By: guest author Jared A.
My wife claims one of my most favorite things to do is make her laugh. She's not wrong. However,
it's not just any laugh which amuses me the most. It's the kind of laugh where her head tosses back, her shoulders shake, and laughter so utterly claims her it will be a while before she can speak.
What makes these moments so entertaining is I cannot often predict when such moments will occur.
A month before our son was born we attended a parenting class at the hospital for people who were having babies soon. It's an all-day affair, scheduled to go from 8 am to 4 pm. The main problem was my wife's nap time had regularly started around 1 pm every day for the last few weeks.
Sure enough, by 2 PM she starts talking about how she's super ready for a nap.
She repeats this desire at least three times before we finally leave. Driving home, we're about 5 minutes to the house and she says the first thing she's going to do is fall asleep on our giant bean bag chair. Then this happens:
Me: "Are you sure you don't want to take a shower and go to actual bed and get some quality sleep?" Her: "I'm too tired, I mean I could if it was an emergency..." Me: "Okay, and... in your head... what kind of emergency requires you to take a nice hot shower and comfortably go to bed?"
She couldn't stop laughing the entire rest of the way home! Her reaction was, as our daughter would say, "Perfection."
A month later (to the literal day) the two of us arrived back at the hospital for the scheduled induction delivery of our son. While the induction had been scheduled due to her high-risk pregnancy, everything had been going relatively smoothly, there were no active concerns detected, and the mood between us was happy and relaxed.
We both absolutely loved having an appointment and zero guesswork as to when to go to the hospital for the delivery. Since we're both gamers, packing things like the Nintendo Switch wasn't in question, only which game to bring (Monster Hunter Stories for the win!)
The hospital room was great. We had room service for food, a big screen TV I could connect the switch to so she could either play or watch me play, and zero responsibilities for either of us. Outside of tracking contractions and knowing a delivery would eventually happen, it almost felt like a great day off.
We were at the hospital for about six hours when they broke my wife's water and explained our son was on track to be born sometime later in the evening, but probably not for at least another six hours...Which was why I was entirely unprepared when the room leapt into emergency mode about ten minutes later.
As they prepped my wife to leave the room for the OR, someone handed me a full body smock in anticipation of me joining them. However, by the time they actually left the room, I was told to stay behind. What's more, the clothes given to me were too small and they ripped when I tried to put them on.
There I was, standing in a now empty room, not at all sure what had happened, with no direction on what action to take, and entirely powerless to help my wife. So I did the only thing I could do: follow the last direction given and put on protective OR gear.
I carried the ripped set to the nurse at the front desk of the maternity ward (she came to visit us the next day and we learned her name was Victoria) and told her something to the effect of, "So they rushed my wife away and I'm not sure what's going on but they gave me these and told me to put them on, so I thought I'd do that since that was the one thing I've been told I can do, but I ripped them so I can't even do that, so can I maybe have bigger ones?" She said sure, then asked if anyone had told me what was going on.
Thanks to that nurse, I received both the larger outfit and information. Victoria went to the OR to personally deliver a message to my wife, "They have explained everything to me and I understand it and I'm confident everything will be fine." Victoria even made an extra trip to let me know my wife received my message. I wanted the nurse to give her that message, because I hoped it would be what she needed to hear to be calm. I would find out later that's exactly the effect it had and why her return message was a simple yet profound, "Thank you!"
I still wanted to connect with my wife myself, so I texted her, even though I knew logically she wouldn't see her messages as I had her phone.
Hi, you were just rushed out a bit ago. You won't read this until it's over. I stood stunned a couple minutes and then decided the thing I could do was ask for a larger robe since the one they gave me ripped. They got me one and told me what is going on and I asked them to pass you a message and they said you got it. I'm far less scared now that they so confidently explained what is happening.
I updated the house that you're in for C section and that while they need to rush, everything is still well in hand.
And now I'm messaging you because I can't talk to you. I guess I can try to play but I don't feel like it.
I definitely have adrenaline rushing. They do all sound very confident that there's no emergency just a "we need to move with a purpose right now"
And they say [our son] is born and you are still asleep so... I'm still waiting...
But yay [he] is born and healthy!
It was a very strange feeling when they brought our son into the room without his mother. Everything my wife and I had planned once he was born had involved us both in attendance. As delighted as I was to finally hold my son, her absence was a giant missing piece to the puzzle.
We hadn't planned for a situation where he'd be with me an unknown amount of time before she joined us. I texted the house to ask my brother to bring my daughter to the hospital. She'd been eager to meet her own brother sooner rather than later and I didn't want to be alone. Once I knew the rest of the family was on their way, I turned my attention back to the conversation I was having with my son. Then I updated my wife.
They brought [our son] to me a while ago and we've been chatting about how we can't believe you're sleeping at a time like this!
Apparently this is the kind of emergency that requires you to go to sleep ♥️
Jokes are my coping mechanism.
It took a few hours before my wife got my messages, but when she did, she tossed her head back, her shoulders shook, and oh boy did she laugh!
I smiled. At the sound. At our kids. At all the feelings which welled up inside of me, magnified by her laugh.
My happy family!