“The baby’s heart rate isn’t responding well to the Pitocin,” the doctor said, “I recommend we do a C-section.”
This was the news after 34 hours of labor.
“Okay,” we said.
Wife was emotional. A different anesthesiologist from the day before told us about what was going to happen. She would do a very strong epidural, etc. Wife vomited a little.
They put a blue cap on her and rolled her down the hallway to surgery. They gave me scrubs to wear and told me to wait in the hallway until they called me in. I kissed wife before they took her in. She looked exhausted.
I waited in the hallway and sat on a bench. There was a painting of purple flowers above my head. I could’ve fainted then. I had not slept or had much to eat. Adrenaline was high. Emotions were high. But no, I thought. My kid is about to be born. My wife’s in surgery. I’ve got to go in there and be a man.
They called me in. Wife was laying out on the surgery table, already cut open: a gaping wound. They were cutting open my wife on the table. I knew that was going to happen. I sat down by her and held her hand. Her face was pale. She was tired and overwhelmed. We squeezed each other’s hand and waited while the doctors pulled the baby out. I could see over the partition, into wife’s open incision. There was a lot of blood.
Maybe I thought there’d been a mistake. Maybe it was just going to be an air bubble and they’d send us home. Oh, sorry, this happens all the time. Sometimes it gives all the signs of being a baby but it’s just an air bubble.
Out came this purple, squirmy-looking thing. They held it up. My wife and I cried.
“We’re having a boy.”
His name is Beckett.
© Daniel Douglas