Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In the Beginning...

I had just finished one of the busiest weeks of my life and needed a break.  My unborn son, however, demonstrating early his propensity for being strong willed, decided I needed some more excitement in my life.   I arrived home from work and opened the door to find my wife waiting inside, presumably to congratulate me on another work week completed.  The first words out of her mouth were possibly the most significant spoken since December 8th 1941.  “Would you like to go meet your son?” she said.  I don’t remember exactly what I said, maybe some variation on, “But that’s impossible, he’s not due for two weeks.”  In any case, we went to the hospital to check in.   Oddly enough, my most vivid memory of the next few hours was the color of the hospital room.  Now, I don’t know what most people expect from a hospital room in terms of color.  I have been in five in my life and they have all been a similar shade of white.   The hospital employees, maybe because of overactive creativity, maybe because of too many episodes of Teletubbies, or maybe just because of a sale at Menards, had decided to paint our room orange.  Certainly I can see their line of thinking…
Hospital Employee 1:  “How can we have our birthing rooms say, ‘Come in and relax and enjoy this peaceful time?’”
Hospital Employee 2:  “Paint them bright orange!”
At any rate, we got our orange room and settled in to have the baby.  Now I know you can’t believe everything you see on TV, but I had certain impressions of the birthing process from the videos that were shown in our birthing class.  Most strong among those impressions was that the birthing process lasted 30 minutes from the time you left your house to the time they held the baby up and yelled, “It’s a (insert gender here).  Apparently they cut a few things out in the making of those videos.   The child who had been so eager to get us into the hospital suddenly decided to slow things down.  Maybe he didn’t like orange.  My wife, meanwhile, had to put up with people coming in and poking and prodding her with all manner of needles and vital sign reading equipment.  I’m pretty sure I would have saved a butter knife from dinner and fought back. 
The long awaited moment came early the next morning.  Very early.  I’ve stayed up late for a lot of things: games of world conquest, famous trilogies, and occasionally even work.  But no land war in Asia can equal the thrill of watching the birth of a child.  My son entered the world at 3:59, crying.  (Definitely not a fan of orange.)  It was the most amazing, exhilarating thing I have seen.  Maybe next time it will be more like the video. 

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