Saturday, June 21, 2008

How it happened - continued

In the last two hours of the delivery, Erin, now pleasantly under epidural's spell, started pushing with every contraction. Since we were at the top of the tallest building on a very tall hill, we left the curtains to the oversized, oval shaped windows wide open. At 9:40pm there's still considerable twilight, and the mountains rose majestically above the horizon. With every push, Erin gave her full concentration and effort to make the baby come microscopically closer to the end goal. Our birth team was excellent in giving her encouragement and advice through the process.

Near the end, Erin was screaming with every push, yelling, "Baby, get out!" For half an hour the top of our baby's head was poking out with his black, curly hairs going every which direction. The doctor asked if she wanted an episiotomy, and Erin declined; but there was trouble brewing inside. Erin had a secret tear beginning on the inside and during one of the last pushes she tore in two places around the baby's head. The doctor was quick to perform an episiotomy to avoid future tearing. Upon the next push, our new boy shot out into the world.

Suddenly the room exploded in activity. Baby Hardwick was placed on mommy's chest immediately after the birth, and the two began their bond. The doctor was lightning quick to have me cut the umbilical cord. A moment later the baby's nurse brought him to the crib to check his vitals. Torn between watching the baby and caring for my shuttering wife, our doula took charge and gave me permission to watch over the baby as she took care of Erin.

I carefully watched as my new son changed from purple to "normal" colored skin. His legs were long and skinny, same were his fingers and toes. Covering his shoulders and back is hair like I've never known. I joked that we should name him Esau, but that name didn't make the list.

During all the tests, he was very calm. Only crying slightly until he heard my voice. Even when he does cry, it's not very high pitched.

After our baby's birth, Erin was on her way to the OR to have her tearing sewn up. But first, another woman needed our doctor to have her twins born. At 12:45am Erin was properly drugged up and was taken into the OR to have her more than thirty stitches put in. I stayed back in the, now emptied, room of labor with my new son. I sat in the rocking chair next to the windows staring at the midnight-glow of downtown. I introduced my son to Tacoma, and pointed out where daddy worked. Minutes later I fell asleep, with baby in arms until Erin came back at 3am.

When she returned, the nurses helped us pack our things and moved us down one floor (from 14 to 12) to a smaller postpartum room. Like a zombie I followed their direction, mumbling uncertain comments or questions, into our new living space. The only thing we forgot was the list of potential baby names that I hung in the birthing room. Like a drone, I sent myself on autopilot to retrieve the document.

Today's to-do list: choosing the name

Stay Tuned...


Tara said...

Wow! What an ordeal. We've all been checking the blog obsessively for all of the new updates. We are so happy for you three. I have to say...Tommy and I are partial to the name Thomas :)

Coli J said...

Look at your precious gift!! He looks like he is crying out to God, so Simon (God listens) seems fitting. haha I know a name is VERY important, but your two examples will be what he really has to live up to. And he is your legacy. Could you be any more proud or thankful?!

Anonymous said...

Great names, I cannot wait to hear who he is!


The Corbett's said...

Congrats guys!! Boys are the best!!!!!!!!!

Erin said...

Awwwwwww, what a cutie! He looks like he had a rough day... just like Mommy. Get some rest, all of you! Great names, by the way. :)

Jay said...

So we explored all the boy name possibilities if they went the "Ua" route, I like Samuel, so he can go by "Uel" like his daddy!

Congratulations, you guys!

shannon said...

wow! what a day! Erin, I hope you feel better! and congratulations both of you! by the way, I really like the names Andrew and Samuel!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad for you guys! You can't go wrong with the name Matthew :) Every time I lay my little one down I get to thank God for my gift. But no matter what you name him, he will definitely be a gift for your family. Congratulations!