Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Best 24 Hours of My Life

Normally stories like this start with the same cliche: It started out like any other day.  Well November 1st most certainly was not supposed to be any other day.  This was the day that the San Francisco Giants were sending out their best pitcher to clinch a World Series win.  The first in the team's history since moving to San Francisco 52 years ago and most certainly the first in my lifetime.

I was on edge that morning.  The Giants were my first love.  This was something I made very clear to my wife when we had started dating.  I told her that I would love her more, but they would always be first.  The Giants also had broken my heart far too many times to count, so I expected the worst and hoped for the best as I got ready and headed to work that morning.

Then came the call from my wife that changed everything, "Brandon, my water just broke."

My heart started beating harder than it had at any point in my life.  Was this the day that I would become a daddy?  How quickly could I get to the hospital?  If I got pulled over, could I talk myself into a police escort like they get in the movies?  Would the girls be okay coming 6 weeks early?  What would they look like?  Would they like me?

We were told by the triage staff that Erin's water had in fact broken, but they were going to try to put off the labor for as long as they could.  They didn't want the girls coming early if they could avoid it.  So Erin was admitted with the rule that she would stay in bed while they held off the inevitable.  So we sat and waited for hopefully nothing to happen.

So it was in Labor and Delivery that we sat and watched Game 5 of the World Series.  I sat on the edge of my hospital chair agonizing over every pitch.  I watched my favorite pitcher (Tim Lincecum) put together a masterful performance.  For the people on the floor beneath our room, I'd like to apologize for jumping up and down and yelling when Edgar Renteria hit what would become the biggest Giants' home run since Bobby Thompson's Shot Heard Round the World.  I hugged my wife when Brian Wilson got the last out and fielded calls for the next hour to share in the joy.

My wife said she was feeling comfortable and tried to talk to me into going back home to sleep in my own bed while she stayed in the hospital.  That wasn't going to happen.  She may as well have asked me to put on a Dodgers jersey at that point.  I would much rather sleep on the uncomfortable hospital couch knowing that she was only 10 feet away from me.

And she actually let me sleep for a few hours and toughed it out as the contractions got worse through the night.  She needed me to use the skills I learned in our classes.  I tried to support her the best I could.  We were told over and over that they would keep trying to hold it off with medication.  It wasn't until the shifts changed the following morning that the on-call doctor finally decided to go through with the C-Section.

I put on my scrubs and sat with my mother-in-law waiting for the doctors to come in get me.  It seemed like hours.  And that was before a code was called.  I started freaking out that something must be wrong with my wife or my girls.  When the nurse finally came and got me, I couldn't have been more thankful.  I was led to the Operation Room and saw my wife laying on the operating table.  She looked as relieved as I felt.

At 8:20am the doctor asked me to stand up so I could see the girls being born.  When I saw my first baby girl, I couldn't stop the tears from welling up.  She came into the world screaming.  They asked for her name: "Grace Posey" I blubbered.  And those tears were nothing compared to the ones that came when I got to hold her and bring her to Erin.  Two minutes later Ana Cristina was new to the world.  She wasn't breathing as well as her sister, but she was just as beautiful.  She got to say "Hello" to her mom too.

They had to say "Goodbye" within five minutes to be taken down to the NICU.  I spent the next few hours by their side.  I had never changed a diaper in my life until that morning.  It was more than a little intimidating doing it with all the wires and monitors.  But the nurses were so incredible and helped me through that and so many aspects of being a new dad.

I hated walking away from them, but I had to go check on Erin and let the family know how the girls were doing.  Erin was still in the recovery room with her parents.  She looked relieved but was very anxious because she wasn't going to be able to see the girls while she was recovering.  I still feel bad about not spending time with her, but my job those next few hours was to escort and endless supply of family and friends to go see the newest additions to the family.

I was a very proud papa, but it didn't become real until that night when Erin was finally able to come down and see them for the first time since they were born.  You could feel the love fill the room as she saw them.  She was never more beautiful, and I never felt more lucky than that moment when our brand new family was reunited.

When it was all said and done, I couldn't have scripted a better 24-hour period in my life.  I'll certainly never forget that day, and it may never be topped.


Nicole said...

You have done a great job with your blog. I love reading your post as well as Erin's. However you guys make me feel like a slacker when I comes to my own LOL. The both of you remind me what it was like to be a parent for the first time and all the wonderful experiences that come from that so thank you!

Meshugga said...

Thank you. It's only 2 posts so I fully expect to go off the rails at some point.

pamela said...

I wish I didnt have mascara on when I read this one!