The unexpected baby I announced in November before telling any friends or family came Saturday. The one whose gender I publicly lamented. The one for whom I lay awake every night last week wondering if she’d come or not and worrying if she’d interrupt my life too much.
Then, when the contractions got 5 minutes apart during Star Trek Friday night about 10pm, I started feeling guilty. I started having premonitions of something awful happening to the new baby or her mother. Then, when the dilation was inadequate, despite pacing the hospital halls til after 3am, the fears increased even further. Even Pretty Bride started having them.
PB: I’m worried this isn’t going to go well. She’s bigger than the others. My contractions virtually cease when I sit or lie down, but I can’t keep standing and pacing all night. I haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday and am just too exhausted…
Me: Maybe I need the drugs.
PB: *gives me the finger*
She got an epidural and lay down for a 2hr nap. I tried to do the same after they refused to give me any drugs. Around 6am, dilation was still way inadequate, and they started talking about pitocin, which we didn’t want to do.
At this point, I started flashing back to when Maddie was born–my first experience in a delivery room. It was awful. Of course, when I made the mistake of responding to a DM in this fashion to Tanis, I got this reply:
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!! You aren’t doing any of the WORK you dope. Be thankful for that cuz it fucking hurts. LOL. They’ll be fine. Hang tough.”
Here’s the thing. I have two horribly debilitating medical conditions that make being around a delivering mother miserable:
First, if I even think about needles and their going into a person’s skin, I pass out. I think it’s called being “vasovagal.” I think “vaginical” is more appropriate though. A few of the places I’ve passed out because of thinking about blood: a movie theater, church, my highschool lobby next to The Figurehead, an Air Force clinic next to Freaky Weasel. If this seems to not exactly jive with going to war twice and working in medical facilities both times, you’re right–it doesn’t. But God has a sense of humor and likes to let others laugh at my struggles.
Second, I’m way too prone to empathy. This is why I prefer to watch movies from the “drama” category alone. It’s why I can’t read Maggie’s Violence UnSilenced website very often (and certainly not from my office).
So, during the entirety of Maddie’s coming into the world, I was either averting my eyes to avoid hitting the floor or wiping them because the process caused so much pain in the girl I love, and there wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it.
Getting back to this delivery…we were wrong. Once the dilation was where it needed to be, little Lola came out just fine. We had a brief scare when the cord was around her neck, and she didn’t cry for the first few minutes, but the docs all say she’s great. All 8 pounds + of her. God still likes me after all.
Last night, as the 3 of us finally lay down in our bed, Pretty Bride pointed to my wrist.
PB: You’re still wearing your wristband, silly. No one’s going to force you to identify yourself any more when you want to see your new baby!
Me: I know. I’m just proud of what it represents.
I’m disappointed. Where are the tales of passing out cigars and hookers that’s customary when having a new baby?
Oh well. Congratulations anyway…
.-= Dave2´s last blog ..Dave York 3 =-.
@dave2, Dude…I’m not going to WRITE about the cigars and hookers. Your invite will be a private one (but still engraved).
.-= Kim´s last blog ..Happy Mother’s Day Betty …. =-.
Again: Congratulations. Great story. Very happy to hear everyone’s OK. I know what an ordeal it can be. Being the neurotic father in the delivery room, that is. I mean, yeah, I’m sure actually passing another human being through your genitals is tough, too, but … *faint*
.-= Daddy Scratches´s last blog ..A serious case of the blues =-.
@daddy scratches, Ha! Indeed.
Aw, that’s awesome. Congratulations!!
.-= ETK´s last blog ..Ugh =-.
@ETK, Thanks…sorry we chose not to name her “ETK.”
Congrats to the entire Muskrat family. When I was prego with #3, I was glad (after the fact, I guess) to have been told she was a girl, because then I had a chance to grieve the loss of the son I would never now have. I have 3 girls. I have 2 sisters. I have one male cousin, whom I never see. My husband has 2 sisters. My dad desperately wanted a son, so much so that he nicknamed me “Mac” and didn’t ever call me by my girlie name (that I can remember) until I was about 21. I have issues. I understand the disappointment. (PS I also understand the angst about an unexpected pregnancy. Two years ago, at the age of 46, I found myself pregnant…children aged 15 to 23…Aaaargh. God does indeed have a sense of humor!)
@lojo, Wow…we have one boy. We sort of wanted another, because the one is pretty chill and easy. Maybe we were just being lazy. So far, this one is oddly quiet and relaxed, too, though!
I’m with you on the needles thing. And when my son was born I appeared cool, calm & collected while leaning against the bed, but I didn’t let on that my knees were so weak I couldn’t have stood up if I wanted to. Still, wouldn’t have had it any other way.
.-= Daddy Files´s last blog ..Leave Her Alone on Mom’s Day =-.
@daddy files, I’m glad I’m not alone on this.
Congratulations Muskrat!! Here’s hoping you, the beautiful mama and the little lady have a smooth transition home and hours and hours of sleep. It can’t hurt to dream, right?
.-= Karen Chatters´s last blog ..A week in paradise =-.
@karen chatters, Thanks! So far, not so bad on the sleep front. Hope this continues. Our next task, of course, is to sell the house and move up near you.
.-= Miss Britt´s last blog ..It’s this or cigarettes. Or, possibly, shaking my child. =-.
@miss britt, No need for that, silly!
Dude, she looks like ME!
Seriously, though, congratulations to Pretty Bride. (What? Your part ended months ago. You did fuck all for this.)
OK fine, congratulations to you too.
.-= SciFi Dad´s last blog ..Who Is Mother’s Day About? =-.
@scifi dad, I thought the same thing–is that a Canadian we’re bringing home?
Congratulations! I’m so excited for you!
.-= Twenty Four At Heart´s last blog ..Do I Have to Leave? =-.
Congratulations! She’s beautiful! I hope the whole Muskrat family is doing well.
.-= SurprisedMom´s last blog ..Home Again =-.
@surprised mom, so far, so good. thanks!
Congratulations!!! I hope PB and bebe are doing wonderfully well.
And enjoy your new little one! You are obviously a wonderful dad.
.-= CrazyMomTats!´s last blog ..My Mother’s Day =-.
@crazymomtats, I hope I am…thanks! So far, so good.
Woo hoo!!! Congrats, man!
.-= MayoPie´s last blog ..Back to the business of junk and stuff =-.
@mayopie, thanks dude!
Congratulations!!! May the rest of the Muskrat little ones take to the newest addition with no jealousy. Amen.
@countessa, Maddie’s already showing some signs of jealousy, though she likes to say that she loves her little sister. Everyone knows how 3-year-olds lie, though.
A houseful of Muskrats! Congratulations!
.-= daysgoby´s last blog ..unsuitable =-.
@daysgoby, A house full indeed. I’m hoping not to step on any of them.
YAY!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!! Glad everything went ok for you guys even if it sounded scary. I’ll try and keep that in mind when I likely panic in a few months here going through it myself.
.-= Swedish Skier´s last blog ..Mother’s Day =-.
@S.Skier, Yes, panic if futile. Hope all goes well for you!
This is turning into the best mommy blog ever.
.-= Grant´s last blog ..Why Japan is better than your country, part ? =-.
@elle, thanks. i’ll try not to preach, too.
Yay, congratulations to you and your family… I’m so happy for you. Now. WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THE INTERNET?! Shouldn’t you be burping someone, changing someone’s diaper, rubbing someone’s feet or sobbing hysterically from lack of sleep?!
@faiqa, isn’t that all a bunch of women’s work? why would i do that?
You make me totally hot for you when you say stuff like this. Just you wait six weeks, Muskrat, and I’ll show you what I mean. Yum.
@PB, um. we don’t need more babies right now.
aww, thanks for sharing so quickly..another little girl – congratulations!
.-= jade´s last blog ..Not so Typical Memories of Mom: Writers Workshop =-.
@jade, yes…another girl. thanks!
Congratulations to your family! She is beautiful!
@jules, she looks just like me, doesn’t she?
What a gorgeous baby! she is perfect. I loved this post. I wish all fathers would write down their memory of how the delivery was. You know, since they’re not blinded by the pain and all. Congrats!
.-= mel´s last blog ..Around Town =-.
@mel, lots of people look at me and comment “i wish all fathers would…”
it’s okay. i don’t mind the attention.
Dude…been out of the loop for the past 2 weeks. Congratulations!
Glad you recovered from the delivery, homeboy!
.-= MetroDad´s last blog ..CHAOS THEORY: MAY 2010 =-.
@metrodad, thanks…now get back in the loop, homeslice.
Congratulations. She’s a beauty…just like her mom. 😉
@nancy, and by “mom,” you mean “dad,” of course.
Congrats old friend! Can’t wait to meet your new critter!
.-= The Figurehead´s last blog ..2010 Giro d’Italia preview and predictions =-.
@figurehead, thanks..you’ll see her in august, i suppose, when we leave her at home to head out to a concert, right?
Father of four fesses of phobias, feints fainting, features future femme fatale. Fabulous.
@avatgardener, isn’t “fabulous” for drag queens? if so, color me flattered!
Oh. My. God.
I can’t believe it took me so long to get here. I was just thinking about you, too, cuz I was watching something about a tornado in Atlanta from my hotel TV (long story, not traveling, some asshole didn’t pay the electric bill and FINE, that asshole was me) and I’ve been feeling wrapped up in myself and moody for a whole host of reasons not least of which is the impending death of a good friend and I’m SAD and ohmylord to click over here and see that gorgeous baby has got me grinning on a night I didn’t think I’d ever grin again. What a gift.
Thank you. Forgive me. I’m teary over here, I’m just so thrilled. Love and more love to you all.
.-= Maggie, dammit´s last blog ..Megaphone. =-.
@maggie, This might be my best comment ever. Sad to hear about your sick or injured friend, though. Does he/she need a good lawyer? ‘Cause I know people.
Congrats, glad they are both doing well!! She is beautiful!! 🙂
Terrific story. Congratulations.
Reminds me of the Dave Barry joke about a woman complaining about rising for a 2AM feeding, and her husband saying, “Yeah, this rising and keeping you company stuff is no picnic either.”
@michael, I agree with Dave. Great point.
Congratulations! It was fun to see your tweets while you were at the hospital. Your daughter is so beautiful. I love hearing the father’s side of the story. Thanks for sharing yours.
.-= angelynn´s last blog ..Bipolar =-.
@angelynn, My “side.” Funny.
Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. Hopefully, she gets her looks from mom. Muskrats aren’t known for their attractiveness…or their good teeth.
God bless your little angel. Glad no hookers and cigars were passed out in the delivery room.
And whatta wimp. Vasovagal responses are predominant and common occurrences in men, did you know that? If you guys were responsible for having babies, there would be a lot of “only children” in the world.
.-= CP´s last blog ..When Mother Bears attack… =-.
@CP, It’s the meth addiction that causes muskrats to lose their teeth. It’s rampant in rural areas where rodents thrive. Luckily, we live in the city and go to a good dentist.
.-= William´s last blog ..People Watching =-.
Woah! She looks like she’s got YOUR number dad! Congratulations though!
(And I am right with you on the vasovagal thing even though I am a girl……)
@arizaphale, It’s because I told her, “baby, don’t forget my number.” Actually, I just lip-synced it.
dammit. you just made me cry.
.-= patty´s last blog ..better =-.
@patty, oh no! i didn’t go to.
Once again, congratulations. She’s beautiful. Thank god she doesn’t look like you.
.-= Redneck Mommy´s last blog ..Breaking the Rules =-.
@redneck mommy, and thanks for your consistently kind words of encouragement.
And when are you going to have MY baby?
She’s adorable. Congratulations to the two of you. Mainly to her, since she did all the fuckin’ work.
.-= Avitable´s last blog ..My Interview with that Chinese guy who killed all the kids. =-.
@avitable, Sometimes I wonder why we’re even friends. How dare you undervalue the sacrifice twittering during labor takes?
Congratulations on your new baby girl! She’s beautiful.
@carolyn online, Thanks…and I think this is the only comment you’ve ever left here that is without sarcasm.
It’s lovely to see a birth story from the father’s point of view. 🙂
Nice meeting you tonight and congrats on your new baby!!
.-= juliana´s last blog ..Falling in Love with No =-.
@juliana, Thanks and glad to meet some north GA bloggers, too!
Congratulations! She is beautiful. What a joy.
.-= New Jersey Memories´s last blog ..Sister, Can You Spare (Two) Dimes? =-.
@NJ Memories, thanks!
Apologies for the tardy congratulations. Wonderful news! I hope your PB is feeling well and baby Lola [beautiful name — suits the gorgeous baby girl] is sleeping and eating like a champ. Congratulations again to you and your family!
.-= Chris´s last blog ..I Like Her =-.
@chris, Thanks…no worries! So far, all are well. And “Lola” is just her blog name, but I agree that it is pretty.
You know, I read your blog regularly, but I had no idea that your special lady friend was knocked up. You two stay busy, don’t you?
Oh, yeah, erm, congratulations!
.-= A Free Man´s last blog ..Little fish. big fish. Swimming in the water. =-.
@Free Man, Yes, we do. I included the hyperlinks in the first few sentences just so people like you could realize we were expecting this baby–she didn’t just pop out unanticipated!
This is a courageous and challenging post 😉
.-= Elisa Camahort Page´s last blog ..BlogHer Voice of the Week: Is There Any Mommy Out There =-.
@elisa, Awesome! My blogging career has hit nirvana!