Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Blake

The water broke earlier in the day. So thirteen years and a day ago, late at night, we were at Special Beginnings Birth Center in Arnold Maryland, Enya playing in the background, when I learned why medical professionals think it vital that fathers be involved in the birth of their children. The head midwife asked me to step into the next room where he told me it was not going well -- failure to progress he called it. He asked me to please tell Teresa, in the midst of labor, she had to go to the hospital. 

Teresa half walked and I half carried her to the car. We trailed the midwife down unfamiliar midnight dark roads to the Emergency Room entrance at Anne Arundel Medical Center, where we helped Teresa into a wheelchair and had her admitted. It seemed that the baby was trying to present for delivery Adams Apple first. After an interlude with an anesthesiologist (named Alex Karras, if you can you believe it), Teresa was wheeled into an operating room where she gave birth in an emergency C-Section at 3:13 am.

When the doctor pulled the baby out she wasn't moving, wasn't breathing and was covered head to toe with blood and placental fluids -- roadkill I thought but did not utter. A few seconds later, after a whack the baby cried out loud. Whew, what a relief!!!  Then my eyes were drawn to the baby's feet. Teresa asked me, "Is it a boy or a girl?" "Look at those toes" I said. Teresa asked again, "Is it a boy or a girl" "Look at those toes" I said, "I've never seen such long toes." The obstetrician interjected, "Congratulations you have a girl." 

They whisked the baby away.  I looked down at Teresa.  I looked away to the door.  I looked down at Teresa.  I looked away to the door. Teresa said, "Go, go. Go with our baby." The nurses were cleaning the little one and clearing her airways under a hot lamp. They swaddled her in a blanket and covered her little head with a tiny cap. Then they turned to me, held out the baby and placed her in my arms. It is a life changing moment when you realize you will do anything, at any time, at any cost to protect this little creature that you have brought into this world -- fatherhood was born that night too. We were very happy because we had been prepped to believe that the baby would be sent straight down to the NICU. I told Teresa's bud Christa, who was laying asleep on a bench outside the operating room what happened. Everything appeared to be A-Okay.

As dawn crept up I realized that Teresa and baby were going to be in the hospital for awhile. Christa was sticking around. I decided to go home, take a shower and change before returning. Along the way I stopped at work to tie up a few loose ends. The desk phone rang.  I picked up. It was Megan who had worked as our office secretary on summer break from college. She wanted to know if we had the baby yet.  "Yes, at 3:13 am this morning," I explained, "It's a girl."  "Name?" she asked. I said we had yet to settle on a name. Knowing opportunity when it came her way, Megan ripped off a list of her favorite baby names. I jotted the names down on a yellow Post It note and placed the note in my breast pocket. That afternoon I walked into the hospital room and pulled the note out of my pocket. The name on the top of the list was Blake. Thus our baby came to be named and born, thirteen years ago today.

Happy birthday Blake!

Teresa with baby Blake


1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love that little girl who's grown up to be an awesome young woman! Happy Birthday, Blake. (Love the rest of you, too.)