Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Waiting Game

As my wife is wheeled away, I am left to pace.

And worry.

Everything will be OK. After all, I've been here before. Twice. But that knowledge still doesn't make it any easier.

This singular experience is the most nerve-wracking one of my life. All the questions you never let yourself entertain. What if there are complications? Where would the kids go? How could I carry on? ..... The minutes drag on, feeling like hours, as I wait for word that I can see her again. I don't want to miss this. I don't want there to be any trouble. I want to see my wife.

And my child.

Just when I'm ready to burst down the doors and demand they let me see her, make them prove to me that she is OK, there is a knock. A doctor in full surgical scrubs greets me with a smile. "We're ready for you, Dad." she says. "All the prep went fine, your wife is waiting for you."

And with that, we take the long walk back to the operating room. I don my mask as the doors to a perfectly white room slide open and I see her again. My heart jumps. She is laid on a table, a curtain clamped over her chest, cutting her in half. The stool waiting near her head is reserved for me, and as I take it, she smiles up at me.

I grab her hand and tell her she's doing great.

Now as the doctors set to work, monitors beeping, activity buzzing just out of sight, my stomach tightens again. I know this is it, the day we've been waiting for, the moment of truth.

And yet, for any worries I have, I'm not the one going under the knife. I'm not the one who has been doing all the work for this these last nine months.

She asks for something to calm her feeling of nausea, and I'm back to reality. I can see her laying there, arms spread, and I smile again and say how proud I am of her, tell her what a great job she's doing and how excited I am.

From behind the sheet, I catch snippets.

"Can I have a little suction here."
"Are you ready?"
"How does that look?"

Then my wife says it feels like there's a rock sitting on her sternum. Her anesthesiologist peeks over the curtain and smiles. "Sure thing, that rocks name is..." and I can see the nurse sitting on my wife's chest give him an ugly look. Shortly after, someone asks if we want to know what it is.

I look up to see a tiny baby boy in front of me.

"Its a boy!"

Kate is aware enough to smile up at me, we were both predicting a baby girl.

We talk for a minute, and then I can't take the wait any longer. "I'm going to go get a good look at him" I tell her. A squeeze of her hand and a kiss on her forehead and soon I'm looking down at a different beautiful face, one I've been waiting to meet for nine months.

As the surgeons take care of my wife, the nurses around me give my new son a thorough once over.

Oxygen levels.
Heart rate.

Then, "Would you like to cut the cord?" And as I am handed the scissors, it sets in, I'm a dad again, and it's amazing.

Finally, baby and I make our way over to my wife again, and he is placed on her chest.

Skin to skin.


This moment. This is what I've been waiting for.

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