our early bird. I saw the hand go in and suddenly there's a tiny wrinkled butt sticking out of the hole, followed by two long legs that came flying out, and finally the torso and head. At first view, I'd have to say my boy looked like a gray SharPei, all wrinkles, until he was laid down and cleaned up at which time his skin relaxed and his color normalized quickly.
Gavin was born June 22nd at 8:47pm, weighing 6 lbs and measured 19 inches long.
Just seconds after Gavin was pulled out, both of my pockets were vibrating as our cell phones rang simultaneously. I didn't answer, even though standing right next to me is the anesthesiologist is on his phone. I stepped out for a minute to answer and the first recipient of the standard time/weight/length info was my father, who was in agonizing suspense after being told "we're having a baby tonight" only a few hours before with no further updates. The other phone was Kacy's aunt Kellie who was in turn on the phone with Kacy's mom, who was driving down the mountain from Yosemite. I took Gavin from the operating room to our waiting room and introduced him to Kimmy, Kacy's cousin who saw his eyes wide open for a few moments before he closed them up, before I was able to peek at them. I went back in to see Kacy, at which time I was told I had to wait in the other room while they finished her up, all the while remembering I had told her I'd be right back.
Meanwhile, Kacy's parents are racing from Tuolumne Meadows near Yosemite all the way to Folsom (about 5hrs) to meet their first grandchild. They arrived shortly after 11pm and stayed with us until our "room" was ready. What they call a room was more like an oversized broom closet with a bed for her and a wooden plank covered with vinyl, cleverly disguised as a convertible chair, for me. I pushed on and stayed every night with Kacy though, while her parents enjoyed our bed. I really wish I could have slept in our bed for at least one of those nights but I can't imagine leaving her in such a sterile environment by herself. If the rooms were any more impersonal, I'd start looking for carvings in the wall as if it were a prison cell.
After a couple of nights, we were sent home to much delight with our new son. Coming home with the baby for me was really the moment when everything sank in. This was our family now, we're home with our son. In the hospital, he's passed around so much between nurses for feeding or testing that it's not really like he was ours yet.
Kacy's mom stayed with us for a couple of weeks after her dad had to go back to Yosemite (they're campground hosts up there every summer). I thought babies were already spoiled when it comes to all of the attention they get but when the three of us were working in shifts all night long keeping our little man content, I realized just how good babies have it. Apparently, little Gavin is a bit of a night owl and when the sun goes down his ability to sleep goes with it. Needless to say, none of us got much sleep during those first couple of weeks.
Kacy's mom is back after leaving us for a couple of weeks and unfortunately it's the same as it was before but she doesn't seem to mind too much, luckily. Aside from some problems with feeding, our little man is doing very well. He's changed so much in the fisrt month, more than I ever imagined possible. I know that they can't stay tiny forever, but damn do I wish that were the way.