A Mother’s Day Present

Six years ago, on a Thursday morning, my wife and I went to have a sonogram, and to see if our first-born would be able to be turned. Her head was up and we tried everything to get her to turn around: special exercises, movement, and one “remedy” which involved my wife lying on an ironing board at a 45-degree angle and putting a boom box with loud, drum-based music blaring right on her belly.

None of these worked, of course. The main problem was that there was very little amniotic fluid. The sonogram doctor recommended that we go head and do a c-section that day.

This was not what we had planned.

We were working with a midwife, a terrific woman who came to the house for visits, gave us lots of advice, and made us feel as prepared for this step as we could. She recommended a woman who ran childbirth classes, and we met some great people also embarking on the great adventure. The midwife also had us meet with the ob/gyn she worked with, the man who was her backup, in case of complications.

We were having complications. The OB, upon hearing the sonogram information, agreed that a c-section was the best course of action. We said okay, but we talked with the midwife about it first. She assured us that she would be in the OR. We cried a little, feeling like something was being taken from us, and then we went back to my office across the street and started making phone calls.

We had a few hours before the surgery, so we went home, gathered or bought what we needed, and then, before we got in the car, danced to “Love Me Tender,” our first married couple dance song.

We drove into the lot across the street, but the guy said he was full…. “how long you gonna be?”
“Don’t know – we’re going to have a baby,” I said.
“what?! Ohmygod, don’t worry about it…” rushing he was, to help us!

We went through check-in, and waited. There was an emergency birth of twins, just ahead of us, and that occupied the OR space. This allowed for most of our family to arrive at the hospital. Eventually we went in, and our eldest was born at 6:47 PM EDT. It was a magical moment to see her for the first time. (One day I’ll post about that. This is not that post.)

Because she was having a bit of trouble breathing – just some extra mucous, really – she was, after about an hour with us, taken to the NICU, where they gave her antibiotics to prevent any lung infections. It was not an entirely pleasant time. There was of course the euphoria of the birth with the agony of letting her go, plus the nausea of the epidural. It was better that the baby stay elsewhere that first night, but it was hard.

She spent two nights in the NICU, and then Saturday night, she was with us in the hospital room. By then she’d latched on to mother with no problems, and in fact was up with some gas pains because we didn’t burp her!

There are many parts of the story of my daughter’s birth to tell. The one that matters is this one:

We got to take her home, on Sunday, Mother’s Day.

Not a bad gift, eh?

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About T.B. White

lives in the New York City area with his wife and two daughters, 6 and 3. He is a college professor who has written essays about Media and the O.J. Simpson case, Woody Allen, and other areas of popular culture. He brings a unique perspective about parenting to families.com as the "fathers" blogger. Calling himself "Working Dad" is his way of turning a common phrase on its head. Most dads work, of course, but like many working moms, he finds himself constantly balancing his career and his family, oftentimes doing both on his couch.