We went to the hospital the night before, as most people do. Spent the full night contracting and sleeping until the next morning. I remember waking up as the business of the hospital came to life with nurses popping in to visit and check on Kendra’s vitals more often, something was off. Her blood pressure was increasing by the hour and the baby’s was decreasing just as fast.
I remember the on-staff Obstetrician coming in to tell us that a natural delivery was not going to happen and that a cesarean was the only option for us and it had to be done as soon as possible or the lives of both Kendra and the baby were in danger. The had already cleared an operating room for us and we just needed to talk to the anesthesiologist to see how Kendra wanted to proceed.
When the anesthesiologist came in to visit just a few minutes later, he was very grim. He gave us the option of going fully under, with the provision that she might not wake up, or the option of the lumbar block with the option of being paralyzed for the rest of her life. He explained that due to her diabetes and blood pressure that these outcomes were high. We only had a few minutes to discuss our options and make a decision, the surgery team were prepped for a emergency c-section and the room was ready. Kendra made the decision to go fully under, being a diabetic she was scared more of being paralyzed from the waist down than being in a coma. I promised to take care of both of them whatever the outcome. I was scared.
Two nurses came in a whisked her away to the operating room, promising to come and get me as soon as the baby was out (he had no name at this point). My mother and Kendra’s family waited with me while the surgery was going on behind closed doors. Like expectant fathers of years gone by when they were not allowed to be with their wives, I paced. I paced, sweated and shook with pent up fear and energy.
Finally, finally a nurse came to get me. Blaine was out. She walked be back to the operating area and into the operating room in full street clothes at which the doctors started screaming, they were just cutting the umbilical cord and Kendra was fully open. She grabbed me and took me to the post-op room to wait. The wait was only a few minutes this time. She brought a partially bundled screaming baby to me, still covered in 27 flavors of fluid.
I stayed in the post-op room as she delivered the news to the other family members and held this wonderful thing in my arms bundling him up as best I could in that cold room.
When she returned, I stayed and helped perform the APGAR test on him. Talking to him and watching him watch me with those jet-black eyes. Fully swaddled now, he stayed in my arms and no one could take that away from me. We stayed together in post-op for hours while his mother slept and the anesthesia wore off. I don’t think I will forget that part ever, while some other parts of my story remain foggy to this day.
I remember the day that I got to hold him for hours with no one else interfering in a room built seemingly just for us.
Kendra finally came out of her stupor as the drugs wore off and things went back to normal. We went back to her room and shared my bundled joy with the other family members. I went downstairs to fill out the birth certificate and gave him a name that his mother consented to…hehehe. Blaine derives his name from a very special train in the Stephen King series, The Dark Tower. Like a rubber band, time snapped back into it’s normal pace. We checked out, went home and moved onward and forward.
But, I remember the day that I got to hold him for hours with no one else interfering in a room built seemingly just for us.
Happy Birthday, my son.