My wife and I went in for an induction on November 4th, just four days earlier than the November 8th due date. Things had progressed well and active labor began first thing in the morning.
We were ready as we could be to have a baby. We had attended all of the parenting and birthing classes, and had the baby’s room all set, car seats ready, etc. We were both mentally prepared, but being prepared and going through labor and having a baby are two different things.
I was calm cool and collected as labor progressed. This was our first baby after all, so I was prepared for a long day. Then things began to speed up a bit. My wife is now at a 5, a hour later a 7. The epidural that was suppose to relieve pain did not work and only one side of her body was free from pain. The contractions became more frequent and the pain more intense. All I could do from a husbands perspective was to hold on to my wife’s hand tightly and talk her through each contraction.
Another 30 minutes goes by and we are already at a 10. Now this is getting serious. My long day of preparing to have a baby has come to an end, and the time is now. My wife started to push with each contraction now trying to get the baby to drop the rest of the way down. Our doctor had not made it into the room yet, but the nurse was trying to get the baby into position. The nurse now can feel an ear and the baby’s head needs to straighten out. While the nurse is getting all of the gear ready for the doctor to deliver the baby she encourages my wife to keep on pushing through each contraction. A slight fear of mine at this point is that a push will now expel the baby onto the floor and nobody is there to catch him. I secretly hope at this point my wife is not doing that great of a job at pushing.
Then the doctor arrives. To speed up the delivery of the baby he is going to use a vacuum pump. I guess my worry of pushing the baby out onto the floor is unfounded. The vacuum goes in, and now we are really pushing. A head appears. Then another push, a baby is delivered and while being dried off is placed onto my wife’s chest. We now have a baby. The look of bewilderment on my wife’s face as she looked at the baby and then to me must have been a mirror of my own expression.
It did not seem real, and at the same time it was one of the most real experiences of my life.
The only other experience that I had that came close to this was the feeling of spiritual connection with the world while hiking a mountain range in Montana. I had climbed above timber line and was amongst the rocks of a weathered scree field. Being part rock hound I began to examine a few of the more interesting rocks and notice sea shell fossils within them. The rock on top of this mountain was laid down by an ancient sea that buried and preserved the fossils that had then been uplifted by the collision of continental plates, a process taking millions of years. It felt both unreal and the most real connection I had ever had with the universe.