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I know you’ve been waiting on it…and here it finally is! I’m so thankful that I have the type of husband who is not only willing to write these blog entries, but wants to. Our children and beyond blessed and I love thinking about us all sitting around as adults retelling their birth stories together!
Daddy’s Story (From Gas to Glory)
I have said it before, and I will say it again, I am not as
good a writer as my wife so bear with me.
Have you ever eaten fast food or Mexican and had really bad
gas? The kind that hurts so badly but you are in the car with five of your
friends (not that I have 5 friends) and you have to hold it in? Well, apparently
that is similar to contraction pain. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t
think that it’s even close, but Emily on the other hand must.
Starting around Thanksgiving, ever so often,
Emily would call me in the bedroom and say, “I think I am in labor.” I would ask
her how it felt and she would say that she wasn’t sure if it was gas or a
contractions. Imagine how confusing this was. I just kept telling her, “if I
smell something I’ll let you know.” Well on December 6th I was on my
way home for lunch when Em called me and told me she might be in labor. Surprise, surprise she was uncertain if
it was gas or labor pain. I did not get excited because I figured it was gas
again. Emily was on her way home as well, so when she got there we talked about
it more. As time progressed it was apparent that she was in actual labor. The funny
part was how long she was unsure. I would look at her going through a
contraction and I would think, “I have had gas but not like that.”
Ok, I am sure you are over hearing
about gas so we will move on, gas free. When Emily told me it was for sure
labor, first thing I did was call her mom. She was working at a prison a few
hours away and we needed to let her know asap so she could head home. I called
the prison (no cell phones are allowed in) and asked for her. I was going to talk
to her a little about it and let her know that Em was pretty sure she was in labor, but when she picked up the phone I
said “ We think Emily may be in labor but….” And that’s all I got out before she said ok while I was mid-sentence and hung up. I
assumed she was on her way. Deuce ( I
call Em’s mom Deuce, it stands for second mom) has a history of interesting travel
to events of Emily’s and mine, she got pulled over on the way to our wedding, and maxed out her
Honda’s speedometer on the way to Kye’s birth.
Thankfully this trip was uneventful and she made it in plenty of time with
This birthing process was awesome in
most ways. Emily did way better at home.
Relaxed great, was more prepared, and was just overall more calm. The dynamic
was so much different with Kye there. We had to focus on her labor but at the
same time focus on Kye’s needs. We talked to Jordan and made sure he was ready
to go. We put Kye down for a nap and then we kinda waited. The part that was
most similar to the first time, was trying to decide when to leave for the
hospital. I am not sure how much it is talked about in the blog world but it is
an interesting thing to me. I compare it to one of The Price Is Right games.
The music plays and the arrow moves higher and higher until you say stop. You
are trying to get as close to the price of the car without going over. You want to labor at home as long as possible but
you definitely don’t want to go over. It
is a strange, anxious feeling to me. I
know Emily gets tired of me saying, “You think we should leave?” I keep asking
over and over again. I am a smart guy, well a really smart guy, but I am not
about to deliver a baby. (And yes, I was kidding about the smart part.)
Well we finally left. Thank the Lord above. Yes,
literally thank the Lord above. I know Em wants to stay home as long as
possible but the moment she says, “ok its time,” a large weight is lifted of my
shoulders. I feel even more relief when we get into the room at the hospital.
Notice I did not say when we get to the hospital. When you first get there you pre-register for the
entire thing and it’s so pointless. It is comparable to when you call a 1800
number and the robot voice asks to you key in you phone number so they
can have your information ready when a representative is available. Yea, then
they answer the phone and say “telephone number please.” EHHHHH, that drives me
insane. I always ask, “so why did I spend 5 min keying in all my info???” Same concept at the hospital.
This go around we got put straight into a labor and delivery room which was great. With Kye we had to stay in a small
room while they asked us a ton of questions and it took awhile. I also had to
listen to Emily talk to me about the two nurses like they were not standing
right there. She was so funny. She kept saying, “they think I am stupid don’t
they?” over and over. But this time we went right to the room and then we waited.
There were only three bad elements to
this delivery. I will get these out of the way so I can continue with the
positive. First, The IV situation. I am not sure why it is so difficult to give
Em an IV. She has small veins I guess
but, wow, it is not easy. Although Emily hates this more than anything else, she did
pretty good. I never have understood the fear of needles. I understand the fear
of pain but just not specific items that cause the pain. Emily does so well with the contraction pain
but the needles bother her. Once we got the IV out of the way, things became
a little easier.
First thing, cover up the mirror!
The second tough thing was the baby being
turned. Sometimes people have
experiences that can affect them on a different levels than others. Emily was
turned the wrong way at birth and they had to turn her over with forceps. Long
story her head was cut and affect some nerves and she can’t smell. When they
told Emily that the baby was turned she lost it. Even when they said the baby was
just turned on her side, not all the way, Em didn’t even hear that. All she heard
was, “the baby is turned.” The fears about her own birth
had spilled over into her child’s birth.
I felt so bad that this was happening but there was nothing I could do.
Now, when I say she “lost it,” I mean by Emily’s definition of “lost it.” She wasn’t yelling and screaming
and going crazy, but she was a little frantic. I tried to comfort her as much
as possible but she wasn’t having it. The amazing thing was that during all
that she turned over and followed Teresa’s instructions like a pro. She turned
Brittlynn over in like 15 min. I was so proud of her for being able to do it,
even when her mind was focusing on her nightmare.
The third, and last tough thing, was Teresa’s timing. I
am not a quick to anger kind of guy. I have a slow fuse in most cases, although
Emily will probably tell her that my fuse is shortest with her. The exception to the rule is messing with my
family. Last birth one of the nurses was super mean to Em and I got upset. This time,
though not intentional, the midwife really upset me. Let me say that I do not
know the circumstances, and I have no idea what happened. When it took Teresa
so long to get to the hospital I was very mad.
I hate seeing my wife in pain. I know that it is part of the process,
but it still bothers me. I always wish I could take the pain on myself. The fact that Emily was ready to start
pushing for over an hour and Teresa had not shown up yet, let say I was
The most difficult part was
not showing my emotion to Emily. The
last thing she needed was to see me worried. They said she would be there in 10 min and over an hour and a half later
she showed up. I mouthed to (nurse)
several times “where is she?” I just kept telling Em she was almost there. Several times I stepped out into the nurses’
station and asked where she was. They
would say she is on the way. I told them, “that is what you said an hour ago, so
someone please get her here now.” I tried
to be nice but I was a little past trying to be nice for everyone when my wife was
ready to push. Finally, Teresa got there. I was very tempted to say
something, but didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot. I do want to say that
she was very good at her job. She was great with Em and was a godsend during the birth. I only
wish she could have arrived a little earlier. Then again, you don’t always get
Now that we are past the negative,
let’s get started with all the amazingly great things that happened. First of
all, I did not have to hold the stupid I fan. Ok, just kidding (well kinda). I truly feel that this experience went
great. Emily was unbelievable. People do not realize the strength, physically
and mentally, that God has put in them.
When this process began with the second child, Emily voiced to me that
she was nervous about labor this time around. She said that people just expected her
to do well this time where with Kye’s delivery no one believed she’d be able to do it naturally. Honestly, I
thought she would do great and never for a second doubted her. I knew she would do even better this time with the
relaxation and the laboring at home. The surprising thing to me was the
pushing. Em was a different person this labor when it came to pushing, I could really tell. Like I
said earlier I am not a doctor but man, the difference was amazing. By the third or fourth push I
could see the head.
This brings us to the actual birth. I
felt way more comfortable with Autumn there taking pictures than I did the
first time. I tried to just let her do her thing and not pay too much
attention. I still did not want to see
what was going on “down there” so I stayed by Em’s head. I gave her ice chips
whenever she needed them. The great thing was that this time was I felt more like a
coach than an onlooker. Emily did a
great job listening to me and, having gone through it before, I knew some key
phrases to say (and what not to say) to keep her motivated and on the right track. Everything just seemed smoother. There were a few bumps in the road but the first time around the whole thing seemed like a bump in the road.
thing I did differently this time was I did end up looking at the “situation”
a lot more. I still did not have
a direct line of vision so that was good. The reason I ended up looking was to be able
to relay info to Emily. I know how she ticks and the encouragement she needs. I
would tell her that when a push was great and when I could see the head. I also told her that
Teresa needed to cut her a little because she really did need it. I basically could
let her know that all the pushing was working, that she was doing everything right and it was progressing like she wanted it to.
I am sure it is difficult to lay there, putting in so much effort, to not be able to see the results. It
probably seems like pushing against wall. I
think that me relaying that to Emily really made a difference in the pushing process and helped speed it along.
Now for the main event. I thought that Brittlynn was a girl the entire
time, and just like with Kye, I was right. The great thing about not knowing the sex is the excitement! I was so excited to see. I thought that
because it was baby number two that it would be great, but not on the same level that the first baby was.
Boy was I wrong. I coached Emily a lot more and when I could see the head coming
out I just went into this weird coaching mode. I wanted to see and hold my
child. When Brittlynn came out I was amazed. Not that I was right about the sex,
duh. I was amazed by how beautiful she
was. I was not expecting it. Her skin was so pretty. She had gorgeous hair. I immediately began to cry.
Yes, cry. Regardless of my large stature and am a bit of a softy. When it comes
to my family my heart just wells up with pride. I am so lucky to have a
wonderful wife, awesome son, and at that moment I was staring at another part
of my family and of me. I know that I will have disappointments with my
children one day. I know at some point I will let them down as well. Anytime I
get frustrated with one of them I hope I can remember these moments in life. How proud I
was, how I got to hold them, and stare into their eyes. It is AMAZING.
They put her on Emily’s stomach to let the cord stop pulsing then I cut it. I was just ready to get it over with so I could hold her, but I was more calm with it and it seemed tougher than Kye’s did (probably because the blood was all gone from it?) and I kinda had to saw through it. The nurses cleaned her off, and I was hovering over them like a vulture. When she was done cleaning I snatched her up and
cherished that time I had. I remember how special it was with Kye. I wanted to
have it again with Brittlynn. With Brittlynn I found myself thinking about all
the moments we would share in the future. I thought about Kye and how I hope he
will protect her in moments that I can’t. How she will grow up and marry some
undeserving man. How clean my shotgun
with be when she is in highschool. If I
had to right a list of top ten moments of my life, holding Brittlynn and Kye for
those first thirty min of their lives is right up there at the top.
Cutting the cord
First time seeing Daddy
Finally, Emily got to nurse
Brittlynn. When she was done we brought in Kye. Another moment I will never
forget. The raw love and wonderment in his eyes was amazing to witness. He was
so sweet. I love when he calls her his baby.
After the introduction, I went to get the family to come in. This was also a
lot smoother than the first time around.
The flow was better and I will cherish the moments of witnessing their
joy. There are very few moments in life
that are all around great for everyone. It is nice to be apart of something so
pure. No one is fake or trying to find a tactical way to say something. Everyone just
reacts naturally to the wonderful moment. The tears of joy, the laughter, my
father who raised me so tough (which I am thankful for) just melting as he held his new granddaughter. These
moments are what makes life so incredible.
Ok who is ready for a football
reference (you knew it was coming!)? When I think analogy it is
usually football related. The two experiences of
childbirth were just like the two national championships I played in. The first
one, both child and championship, went by so quickly. I was very nervous and did
not know what to expect. Because of the uncertainty of what was going to
happen, just winning the game or in this case getting the child out, was my main
focus. Everything went so fast that I
didn’t appreciate all the things that make it so special. I was so much more
relaxed the second time around. I
appreciated the little moments of both that championship game and of Brittlynn’s birth. I appreciate the small moments that Emily and I shared together. The reason I was able to relax more and just soak it in this time was because of my amazing wife. I have so much confidence in her and her ability that I could relax
and know that she was going to do great.
My only moment of worry was the baby turning, and of course she knocked
that out of the park. I am so glad that
I never have to experience a screaming wife, who says nasty things during the
delivery. Or one who is so doped up on drugs that she isn’t herself or doesn’t know what’s going on. I get to experience a wife who handles it all like a bad case of GAS.
And that is glorious!
I would like to say thank you to all those who have helped in
this process. Those that came to visit
in the hospital, it means so much and when you come up there it really shows us how much you love us and care about our children. Those who
sent food, you know I am always hungry and all the food was terrific. It sounds
kinda silly but getting food makes things so much easier. To our families,
thank you so much. Jordan watching Kye, Casey and Courtney just helping in anyway we asked. Mom who is always helpful goes above and beyond. Deuce, thank you
for helping as well. I would thank my dad but he never reads this so he won’t ever know I thanked him here. Also thank you to all of Em’s friends who continue to shower her with their love, help, cards, and support. We are so grateful to you all and so blessed to have two amazing children!