So this week's entry comes from Will instead of Angela. Yes, you can 'switch off' if you want :-). For those who are still here, the reason I'm writing here is that I wanted to write Henry's birth from my point of view. I'm no great writer - I'm certainly not as good at this as Mummy Angela, but still - Henry may one day read this and maybe it will be good for him to hear from his daddy at this wonderful occasion. I hope you enjoy…..Will xxxx
One Moment. That's what it comes down to. One Moment.
Awoke at 7am after Angela had a rough night. She was up all night struggling with never ending contractions. What an amazing woman. Really, amazing. To endure that much pain, through the night with no sleep without complaint, without shouting and screaming at the world. Amazing. In fact, she came into the bedroom at 7am (after having me sleep for the night to be 'fresh') to not complain but state, in a stressed but calm voice, 'Will…….Can you take the dogs out and feed the cats? Gus is REALLY annoying." See….amazing woman.
I went into 'nesting mode' whilst Angela rode the waves of pain. Got everything ready and tried to stay out of Angela way. I know that most people might be underfoot, but I considered it and thought it was best to quietly be in the background and let my cheek cheek just 'be'.
At around 9:15am, after getting ready and bathing Angela said 'Will - I think I'm ready to go to the hospital".
It was a gray day as we drove to the hospital. It was really windy and wet all night. Perfect day for a baby.
After checking in at the ER we were brought upstairs to room 229. Henry's room.
The next two hours were a flurry of activity. IV's, blood works, Cervix check (engage guy disturbal mode..) - the works. At first, Angela was worried that we had come to the hospital too soon. Every nurses nightmare, apparently. After being told that she was dilated to 4 to 5, all worry of that went away. We came at the right time.
After about an hour and a half, Katie (the superhero according to Angela) administered the epidural. Sitting up, Angela had a needle inserted into her spine. Into her SPINE, Henry! All to help your arrival. Halfway through the procedure the weather turned….Tornado watch led to a Tornado warning led to Angela's bed being moved from the window. Perfect day to meet our boy.
After so much activity (both inside the hospital and out) - the storms cleared, literally and figuratively - the Tornado warning passed, the light were dimmed and then it was just the parents to be. Angela was in good spirits, not wanting to sleep. Excited. She moved from a 4-5 to a 6 within an hour. By 1pm she reached a 7. Does this mean he's coming?….No…..more waiting.
Throughout the course of the afternoon, we sat, talked, laughed and waiting to become parents. Angela didn't sleep at all. Over 24 hours without sleep. What a trooper.
At 4:45pm, Doctor Osburn arrived. After checking Angela (she's was an 8) she discussed and broke Angela's water at 4:50pm. Daddification imminent…..
One moment to remember forever.
7:15pm - some activity. The nurses changed shift and the nursery nurse arrived and started preparing Henry's 'table'. All this preparation for the arrival for our boy.
8pm. Angela was placed in the 'Magic Position'. Basically, Angela's left leg was placed in a stirrup whilst facing toward the right. It made her look as if she was freeze framed in the middle of a particular nifty Karate move. Ninja Momma.
And the cogs and wheels of the universe continue to align to bring us ever closer to meeting our little boy....
Changing positions at 8:30pm and things still looked good. Waiting is just part of the deal...
At around 9pm, Angela was sat straight up to allow Gravity to do it's work. She kinda looked like Captain Picard. Henry….Set course for Earth.....Engage…..
9:30pm. Pushing began…..
The most surprising thing was that it all began so quiet. I had expected big, bright lamps….doctors running around in gowns, nurses watching the 'beep beep' machine you see in movies (I'm told it's really called EKG Machine, but I like my name for it better). However, it began with Angela, me and two of the sweetest nurses you could possibility of asked for. No glamour, no commotion, just the most natural process in the world.
I held Angela's feet and supporting her neck whilst she pushed….and pushed. With each push, I actual found myself holding my breath and doing 'virtual pushing'. Weirdo.
At first, I'd see the sight of his little head appear and then, like a wack-a-mole, he would disappear from view. This continued for 15 minutes, until the doctor arrived. Doctor Osburn suited up,calmly took her place for the final act of this wonderful drama.
Push….after push…Henry would appear……then disappear. Doctor Osburn was gently, but firmly encouraging his head….but still he wouldn't come. Stubborn little guy.
Of course, as he started to appear - cause of the 'cone head' effect, the part of Henry's head I could see was like looking at the top of a golf ball. Stupid daddy was thinking 'Wow - he really IS small if that's the top of his head'. I blame tiredness. Everyone else just thinks I'm a thickie.
Then, at 12 minutes past 10 in the evening with a final push (and pull from Doctor Osburn) Henry William Zuill began the journey of life. The experience was - well, indescribably amazing. Trying to, just simply wouldn't do it justice. The circle of life in all it's glory.
Henry was quickly cut from his mother and, yelling like a banshee, put on his mother's chest. Waves of emotion washed over both Angela and myself. Both quietly sobbing, so very happy we had been blessed to have a healthy, beautiful boy.
Next few moments were a blur of activity - photos, weighing, checking, cleaning, wrapping and finally - baby back in mummy's arms. Then, like a circus leaving town, everything was packed and cleaned away - leaving our little family in peace and quiet to begin our journey together.
Much later - laying in a makeshift bed - I spent the wee hours of the morning, not sleeping - trying to re-live the moment that changed my life forever. I saw life begin today....and it all came down to one moment. A moment I'll never forget.