Welcome to the World…I’m Your Dad (Here Come the Babies, Part 2)

After receiving my scrubs, I went into the nearest bathroom to change.  It’s hard to change clothes when you’re insanely nervous, and I swear I almost fell over a few times.  The scrub pants went on, but the top they gave me was way too small…it was like Fat Guy in a Little Coat.  So I stepped out and asked for a bigger size, which seemed to bother the nurse, but whatever.  This one fit much better.  I got to sit with my wife for a few minutes while the nurses called the high-risk team and the cardiac team.  Then I was told the time had arrived and that Bekah would be wheeled away.  I walked with a nurse down another hallway: she opened a closet and told me to put my belongings in there, then she guided me to a chair and said sit and wait til I come get you.  So I sat and tried to relax…yeah right.  I think I must’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes, maybe more, and the longer I sat, the more nervous I got.  Thoughts started to jump into my head like: what will Nolan’s birth be like?  I’ve heard about some HLHS babies looking blue when they’re born, will he be blue?  Will he be breathing?  Will he be ok?  Will I ever get the chance to hold him or will I have to wait til after surgery?  And the more I thought on these things, the more of a wreck I became.  I prayed silently, then prayed again…then again.  Finally the nurse came to get me, and on wobbly legs I walked into the operating room for the C-Section, which had already begun.  And oh God, I did not want to look!  Luckily I was spared a view of it all by the bajillions of people in that tiny room!

There was the surgery team, nurses, anethesia, a NICU team, a cardiac team, a respiratory team, and on and on.  They pulled up a seat right by Bekah’s head, which allowed me not to see what was going on.  I thought she was asleep, but then she turned her head to look at me.  I told her I loved her and that she was going great.  Meanwhile the doctors are all casual like “So, did you go to the Christmas party last week?”  It was hilariously surreal.  Every now and then my wife would wince from the pressure they’d be putting on her and I must’ve asked a hundred times if she was in pain.  She was not, but my nervousness didn’t help things.  I knew Nolan would be the first one delivered and as they continued to work, I just kept trying to prepare myself.  FInally at 5am on the nose, I heard the doctor call out “Delivery!” and the nurse called the time and out came a baby.  And that’s when I think I stopped breathing, just holding my breath to see how this was going to go….please God let it be ok.  Nolan came out the typical weird purple like most babies do, and he immediately turned a nice pink and cried his little head off.  He was SO tiny: about 4 pounds 11 ounces.  The nurses ran their quick little tests and no one seemed to be freaking out so I let out my held breath.  A nurse asked if I wanted to come say hello, and I walked over on jelly legs.  Even up close he was still so small…but he was crying and looked so….normal, except that his little chest was heaving up and down pretty hard, almost like it was sucking in.  I pointed at it wordlessly and the nurse said it was ok, no worries.  So I leaned down and I said “Hey Nolan, it’s Dad…you made it, and I love you.”

An eternity went by before the doctor called out “Delivery!” with a time of 5:02.  Wait, only 2 minutes went by?  I swear to this day it felt like 45 minutes or so.  Out came Grant at just under 6 pounds and he was pretty pissed to be out of his comfort zone, and he let us all hear it.  I went to say hello to my cranky-pants son and I told him how much I loved him too.  I went back to Bekah who was asking how they looked and I said “They’re beautiful.” and she asked specifically for Nolan and I said “He looks great, I’m amazed.”  Then an awesome, unexpected thing happened: one of the nurses walked up and said “Would you like to hold Nolan?”  I didn’t think we’d get to hold him…we heard so many stories about heart babies being whisked right to NICU or to surgery, and we didn’t know what to expect.  But I quickly said yes.  The nurse swaddled him up and said I could hold him just for a moment so he doesn’t get too cold, then she handed him to me.  He was SO small…especially compared to the 8 pound 12 ounce behemoth that was Hudson.  I smiled and told him I loved him, then turned to Bekah and said “Look buddy, it’s Mommy!”  The next moment is one that gets me every time and is one that I’ll never ever forget.  My wife was still on the operating table getting closed up, so she could only really move her head, so I held little Nolan up to her, so she could nuzzle up against his cheek.  In that moment, everything was right in the world, everything was love.

Next we got to hold Grant, who was still a little cranky, but calmed down once he got to me.  We were lucky enough to love on him some more, which was awesome.  And I know he responded when he heard Bekah’s voice.  Once I gave Grant back, the only thing left to do was sit and wait…and watch.  I would walk up and talk to them…sometimes I would observe.  Then it got a little weird: one of the nurses put a little oxygen mask on Grant.  I was like “Um, the other one’s the heart baby” and she said, “Oh that one’s fine, this one’s just having a little trouble getting some of the gunk out of his lungs, so we’re helping him out a little.  Nothing to be scared of.”  So then the little NICU incubator box thing came in and the team prepared to put Nolan in there and take him away.  I said my goodbye to him, for now, and was very sad to see him go.  Then another box came in for Grant…they were going to take him down to continue to assist with his breathing, but again they said, no major concerns.

The doctors finished up with Bekah and we were wheeled into post-op, where we waited for a long while before going up to a room.  It was weird, though: two babies born and none were with us.  So I tried to keep the mood light by telling Bekah how terrified I was in that room and how much I tried to avoid looking at the procedure.  We had just been through a whirlwind and I was exhausted, I couldn’t imagine how my wife felt.  Now we were just on countdown until we could see our babies again:

Nolan:
BabyNolan

Grant:
BabyGrant

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About Chris Perez

My name is Chris aka HLHS Dad: I’m married with 3 sons. I love photography and the New York Yankees. I’m an admitted pizza snob and amateur balloon animal maker. Every now and then you can catch me being serious…but most of the time I’m quoting random commercials or lines from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

Posted on October 21, 2013, in delivery, pregnancy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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