Fun fact: On June 22, 2011 there was not a SINGLE baby item in my house…
Then I left work on June 23, 2011.
As ever, I jumped in the car, picked up my mother and took her home. As I walked in the house, Katie was ending a call and advised me that she was pregnant.
To those who know what we WERE planning, this was a ton of bricks on the both of us. For the entire of the prior 7 months, Katie was planning for a bariatric surgery and had a schedule date of 06/28. The pregnancy test that had (now) cancelled surgery was a part of the pre-surgery performed on EVERY woman scheduled to have it.
As active and consenting adults, the disappointment of this happening when it happened was one thing, but the urgency of planning for a baby overrides such sensibilities. We went to premarital counseling immediately upon receipt of the news and started planning. OB appointment set for the following week to establish how far along we are and begin some REAL planning for this.
The following Tuesday arrives and Katie goes to the doctor with my sister’s best friend – effectively a sister to me – head to the doctor for confirmation and what wound up being preliminary ultrasounds. This represents the first “WTF” of the situation when the nurse practitioner presented the opinion that the baby inside of my woman was at least 6 months in.
Okay, now “oh shit” is fully engaged, we have 3 months to do 9 months worth of planning.
This was a “preliminary” visit, cobbled together with little lead-in. A full visit with bloodwork and a real ultrasound was scheduled for Thursday the 30th of June, 2 days later. When Thursday was upon us, and a better ultrasound was performed, the news became “yeah… that 6-6.5ish months? Try 8.5… your baby is due on the 11th of July.” Hold it, you’re telling me that we’re not only unexpectedly pregnant, but this baby could be here ANY MOMENT?!!?
To those who know me know how my family operates. On the closest Sunday to July 4, we have a party/cookout to celebrate 4 human birthdays, one memorial and the birth of the country. With the help of the aforementioned sister’s best friend and her mother, “baby shower” was appended to the end of that. In the meantime, I took a small loan and
stole picked up a used Subaru Legacy I found on Craigslist and FILLED MY HOUSE with baby stuff…
5 days later, we’d built a cache consisting of the “minimum” of what one would need to bring a baby into their house:
If it seems we dealt with an “11th hour” sense of urgency with this, it is because we were on the wall. Having found out on June 30 that we would have a baby before the end of the month does that to a couple. At this point, Katie texts me "ever stop to think... this is having a babylike a BOSS"?
With an assigned due-date of July 30th, the information was shared upon more than the normal circle of family and friends. Not-so-subtle FaceBook hints and very direct text messages/emails did the job well. With the car, a new smallish debt, no savings left and a baby due with NO prenatal care, we had no time to run around as if our hair was on fire or to wait on people to help us with traditional baby showers or registries. This shit would be on us and those closest to us and able to help us as best they could
Somewhere AROUND this point in the process, I was presented with the STUPIDEST fucking batch of questions…
“where is it going to live?”
… motherfucker I bought a 3 bedroom house for 2 people who sleep in one bed and two dogs?
“what will the dogs think?”
… funny you should ask that, see I asked Bruiser and he REFUSES to answer me.
“will your little buddy babysit for you?”
… you know he is 7, right?
“so is your mother going to move in and help you?”
… and then leave in two weeks, tops.
“why did you buy all that stuff yourself, why didn’t you wait and let someone throw a baby shower?”
… perhaps you missed the part where I said we found out with 2 weeks. Think about that for a minute
Perhaps my assessment of these as “stupid” is directly proportional to my stress level of the moment in question, but when I tell you I found out I had a baby on the way with 3 weeks to plan for it, you MIGHT want to choose your words carefully, as I am going to be on the edge of snapping until I am holding a healthy living baby.
July 11th, the stated due date was upon us, and we’d gone over the “if it happens” plans ad infinitum, and they all included me as the second phonecall made (I work 20 miles from home) and understanding that I would leave work IMMEDIATELY and be there before the baby was.
On July 14th at about 10-11pm, Katie lost her plug and 2-3 hours later, the contractions started… I was asleep and they were not so intense that I thought it terribly emergent in nature. Thursday morning (dammit, EVERYTHING that has happened with this child has happened on Thursday thus far, I bet it was conceived on Thanksgiving, lol), Katie was left with instructions that if it got “bad,” to call me out of work and we’d deal as we discussed.
My mother dealt the override to this, and we turned back and took her to the hospital to at least have it assessed as false labor or real.
Once there, we checked in and were in triage for SEVERAL hours before the decision was made to admit and have a baby. This came after it was discussed that fluid was lost/leaked and that it might be bad if we went home. Assigned a room, we were…
Thursday afternoon, room 173, EVERYONE came through, my best friend, my mom and her best friend, Katie’s dad, a couple of her good friends and of course my sister(s).
My child was not born on this night, so I had the most uneventful half-assed sleep of my existence this night.
The issue was the lack of dilation to go forward with inducing labor – the baby just was not ready to be here… Friday morning came and the idea of some kind of balloon to aide in dilation was introduced. This, in itself, took another 8 hours, but eventually worked to achieve 5.5cm of dilation, so they went forward with both the epidural and pitosin to numb the pain and ramp up the contractions, respectively.
Both worked, as Katie was ASLEEP as I watched the graph showing contractions twice as strong as anything I had seen the day before, but still no baby. It was still 6 hours later that her water actually broke, but my stubborn-assed child decided to hang out a while longer instead of presenting to be named. About 6pm the doctor decided that gametime was over and that if we didn’t have a baby or at least active labor by 8pm, C-Section would be the route.
With NO changes by 7:30, the time table was contracted. Everyone was ushered to the waiting area and I was fitted with an OR outfit and sat with Katie waiting on lab results to return.
The assigned 8pm time coordinates arrived and we were moved, I was seated in the hallway while they positioned and applied more drugs to numb Katie for the baby.
At 8:47pm, my daughter was born…
As ever, she was covered in the green baby slime and they cut the cord and whisked her to the corner to clean her off preliminarily, called me over to photograph her, then swaddled her in blankets and handed me my first child. I bit my tongue to keep from crying. Calmly, I turned and presented my baby to her mother, and an OR nurse photographed us together. Leaving Katie to be fixed by the capable OR doctors and techs, I went with my baby to the nursery to have her vital signs checked and her first shots. Katie’s dad and my mom were in the waiting area RIGHT in front of us failing at holding in their tears as I took pictures, updated FaceBook and Twitter and texted ANYONE who was interested.
One hour later, I took the baby to Katie in recovery to feed, sent our parents to the room and came home to feed/walk bruiser. Back at the hospital, the parents left and the baby was brought into the room, cleaned of all the baby slime and all.
7 pounds, 20.75” of beautiful. Ava Victoria Sommer Evans.
Ava was Katie’s idea, Sommer was a name I’d shot down as a first name with “that’s a middle name.” Victoria was our angel in this. Victoria is the oft-above-mentioned sister’s best friend/sister who helped us with WHAT to do when we were clueless. I love her like the sister she has shown herself to be and that was the ONLY way I could bring myself to honor her. I didn’t even ask Katie before I told her “if this is a girl, she gets 2 middle names.”
My new favorite person in the world...
Katie and my best friend are fine with being bumped down the list.
Everyone wishes for or looks forward to 4-day weekends… In the weeks leading into the birth of my daughter, I had two and a 3-day and damned if I remember ANY of them. Furthermore, damned if I would THINK of wanting to give back the last of them. I thank God (yes, capital G, whether or not you agree with this) that she came in good health and without major issue. I cannot thank Victoria enough and Katie is my hero for how she soldiered through this situation on the whole.
As I type this, I am home on my last night of silence for the next many years, as my mother is with Katie and Ava at the hospital due to come home tomorrow. I have been bringing articles the baby had worn to acclimate Bruiser with her as best I could imagine how. At this point, I own a home and two cars have traveled the world and possess a world’s worth of knowledge – both practical and trivial – and my most favorite thing ON THIS PLANET just had to grin and grunt at me when I said “hi” to her yesterday morning to have me wrapped around her little fingers.
If her face is ever presented with a “no” from mine, it will not be a matter of “won’t,” so much as “can’t.” Even then, it “can’t” won’t come without a heap of “busted my ass first.”
I always questioned what people meant by “I couldn’t love ANYTHING as much as I do this little person… I don’t need any more children,” but what I am feeling right now has left me quite taken with it.
Thank you to anyone who made it this far, this has been a whole weekend’s worth of thoughts contained in 2000ish words compiled in about an hour and a half’s worth of typing. Unlike my normal self, I have not (and probably will not) be editing/proofreading this post, so forgive any grammar/spelling miscues.
I’m told that the journey is just beginning. If the rest of it is as fulfilling as was seeing the dimples in my little girl’s cheeks this morning, I would willingly pay WHATEVER the fuck it costs to continue it.