Well, after a night of watching over Tingting, and trying to get comfortable in a front heavy wooden rocking chair for half of that night, I’m dazed, but a happy daddy. Kevin arrived at 8:01am this morning! This morning being April 21st, 2008. 🙂
He is 7 lbs 1.4 ounces and 20 inches long. Here’s a slideshow of Kevin’s first day.
Tingting did the hard part, but I’m the one that looks ragged… go figure!
Tingting labored on throughout the night. She was pretty comfortable at around 10:30pm. Her mother & I went home for a few hours & then returned at around 2:30am. I had her mother use the recliner to doze off in. The remaining option for me was a heavy wooden rocking chair that seemed to only rock to the front. Probably to make it easier for new mother’s since they are quite sore. Nonetheless, I think sleeping standing at full military attention would have been more comfortable, lol. Luckily, about 15 minutes later, a nurse offered me a bed in the room that Tingting was to be moved to after giving birth. Much better! Tingting appeared to be pretty comfortable so I went to catch some sleep.
I awoke at 6:30am, and walked in to see a much different scene than just a few short hours ago. Tingting had a wet towel across her forehead and was blowing out controlled breaths of air during a contraction. She was obviously in pain. It was almost “go time” and she was terrified. A few hours prior, her epidural began losing some of its effect as the baby was dropping lower. She was now dilated to 9cm. At around 7:15am, the doctor happily told her that in 15 minutes, she would be ready to push.
He left the room and about a minute later, another woman who was giving birth in the next room began screaming at the top of her lungs. The echoing sounds resembling a woman being tortured and ripped apart from the inside out had Tingting in tears and shaking. She was terrified. This is her first baby after all, so there were many scary unknowns floating around in her head.
While crying, she asked me if the same thing was going to happen to her in 15 minutes. I explained to her that the other person didn’t have any kind of anesthetics, and that this wouldn’t be happening to her. She asked me how I knew that. Uh… with some quick thinking, I told her that she just arrived an hour ago & there was no time for her to get an epidural.
A few minutes later, the doctor came back in and confirmed to Tingting what I said. We both breathed a sigh of relief. I was pretty much bluffing my way through that question showing confidence only to keep Tingting calm, but I really wasn’t 100% sure myself. I only knew that last night, there were no other patients there along with Tingting. I gambled on the side of logic.
I was in the action the whole time. Standing on the left side of her, pulling back her leg during the pushing and keeping the delicate balance between encouragement and reassurance for her. She was pushing for over 20 minutes, maybe longer. Kevin finally had to be helped along with some forceps. Along with the post appeasiotomy stitching, these were the most painful parts for her. I have no idea how to spell “appeasiotomy”, but its the procedure of cutting the vaginal area to increase the opening.
Watching Kevin come out and jump into life for the first time was an amazing site. When the doctor pulled him out into the open, he plopped out like a mucus covered rubber doll and was facing up in his hands. In that instant, he “popped” into life with a deep breath while opening his eyes widely, looking right at me. I know, scary first site! That was enough to get him crying and showing us what a healthy boy we have.
The doctor then clamped and cut the umbilical cord. Giving birth is a pretty messy business, and I wasn’t sure beforehand how I was going to handle it, being right in the trenches, so-to-speak. Compared to what Tingting was going through, my part was nothing. I got to be the first hand witness of a miracle. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
It’s been an amazing day, and now I’m off to take a nap before starting my next “dad” shift with my new baby boy!