Before going into how much of an inspiration my children are to me, I thought I would introduce them to you. Let’s start at the beginning.
On a Wing And a Prayer
We probably should have taken the Lamaze class. While we arrived at the hospital without incident what ensued was something neither one of us was prepared for.
After getting checked in, my wife Michelle was all tucked in nice and cozy. As we sat and watched some old black and white movie, I thought: “This isn’t so bad. What’s so tuff about having a baby?”
Then I noticed Michelle was literally crawling around in circles on the bed. “Are you okay?” She replied something like “No I’m wanna go home!”
This goes on for a while. Actually a long while, ever-escalating. The nurses try as they might, could not comfort her or calm her down, I couldn’t calm her down or say or do anything appropriately soothing. She just kept crawling around in circles on the bed crying I want to go home, I want a pain killer!”
Fearing she might fall off, a nurse stood at one side of the bed and me on the other -Michelle tried to crawl right up over the headboard! Well, after that she finally got her wish and received a pain killer!
The nurses were against it because it was too close to the delivery time, but she got it -right in the butt!
Soon after that, it was baby time! Without much further ado… out slips a baby! I do not know what they gave her but Michelle slipped into la-la-land and the delivery was much easier and possibly induced.
It’s a girl!
No, wait! It’s a Smurf! Why is she blue? Why isn’t she crying? Smack her butt! Make her cry!
A real sense of urgency fills the room as a team of nurses attends to our newborn. The pain killer had stopped her breathing… but suddenly a nurse turns around holding a little newborn baby. She was so cute and wait… listen… do you hear it? A tiny meaaaaw. Funny; today she goes by Cat!
“Cat” is Big Sister and was the 1st delivery to come in on a wing a prayer.
It’s a Boy!
Picture this. You are in your 3rd-floor garden apartment. Your pregnant wife is pacing the floor…
It’s been 3 years but I recognize the panic. “Michelle, we need to go to the hospital.” “Noooo,” would be the reply, “I’m okay.” “No, you don’t appear okay.” I don’t play a doctor on TV but I know panic. “We need to go now,” I say. “No, I don’t wanna.”
I needed help so I called Judy (our neighbor and friend). She comes over and takes one look at Michelle and without hesitation helps me get her down the stairs into the car and off we go! Thank you, Miss Judy!
Mind you at this point I’m pretty scared. Michelle is having a baby and I’m driving 90 miles an hour around the Baltimore outer-loop! I always wanted an excuse to drive this fast woohoo! Reel it in boy, your’ wife is having a baby over here. “Hold on Michelle no no no, don’t push!” Michelle; “I wanna go home!”
We finally get to St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore and scurry up to the front desk—as I exclaim “we’re having a baby!” The receptionist looks up and shouts “We’re having a baby!” In seconds someone is there with a wheelchair— we’re up the elevator— Michelle is whisked into a room.
I’m tossed a hospital gown. “Put that gown on and you can come in.” This is all happening very fast. I no sooner get in there and out “pops” a little boy. A stream of pee arcing through the air!
“You want me to cut the umbilical cord?” Umm, no thanks.
But I’m curious about something and ask the doctor: “What’s the big bump on his head?” The Doctor replies: “That’s where his head was bouncing on the seat of your car!”
Our son Jared was the 2nd delivery to come in on a wing and a prayer.
The Deliverer of Feathers
I forget what day it was but for me another normal workday. I come downstairs for that nice first cup of coffee I find Michelle crawling around in circles on the floor, on her hands and knees.
Ot oh; I pause for a second to reflect; yep that’s the terror crawl from the 1st delivery. Michelle’s sister was staying with us because we knew the day was near. I call her; “Cathy! You gotta’ come and see this!”
She takes one look at Michelle and states under no uncertain term; “You’re going to the hospital.” What do you think Michelle says? Yep. “Nooo, I’m not going.” “Yes. Yes, you are…”
This was the first pregnancy to go full term. The 1st was one month early, the 2nd one was two months early!! But this one was right on schedule.
We get to the hospital thankfully again without incident (maybe only 80 mph around the beltway this time), Michelle was checked in and instantly declared to be in full labor and as expected starts with the “I want to hoooome! I want a paaaaain killer!” This doctor wasn’t allowing any shenanigans.
The doctor leans over Michelle and in a stern voice says, “Listen you, it’s too late for that, lay back, be still and push.”
All I could do was watch as Michelle endured her longest delivery yet. After 4 hours of great discomfort, we had our 3rd baby; another girl!
Little did we know at the time, this one would be severely disabled and our journey “on a wing and a prayer” was just beginning. But that’s another story.