That’s a cute baby. Welcome to this world, Emerson Kate Horn. I think your official spawn time was 6:31 AM, but don’t hold me to that. I was delirious. And you can’t blame me. Watch (or read, don’t complain about semantics, it’s our blog)…
Monday was MLK Day, a bank holiday. My buddy Buddha and I went to play golf and had a great time. The time was nearing for our baby to be born and I had a feeling golf wouldn’t be happening much after that. We were also discussing something Jess and I had been praying about quite a bit – the move to Shreveport to raise Emerson around her family. But golf was afoot and it was a beautiful day for it. We finished up and headed over to one of our favorite watering holes, The Lot, by our house on Springwater. Jess came up and met us there. John, the proprietor of said establishment, came by and said something to the effect of “don’t have that baby in here, please.” He told us the story of his first child and some spicy food that set his wife over the edge. I should note, the popcorn at The Lot is incredibly spicy.
Later that Monday night when Jess started feeling some pains, I told her it was probably the spicy popcorn. Me, being the loving husband I am, sent her packing upstairs. I wanted some sleep. “Suck it up, Jess.” Okay, that might not be at all how that happened. But alas I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed, and she still felt crummy. We decided it was best to head into the doctor’s office when she got a chance. Around noon, I left the bank and headed down to Dr. Gaitonde’s office to find my bride.
Dr. Gaitonde is a great doctor. One of the best I’ve ever met. Quick-witted and fast-talking, he’s also caring, straight forward and calming all at the same time. I will always be thankful Jess chose him. He checked Jess to see “how far along she was”. I’ll explain that to Emerson when she’s old enough, but my better sensibilities don’t allow me to type all the details of such procedures. Once he made his determination, he sent us to the hospital into the maternity waiting area or something like that. I’ll call it the “baby on deck circle” to reference some sports today. Anyhow, it was just a row of beds separated by those hospital curtains and a few nurses just hanging around waiting. And that was the start of a lot of waiting.
Once they determined she could have a “birthing room”, we made our way upstairs and did some more waiting. It was about 5 PM, five hours into our endeavor to meet our child, and it was time to call Jess’s parents to come over from Shreveport. So for the next 3 hours, Jess and I sat in this dark room listening to relaxing music and talking about what life will be like in these next steps. Nothing would be the same.
(Oh, if you’re wondering what the playlist is, it was Great Lake Swimmers, Iron & Wine, Blind Pilot, The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses, Ben Howard, and maybe Trespassers William. So Emerson was bound to have good taste.)
A nurse would come and check on us, I would go grab snacks from the hospital cafeteria, we’d sit and talk, her parents showed up, and we just waited and waited and waited. Our baby wasn’t in a hurry to be born on a Tuesday. So we sent Mr. & Mrs. Moore back to our house to get some sleep and we kept awake, visiting and planning. Around 4:15 AM, after almost 24 hours of being awake, they decided to call Dr. Gaitonde at home to get him up there. It was getting close to time.
Dr. Gaitonde walked in with a giant mug of iced tea (because it was too early for the coffee shop to be open) and a bout of delirium that made me question if he was huffing laughing gas in the break room. And once he explained my “role” in the birthing process, I assumed it must have been a concentrated formula of laughing gas. What? You want me to what?
I’ll just fast forward here. I did what he asked, without watching the process, and tried to be a supportive husband and new father. The moment Emerson Kate was born, all the nurses scooped her up and put her in the baby E-Z Bake Oven to clean her up. They all looked at me and told me to take pictures and this and that. It’s an overwhelming experience, coupled with 24 hours of being awake, and I honestly wasn’t sure what to do. But I did snap a few photos.
The best part of the whole experience (well technically I guess that would be getting a bundle of joy out of it, but again, it’s our blog), was right after Dr. Gaitonde completed his job and he looks around, proud of himself, and loudly proclaims, “Not bad for having watched a ‘How to Deliver a Baby’ YouTube video before walking in here.” I laughed like a crazy person; the nurses looked at him like he was an idiot; Jess didn’t know what was going on (<—drugs). I still laugh about that comment.
Some men cry, some men smile, some men crack jokes. I’m not real sure what kind of man I was that morning. I hope by the time you read this, Emerson, you know the kind of man I was.