Because I wrote about my son’s birthday a few weeks ago, and because I am not certain who will have the final say on which retirement home I am put in, I thought it might be in my best interest to give equal billing to my daughter’s impending birthday.
In January 2007, my very pregnant wife and I entered a hospital. My wife informed the staff she believed she was in labor. After running a few tests, the hospital staff, almost condescendingly, told us she was not in labor and to be prepared to return in two weeks when the baby was due.
We knew at this point we were having a baby girl. What we didn’t know at the time was how much like her old man she was going to be. She must have heard the hospital staff tell my wife and me that she would not be entering the world on this night so she immediately set out to show them.
We found ourselves back at the same hospital a few hours later. The primary difference this time being my wife had gone from not being in labor at all to being so far in labor there would be no time for an epidural to be done.
My wife had our son with the aid of an epidural. The news of her now having our daughter via a natural childbirth must have been great because I’ve never see that look on her face… before or since.
The excitement a mother feels naturally giving birth to a baby must be something other women are able to pick up on because the nurse asked me to hold my wife’s hand as the contractions were getting closer together. Apparently, when women get really happy they acquire super-human strength and need to squeeze something to get rid of all their excess happiness.
The closer my daughter came to arriving, the happier my wife seemed to get. Every few minutes she would squeeze my hand as if she was trying to give me an immediate case of advanced arthritis. She was overflowing in happiness. Thank goodness the nurse knew enough about female happiness to offer up my right hand as an “excess happiness equalizer.”
My wife is not the cursing type, but in all her happiness over this unexpectedly natural childbirth she let loose a few words I have never heard her utter… before or since.
Our daughter, much like our son, is the kind of child parents dream of. She is smart; she is funny, and she is a joy to be around. And I’m not just saying that because I am already worried about retirement-home placement.
I would like to think this short writing of mine will serve as a thank you to all the fathers out there who casually stand in a delivery room and look on as their wives get to enjoy excessive happiness, super-human hand strength, and all the doting of the hospital delivery staff.
Once the staff is convinced they are indeed in labor, that is.
(Toby Nix is a local law enforcement officer and writer.)