Tuesday, January 13, 2004

editied email to claiborne, one of my bestest friends and the guy that got me into bluegrass music to begin with.

I'm a dad now (you'll be getting the more general annoucnement later) to a beautiful 7 pound 10 ounce baby boy.
dude... watching my kid get born was the most amazing thing. holy fucking shit. Should you get the opportunity, you had better not miss out on watching your own kid get delivered into the world. My mind is pretty much blown. It was better than any drugs I have ever taken in my whole fucking life.

Melissa and I agreed that if Sammy hadn't arrived by Monday, that she'd induce labor, and so by Monday we were at Lakeshore Hospital by about noon. We started inducing labor with a pitocin drip around 1:30 (pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin, the
chemical that helps to stimulate contractions.
. Over the course of the day they
increased the drip, and the contractions kept getting more intense. Melissa is a fucking trooper too, but I could see how much pain she was in. What's fucked is you can't really see that anything's going on. It's all internal, so she was just lying
there looking more and more uncomfortable while to my eye, nothing was happening. Probably like period cramps but exponentially, I guess, we haven't talked about it yet. Her face went ashen a few times, and a couple of times she
the pain finally got to be too much (I keep saying "we" but you know it's really like "she," who the fuck am I to get in the way of her pain relief?). My parents told us horrow stories about getting an epidural, but thankfully, the procedure has been refined and perfected over the past 30 years, so it was no problem. I'm not one to describe (I'll see if I can get Melissa to describe it later and edit) it seems something like a novocaine iv; that's kind of how it worked. She was fully conscious, and told her mom and me that she could feel a degree of pain and pressure, but nowhere near what it was like before the epidural. Also, she had enough feeling
that she could feel the contractions, which helped a lot with the pushing.

The issue with the epidural actually led to a brief snapping at my old man later that evening. My dad is a great guy, but like me he has a tendency to talk and talk until someone shuts him up. Because he's used to being right (i'll give the man credit, he's usually right about most things), he sometimes thinks he's always right. After telling him the epidural went Ok, he started in with the horror story I'd already heard twice, and as I tried to correct him, he began to get on a roll with "LISTEN TO ME..." at which point I had to get nasty and cut him off with "NO, I WON'T LISTEN TO YOU because what you're going to say is based on an experience from 33 years ago." I feel badly about snapping, but at the same time, I really didn't need to hear the whole spiel for a third time, especially on three hours of sleep and on roaming charges...

So anyway, most of the day, I'd say from 1:30 to 6:30, she barely dilated past 3 cm. Then after a trip to the bathroom and some really strong contractions, she went from 3 cm to 10 cm in about 15 minutes. This is when they gave her the epidural, probably around 8:30 or so. The nurses got her legs up, and already I could see some of his hair hanging out of her vagina. At first I thought it was some sort of blackish pregnancy related goo, but then I realized it was little brown curls. Melissa's mom helped her with the breathing, while the nurses and I were yelling encouragement as she pushed. The head came out little by little; Melissa would push three times during a contraction, then take a break while she waited for the next. Then three more pushes of about 10 seconds each, and a break, with a little more of his noggin appearing each time. It got pretty crazy looking down there; her pussy got REALLY big, and her asshole was bulging out like a bunch of grapes from the pressure of his head. I realize that sounds rude, but there is no other way to put it. I was impressed, really impressed by the extremes the human body can go to.

Then Sammy's little head began poking out, first the size of a tennis ball, then a little bit more. Each time she pushed, he'd take three steps forward, one step back. When his head came all the way out, it was almost the size of a candlepin bowling ball. She ended up getting a hemorrhoid or two (this is common) and in the end, she
finally needed a tiny epesiotomy. Neither of us were happy about that. All of a sudden her doctor muttered, "She's gonna need an episio..." and before we had a chance to protest, it was done, and Sammy practically fell out. Thankfully, it was a really small cut, requiring only one stitch. The doc and the nurses were amazed at this because it was her first birth.

So we got some pix of him all purple and slimy, and I cut the cord. We also got a bunch of nice shots from after he went to normal baby color, which was only
about 15 minutes.
The amount of blood, water, and stuff that comes out
of a girl after giving birth is crazy, but not too
shocking (at least for me). be prepared for that, and
if you don't have a strong stomach, once the kid is
born, just pay attention to mom and don't worry about
the clean up. That's what nurses are for anyway.
melissa got to hold him first, but while they were
cleaning her up, I sang him to sleep with "Tennessee
Waltz" and almost stared bawling like a baby myself.
Jesus, my eyes are getting all wet thinking about it
right now. God almighty, he's a cute little fucker.