I can’t get the song out of my head.
“Isn’t she lovely?” by Stevie Wonder. It’s my theme song for our baby girl, Lia, who was born at 1:19am, Friday, September 26, 2008.
Yes, she has finally arrived! And guess what?! She’s in perfect health. Something I had been fretting since Lis and I had found out we would be having our first kid since Lis was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago.
Everything started Thursday afternoon after Lis had her weekly checkup. The doctor must have stuck her whole arm up in Lis as my lovely wife was feeling pain afterwards. That soreness turned into cramps and an hour or so after we had lunch she was calling me at work saying she was having contractions. I went about my business until a half hour later Lis said they were getting stronger. I told her I’d call my Mom to come and assist and if things worsened let me know. Somewhere around 4-ish my Mom called to let me know that they were headed to the hospital, Lis was in pain.
I looked around the empty office, said a silent swear word or two, then decided to make a sign and slap it on the door. “Sorry! Had to leave! Wife giving birth! I apologize for any inconvenience. Thanks! Kevin” I said a couple more silent swear words, after writing an auto policy and wishing someone were here to relieve me.
We spent a few hours at the hospital before they realized that either Lis was in false labor or just not far along for us to remain there. We went home at 7pm and Lis, still in pain, took a bath, leaned against the wall, laid in bed screaming and tried to eat a piece of bread before we returned to the hospital at 10pm.
This time she was a little farther along so they decided to keep us there. The doc checked on Lis and around midnight busted her water open. By then, my family and friends had joined us. My Dad was in New York at a dog show upset that he guessed wrong on the date the baby would be born.
At 1 pm they cleared the room.
I watched the whole thing. The spreading of the legs, the crowning, her black hair, the doctor putting it in a mohawk, when all we could see was her hair. The pulling of her neck, the goo, the blood and finally the sweet sound of my baby girl crying. I cut the cord – thanks Dennis and Ale for telling me it’s tough, I attacked it good, three small quick snips and I was through it. My mom witnessing the entire event snapped photos and shed a tear or two. The first baby girl on my side of the family since May 1977, had been born.
After that things are chaotic. We brought in Lukas to visit his sister. He was unsure what to think. “How’d she get out of there?” and a few uncomfortable laughs. He was in shock and wanted to get back to watching a movie with Big Feller. It was late and he’d been a trooper waiting up for Baby Sister.
Then we brought in my family. Lots of hugs, a few tears, and a ton of smiles for little Lia Marie.
I shed a few tears myself, more so than with Lukas. Thoughts of “might not be able to have kids again” and health problems for Lia and Lis, danced through my head. I hadn’t thought much about the new baby and now she was here. I was relieved, happy, exhausted and in love!
That evening Lis and I tried to sleep. It was close to 6am before we got any shuteye. The night had been long and tiring but very exciting.
Later that day my buddy came to visit. I got to go home and shower while he and Lukas played Lego Star Wars II. The nurses came in around 5-ish and Lis jokingly asked if she could go home. They called the baby doc and her doc and both said we could. Seventeen hours after giving birth we were going home.
That evening the same people that joined us for our memorable night joined us for some pizza and a birthday cake (thanks Ale and Jackie) for Lia.
Lis and I went to bed exhausted. We couldn’t believe it was the same day. September 26. The day our baby girl was born!