Last Sunday I was chillin’ on the couch, watching Blade II, when my phone start vibrating and HK-47 screamed, “Combat mode active!” which meant that I had just received a text. It was my youngest brother telling me that his fiance’s water had just broken and my nephew was on the way.
Admittedly, I was skeptical. This was the third time I’d been told her water broke so I told him to let me know for sure and I would come up to the hospital. His next text said that she had already been admitted. This is when I knew it was the real deal. So I quickly ate dinner, changed my clothes, kissed all three of my boys, and high-tailed it the hospital.
It turned out to be an eventful evening. Things were kind of slow and quiet for a while, but probably around 8 or 9, when my future sister-in-law was three centimeters dilated, they gave her the epidural. Supposedly. If you’ve been present for a birth then you know they kick you out of the room while the epidural is administered and that it takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. It took them 45 minutes. Then anesthesiologist couldn’t get the catheter in correctly after a couple of attempts so she went and found somebody else to do it. This guy that came in and did it thought he did it correctly fucked it up somehow because not long after the epidural was administered my sister-in-law was stoned instead of numb from the waist down. They tried giving her an additional dose a couple of hours later, but it was ineffective as well. So my future sister-in-law eventually would give birth naturally.
Meanwhile, hilarity ensued while her labor progressed. She was saying some of the most hilariously off-the-wall shit that had me, my other sister-in-law, and my mother rolling. She later told us that she didn’t recall much of what happened prior to actually giving birth.
Anyhow, things kept progressing slowly. Her contractions were getting closer together and more intense, but at about 2:30 she still wasn’t fully dilated so most of us decided to take care of some things. I had to use the restroom. My brother went to go smoke. My (not pregnant) sister-in-law went to go get herself and I some coffee as we were wearing down. My mom stayed with her. I got back to the room first and as I’m rounding the corner I see my mom run out of the room deliriously yelling that my future sister-in-law was pushing. I ran to the nurses’ station and told the lady there that we needed a nurse now because the baby was coming. As she grabbed the phone to call the nurse I ran back to the room to see what I could do. I was menacingly instructed to go find by brother. So I did.
I ran to the elevator, went down to the smoking area, told him to get his ass up there, went back up the elevator and ran (well, walked really, really fast) back to the room. And the baby was coming. My future sister-in-law was spread-eagle on the bed while the nurses were still scurrying about trying to get ready for the baby.
I covered my eyes quickly while my future sister-in-law told me I could stay in the room so I moved quickly to the front corner of the room so I was by her head and couldn’t see her “hoo ha.” I was in fact interested to see a natural birth. All three of my children were born by Cesarian so I had never seen a natural birth before. As they were getting ready to finally let her push, my brother hands me the camera and designated me the photographer.
At 2:54AM Monday morning, five minutes after she started pushing, I was the proud uncle of a 6lb, 19 inch long baby boy. It was amazing, and painful, since my future sister-in-law’s epidural failed so miserably. Since my nephew was so small the only time she really experienced extreme pain was when his shoulders came out. There was an extremely loud obscenity screamed at that point. My brother got to cut the umbilical cord, which is something I’ve never gotten to do, so I’m somewhat jealous on that account. After a moment, they took him over to the warming station where the pediatric nurses cleaned him all up while I snapped pictures furiously. Eat your heart out, Peter Parker. These pictures kick your Spiderman pictures’ ass.
From there things got worrisome. My nephew wasn’t breathing properly. The thought was that since he came out so fast all of the fluid in his lungs wasn’t squeezed out. The on-call pediatrician came in and examined him and decided that he should be moved to the NICU so a close eye could be kept on him. They originally thought it would only be for a couple of hours while he worked fluid out of his lungs.
A few hours, and chest x-rays, later it was determined that my nephew’s lungs weren’t fully developed. He has spent the majority of this past week on a breathing machine being fed by a tube.
I visited him on Tuesday and the poor guy had a CPAP on that basically covered his whole face. It was heartbreaking to see a newborn with so many tubes in him and hooked up to so many machines. The poor guy kept grabbing the mask as if trying to take it off, which he probably was. I told him to hurry up and get better because I and his cousins want him to come home so we could see him and play with him.
Today, I received great news. He’s off the machine, he’s eating normally, and is expected to be home by Monday. The proud mommy and daddy were able to hold him today and he should be off oxygen and have his IV’s taken out tomorrow. I’m heading up there tomorrow after the twins’ soccer game and hoping to hold him for the first time. I can’t wait to hold him.
*UPDATE* My nephew is doing great! He’s still breathing on his own. My mother and I both got to hold him today. He still has a feeding tube, though. The little guy is eating, but not enough so they are having to give him the rest through a feeding tube. Once he is eating as much as he should he will be released. I was extremely relieved to hear this news.