Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Birth of the Little Dude

Our little dude is finally here, but how he got here is a story in itself. It all started with a few abdominal pains late Friday night....

Now I'll admit, I'm useless under normal conditions. But when Betty went into labor with our second child, my uselessness hit an all time high - or low, depending on how you rank these things.

Betty had already packed everything that we'd need while in the hospital. My only job was to put all the stuff in the van. So about a week or so ago I had packed up the van, but after I did that we needed the camera for my daughter's Anne of the Day website, so I unpacked the camera case.

So when Betty started having contractions five minutes apart, I started gathering up everything that I had previously taken out of the van. I grabbed the camera case, the backup battery, the video camera, an extra memory chip, cables for the computer, cables for the TV, my Baby Daddy shirt... but on the way to the hospital, when Betty asked if I had the camera, my mind drew a blank.

I had forgotten the camera!

Thank God for contractions, because if Betty hadn't been having one right then, the entire right side of my face would have been ripped off. Thankfully, Betty's parents were at our house and saw the camera sitting on the table, and her dad rushed to the hospital to make sure we had it. He almost beat us to the hospital, too, since I hit every red light on the way there.

It's like those things are waiting for me or something.

When we made it to the hospital, I pulled up into the Admissions area. I jumped out the van and encountered the nighttime security guard. When I frantically told him that my wife was in labor and that the hospital was already expecting us, he told me to "hold my horses." I figured that if I drop-kicked him right on the spot then I would either pull a muscle or get arrested, so instead I just asked him to get a wheelchair for Betty.

They admitted Betty into a room and started to check her. Betty was three centimeters dilated when we left the doctor's office on Thursday, but when the nurses first checked her she was seven centimeters. Within twenty minutes she was nine centimeters, and the nurses still didn't have everything they needed to give her the epidural. Betty was in a lot of pain.

The nurses started hurling questions at us from all sides. In all the commotion, my mind was completely at a loss, but Betty was answering questions mid-contraction.

"Who is your pediatrician?" a nurse asked. "Um..." I said out loud and thought at the same time. "I think it's someone from Magnolia Pediatrics...."

"Dr. West! Dr. West! It's Dr. West!" Betty yelped, then went back to breathing through another bad contraction.

Another question from a different nurse: "If it's a boy, are you going to have him circumcised?"

My mind drifted off to articles I had recently read about how the extra skin on a wang is used like a plunger, and how there are all kinds of extra nerves there, and before I could snap back to reality Betty was screaming in affirmation of the circumcision and in response to another contraction.

After that the nurses asked a thousand other questions, but they just ignored me, as they should have. I was useless. Soon after Betty got the epidural and I could once again joke about how soon after the birth we were going to start working on a third child.

After the doctor arrived, Betty pushed four times and my son, Peter, was born. The nurses were all very impressed with his manhood. I was so proud! I got to cut the cord, and we donated his cord blood so that his stem cells can be used to help other kids that are sick.

Betty and Pete are both doing great.

[The little dude!]

My daughter, Anne, is still coming to grips with the fact that she is no longer the center of attention at the house. It's probably only a matter of time before she asks for Pete to be put back to wherever he came from. But she's been very good with baby Peter, and she always wants to see what he's doing.

You can check out a couple of pictures of my son Peter at

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