I have already shared events surrounding the birth of our first child, Robert, in two separate blog posts-Thankful and The Struggle for Control. You would certainly think those events provided enough excitement for one pregnancy…but that was before he actually arrived.
One month had passed since our car accident. My cracked ribs were beginning to heal, and I was ready to meet our baby boy. Despite reassurances from the doctors that he was fine, my worry would not completely disappear until we actually saw him. So a date to induce labor was set.
Gart and I arrived at the hospital early on December 1, 1994. All checked in, the process began. Doctors, nurses, monitors, IV…contractions. He would most likely arrive sometime before midnight. That’s what they thought-but they thought wrong. Midnight came and went. I was in active labor, but something wasn’t right. Of course, this was our first baby, so what did we know?!
At some point during the late night/early morning, the doctor came in and things changed quickly. Apparently, she should have been called much earlier. Once she arrived, the whole room transformed. Suddenly it was full of additional medical personnel-a neonatology team, nurses. Lighting in the room was adjusted, and the mood became extremely serious.
My mom and mother-n-law had been with us through the entire labor process. But as the room began to transform, they were asked to wait out in the hall. So they did.
We often see childbirth portrayed as an intense experience followed by this beautiful first moment. A pink, crying baby is handed to the new mom. She’s crying and the strong, supportive dad is leaning over-everyone is smiling and eternally happy. Photos capture the moment, assuring it will never be forgotten.
When Robert was finally born, I can remember waiting…waiting to hear him cry. Doctors and nurses were busy doing their jobs and there was nothing we could do but wait. There was a flurry of activity and none of it sounded good. It felt like an eternity. Then finally, a cry. The sweetest, tiniest little cry.
A nurse brought him over so we could see him-not hold him-only for a few seconds. He was pale, almost translucent, but that sweet face. I can close my eyes right now and still see that face. There are no pictures from that moment. Time and the seriousness of the situation did not allow for pictures. Just as quickly as we’d seen him, he was whisked out of the room. Gart followed.
Our moms, still waiting in the hall, did not know what was happening. They’d witnessed the influx of medical personnel and their quick exit with the baby, Gart following close behind. He was stopped at the nursery. The blinds were closed. Now he had no idea what was happening with our sweet boy.
Returning to the delivery room to check on me, he was once again stopped at the door. I had suffered third-degree trauma, and the doctor was with me. Poor Gart, it’s a miracle we ended up having two more children.
Finally, I was in a room. Family there. Waiting to see Robert. Four hours later, we held him for the first time. An IV had been placed in the top of his little head. He had lost a lot of fluid during the trauma of his birth but was going to be ok. Once again, we were thankful.
There were birthday gifts and cake later that day in the hospital room. Because not only was December 2, 1994, the birthdate of our son, Robert, it was also my twenty-seventh birthday. A birthday I will never forget!
I think I can safely say that is the rest of the story. At least for today!