Tuesday, February 28, 2006


We entered the pre-delivery ER area around 4-ish. After a quick exam and some conversation with the doctors on duty we were moved to a delivery room. Lauren was not having any contractions, but since her water broke they knew they would be delivering Maxfield within the next 24 hours.

They hooked up Lauren to the two machines with those wires hanging out of them (that is a medical term. Look it up), one to measure her contractions and the other to measure the baby’s heartbeat. I made some phone calls to our parents and we set up shop for the evening. Lauren was familiarizing herself with the room and I was familiarizing myself with the TV remote and what stations had proper reception. The Oscars were on and I did not want to miss it.

Different nurses and doctors came in to do the basic 36-point inspections. At one point a doctor suggested to induce Lauren to make sure the process would start. They injected her with inducing serum (another medical term). While we were waiting for something to happen Lauren’s parents showed up and hung out in the room with us. This would be their first grandchild and they were quite excited.

One of the residents with a group of 5 or 6 interns stopped in to check on Lauren’s status. He introduced himself and went about writing stuff on his clipboard. Lauren at this point started to feel the contractions but they weren’t that bad. The Oscar’s were underway but I was not paying too much attention. There were about a total of 12 people in the room. After the interns left, Lauren felt somewhat awkward with all the people in and out. I now became the gatekeeper. I had a job, which was great because it gave me something to do. Everyone left as Lauren’s contractions worsened.

We watched the contraction monitor, with the lines going up and down over and over again. Every time it blipped I asked Lauren if she was all right. She responded with, “That wasn’t so bad.” The Lord of the Rings won another Oscar. A man walked into the room. He was wearing a white jacket and walked right up to Lauren and grabbed her chart, he spoke with an accent and said something about having a look. I jumped up.

“Whoa whoa. Who are you?” My nervous energy jumping into my voice.

“I am Dr. So-and-so.”

“Okay and what are you doing?”

“I’m the chief resident.”

I looked to the nurse and she confirmed with a nod that he was Dr. So-and-so.

“Well it would be NICE if maybe you introduced yourself before examining my wife.”

He kind of backed away. The nurse explained that if our doctor for, some reason could not make it, this doctor would be delivering the baby.

“Fine. But you could still introduce yourself. Like “hi I am Dr. So-and-so, I’m the chief resident” before just saying you are going to examine her. I mean seriously you could be anybody in a white coat.” I was pissed.

The nurse and Lauren calmed me down and let the doctor do his work. They suggested that Lauren take something to help her sleep because she was going to be in for a long night and wanted her to have her strength for the pushing part. They also said it would help calm her and let nature take it’s course. They gave her some meds and she rested.

The nurse assigned to us suggested it would be time to get the epidural and the doctor concurred. It had to do with dilation and effacing and centimeters (damn I knew I should paid attention in grade school when they went over the Metric system) and percentages. Eppie the Epiduralist came in and worked his magic and inserted the needle thing into Lauren’s back. She winced but she said she was okay. Lord of the Rings wins another Oscar.

The rest of the time is a blur. Lauren woke with pains. She asked the nurse, “Should I be feeling this with the epidural?” The nurse answer no. “Well I am.” Said Lauren. The nurse got the doctor and they did an exam and the Lauren went from 2 centimeters to 8.5 in a matter of 1/2 an hour. The epidural probably was not going to work because of speed of her progression. Lauren really started to feel the contractions. The time was getting near. The Oscars were over for about an hour now.

There was pushing and breathing and medical staff in and out of the room. I stayed by Lauren’s face and was doing my best to coach her. I was thinking “That’s’ the old pepper that’s the old pepper” because that is how Bugs Bunny coached in that one episode where he is playing baseball, but I was saying, “Good Job” while holding her hand. Lauren turned to me and said, “Bill, Your are squeezing my hand too tight.”

There was more pushing and more pushing. Lauren did not moan or curse. She hunkered down. I was amazed at her thresh hold for pain. Our doctor showed up and got into the catchers position. “Oh the baby’s head is crowning. Wow, sure does have a lot of hair. Dad? Would you like to see?”

My back was towards the doctor my face inches from Lauren. “No. I am fine right here.”

“Oh the head is out. Dad? Do you want to see your baby?"

“I SAID, I am fine right here.”

Someone said final push. I looked back over my shoulder to see the doctor make a jerky sweeping motion with her arm towards the floor. She said “Whoops. He is a wiggly one.” As she snatched Max inches before he hit the ground. Wow. Close one. It was after 2 AM on March 1st.

The medical staff did the whole cleaning the baby thing and there was the usual gross stuff that followed deliveries. They brought Maxfield over to Lauren and placed him on her chest.

It was a moment I will never forget. For it was the first time I ever saw anything as beautiful, as amazing, as glorious as I witnessed right there, right then. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.

It wasn’t Max.

It was Lauren. My wife. A mother. Beautiful.


eclectic said...

Awwww... you just made me cry. That is the single, sweetest thing any man could ever say to a woman.

***group hug***

Anonymous said...

Man, you totally made me cry too! Great story.

Happy birthday, Maxfield!

Michelle said...

What a great ending to a great story! sniff sniff.

Susie said...

Eppie the Epiduralist is still making me laugh. Oh and the inducing serum... Hahaha... if it went in you, you'd know what they were... that's ok...you said the best thing at the end. And you were there and held her hand. And you were a bulldog in the delivery room. Good job.

Anonymous said...

ohhhhhhhhhh, thats wonderful. cool story

Melanie said...

I love it!!! What a great story. My hubby stayed up by my head too. Don't blame you!

Bente said...

First Oprah and now you have made me cry today. This was a great story and I'm so glad you put that doctor in his place.

Happy Birthday, Max!

Anonymous said...

The whole epidural and speed of delivery does sound exactly like Brenna's birth! Poor Lauren!
Were you serious about Max almost hitting the floor? That is a terrifying thought!
Happy Birthday Max!

The Q said...

What a beautiful (two) posts I've read here tonight.

You're such a great husband and father. You truly love your wife and your son (and soon to be born "child" ~ I won't say what for those who didn't want to know) and it shows in your writing and your words.

The Egel Nest said...

Okay...I did not cry..but this is another great prep story for me in the next few months :)

The Egel Nest

Kate Giovinco Photography said...

What a great post. Way to go Lauren and happy birthday Max!

Kristie said...

thats so sweet. i know i died the first time my bf told me that i am the most beautiful person ever because he saw me give birth to our son. I hope your wife knows how you feel. :)

Peanutt said...

Happy birthday to Maxfield! That was so sweet!!!

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful. I cried - I admit it. I just love your love for Lauren.

Happy Birthday, Maxfield!!!

Unknown said...

Awwww.... that last sentence or two gave me chills... the good kind. :)

Happy birthday Max!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story! Tears are swelling! Happy Birthday to Maxfield! Happy Anniversary Of your LAbor Day to Lauren! Job well done! What joy!

Meegs said...

No crying here, you had me laughing too much first. But still a sweet story.

Happy Birthday Max!!

ieatcrayonz said...

STOP IT. Posts like these need disclaimers. Next time try, "This post is guaranteed to make you cry at work, so shut the door and grab a tissue."

Happy birthday to the little wiggle monkey!

Tonia said...

Tear Tear! How sweet. My hubby also stayed at my head!

Anonymous said...

That is such a humbling experience for a man. Smallness and Reverence. A woman looks her worst and yet her best at the exact same instant.

Anonymous said...

Are you celebrating Max's Birthday the same way you did last year? Jack says Hi !

Lois Lane said...

Awww, happy birthday you three amazing people. :)
I expect to see messy cake face photos by morning young man! (no, Bill, not of you, just Max) :P
Lois Lane

Judypatooote said...

Wow, what a sweet story.....when i first started reading this, i thought Lauren went into labor...but i was sure it was to soon.....

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

It worked on me too. Crying.

Kari said...

Happy Birthday Maxfield!!

And to you and Lauren too. You guys are great parents! Congrats on your beautiful Maxfield!

tammy said...

Worked for me to. I need to go wipe my tears...

Nature Girl said...

Happy Birthday Maxfield!

What a wonderful story Bill! Almost made me cry..


LizzieDaisy said...


I blame the tears on the lack of sleep after my daughter was up all night with the flu though. Had nothing to do with your beautiful post. Nothing at all. So there. :')

LizzieDaisy said...

And just so ya know, my hubby was really upset too with my first delivery... about the fact that like 6 different people checked me, some of them men. None of them asked. Really ticked him off and made him very uncomfortable. You're not alone. There were a good 15 people in the room during my last delivery though and he didn't even blink (I don't think most of them needed to be there... I think they just wanted to watch a premiee delivery but I could be wrong). You'll get used to it. I had to. :)

Unknown said...

That is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.