For many men watching your wife give birth is a magical and miraculous moment to experience. It was for me when baby Sylvia came into the world. The first breath taken by baby and last gasp of effort by mother simultaneously happen as if soul meets body at that exact moment. It’s a wonder to behold your spouse exert every last bit of energy to bring the flesh of your flesh and blood of your blood into planet earth. It’s all very dramatic and awe-inspiring.
This was not the case with Soren. In comparison with the 27 hour long labor and 2.5 hour tug-of-war delivery we experienced with Sylvia, Soren’s birth was more like a sitcom. And faster than you can say bada-bing bada-boom we transformed from family of three to four!
And here it’s my account of the birth on my second child, Soren Fisk.
It was a normal day. It was a normal night. And aside from my lovely wife being nine days over due, everything was business as usual. The dog was walked, the teeth were brushed; we prayed for the umpteenth time for our son to be born. Out of my slumber I was awoken to my wife pacing back and forth through our room announcing, “I’m having contractions.”
It’s 1:30 a.m.
I ask her how long between contractions to which she responded, they are every five minutes. I try to go back to sleep knowing that we will leave when they are closer to three.
I can’t sleep. Robyn comes in and tells me to call my sister. I do. She lives 25 minutes away.
We can’t wait for her to arrive. I call a buddy to crash at my place until she comes.
When he arrives we race to the hospital. Literally. I touch Robyn’s leg to be comforting. Her voice is eerily deep when she tells me not to touch her. 10-4, hands to myself captain. Rushing into the hospital a short pudgy doctor exclaims, “we got a puffer!”
(Apparently puffer is a term some people use in the medical field to delineate the difference between women who come in ready to push and those who are clearly not in labor. I just thought she was being unprofessional. Also, never call any woman a “puffer”.)
We get into the room. Dilated to 9. Whoops, maybe should have left sooner.
The midwife arrives and begins walking us through some of the normal birthing procedures. If giving birth can ever be called “normal.”
We transfer rooms to attempt a water birth. Midwife says she will break Robyn’s water soon. Water breaks sans midwife. No water birth due to meconium in fluid. (Meconium is in utero poop.Gross, I know).
The pushing begins. Ahhhh! It’s happening too fast!
Screams and panting. Not sure if it’s me or Robyn. We are one, minus the excruciating pain and enormous effort.
I don’t feel well. I might faint. Or puke. Or faint then puke all over myself. Either way vomit is creeping up my throat.
His head comes through. Almost there. Annnndddddd……
I run out of the room proclaiming, “I have to go!” similar to the way Sally Fields’ character does in Mrs. Doubtfire upon realizing her ex-husband had been dressing as an old English women acting as the family’s nanny for months. My son is about to fully enter the world and I’m doubled over a toilet with nothing leaving my mouth. False alarm. Are you kidding me!?!
Soren is born and I’m on the other side of the delivery ward. I sprint back into the room housing my newest offspring and lovely wife.
Everyone is alive and well.
All ten fingers; all ten toes.
9.5 ounces. 21.5 inches.
Soren Fisk Mederich.