Monday, December 5, 2011

Luke's Birthday - A Legendary Day

December 1, 2011 - The Birth of Lucas Christopher           

      There are days in your life that will remain in your mind forever.  Those are the kinds of days where you can recall every single detail years later like it was happening again.  This kind of day happened for me yesterday with the birth of my nephew Lucas Christopher.  It was a legendary day from beginning to end with lots of twists and turns like a good movie.  So get your popcorn ready as I regale you with the tale of Luke’s Birthday.
            With my sister Lindsay already in the hospital the night before I knew it could be any moment.  I began the day by dipping into a 5-Hour Energy which got my mind set for a long and exciting day.  I wanted to get to the hospital as early as possible just in case.  There was literally no parking which was great, I figured if I was circling the parking lot while my nephew was being born I would probably burn something down.  I got there at 10:30am to find my sister asleep so I went and sat in the maternity waiting room.  That seemed uneventful but would come into play later on.
            In the room there was nothing going on, Lindsay was relaxing and her fiancée Chris was doing the same.  We passed the time talking about wrestling and performing a bit of the classic Shake Weight South Park episode.  Hey, even the nurse said it was good to use humor to keep my sister’s mind off of the huge baby boy waiting to arrive.  I stayed for almost three hours before realizing that nothing was going to happen until later.  So I went off to continue the day.
            Like déjà vu I went for some Chinese food for lunch.  No worries, since I planned on running later to burn that healthy stuff off.  Chinese is a vice I will never be able to give up no matter how healthy I become.  I had a scheduled write up interview at Common Ground, a local coffee shop at 3pm.  It became clear to me that I would never be able to focus on that so I had to reschedule which made me feel unprofessional, but some things are a little more important.
            One such thing was bringing a set of Allen wrenches to my friend Dorothy.  I wasn’t sure of the size she needed so I was gonna bring my smallest one.  Too bad that once I got close to her work in Hyannis I realized that I forgot it.  Now, I could have gone back home and got it, but I figured it was easier to just go buy a set of the wrenches, never know when you’ll need ‘em, right?
            It’s always fun hanging with Dorothy, we like to talk about a lot of stuff that most people would frown upon, you know, like murders and cemeteries?  Hey don’t judge!  We hung out and chatted, I decided I might like to buy a ukulele since I recently sold my guitar.  Good times.  Then came the final step, running the treadmill at the gym until I got the word.
            I sent Lindsay a text seeing what was up, she said she was 8cm dilated and that it might still be a while.  My mother called me as I ran and was adamant that 8cm meant that labor was imminent.  Knowing that I jumped off the treadmill and grabbed a towel to go shower and rush to the hospital.  Things were going smoothly until I had to get dressed.  That was when I realized that I had forgotten a fresh set of boxers.  Yeah, I could have put the sweaty ones back on, but I decided to go commando, flying free in the breeze! 
            Once I got back to the hospital it was a party scene, I was one of many in Lindsay’s room.  Besides myself, Lindsay, and Chris there was Lindsay’s fraternal twin, Ashley, their friends Alicia and Crystal, Lindsay and Ashley’s father Paul, sister Michelle, and her daughter Karissa who I hadn’t seen in ages.  We knew that it was only a matter of minutes until the delivery so there was time to say goodbyes and good lucks and take a few photos before we all got whisked out and back down to the maternity waiting room.
            I was first in there and staked my claim to the same seat I had taken during the morning.  It was there that I found my sunglasses.  Yeah, I didn’t forget them at home.  They had dropped out of my pocket and had sat there for the taking for 7 hours.  $250 sunglasses untouched, I guess the most trustworthy people are nurses and expectant mothers.
            Being all excited about what was happening a few doors down we all were pretty loud and a bit rowdy.  It was a mini reunion for us so it was all fun.  After rushing from the gym, and downing my 2nd 5-Hour Energy, I was pretty hungry but obviously did not want to even go down to the cafeteria and risk missing the magic moment.  The solution?  Check out the patient fridge.
            Of course lookouts had to be set up in case someone was coming.  I found some good eats in there, ice cream, yogurt, graham crackers, milk.  There were microwave pizzas but I thought the smell would be hard to cover up.  So I began with some ice cream.  As I ate it Alicia came rushing in yelling that she had heard a baby cry.  We all got up and rushed to the door; I tossed my ice cream in the trash before leaving. 
            Sadly, it was not the right baby crying so we all headed back to the waiting room.  I was so hungry that I grabbed that ice cream back out of the trash and continued to eat it.  Hey, I got a new spoon so it wasn’t as bad, right?  We put on The Simpsons, I sat under the TV to see how long it would take me to guess the episode just by the dialogue.  It took about 2 minutes.
            After that false alarm we all began creeping our way down to the door and listening for any sounds.  When a nurse would come outside we would all back off expecting to get tossed back into the waiting room.  It came down to my step-sister Michelle and I deciding that we deserved to be the first to hear little Luke’s first sounds so we stayed pretty close to the door while the others came and went.
            We tried our best to be quiet but some people did not think to put their phones on vibrate, so there would be a loud ring with someone running down the hall to avoid being caught.  Next door another newborn baby, the one that caused the false alarm, kept crying.  It became almost impossible to hear inside Lindsay’s room.
            Then this tall bird-looking woman forced us back to the waiting room.  I raided the fridge more before using my phone as a sort of mirror to check the hallway for the bird lady’s presence.  Not seeing her I ventured back down.  I mean, really, what was she gonna do throw me out?  I found a backup plan with an opened room diagonally across from Lindsay’s room.  It was here that I hid if I sensed any ‘danger.’  My head popping out from the doorway got everyone laughing.
            Things got more serious and we knew the time was coming.  Lindsay’s twin sister Ashley seemed to be feeling her pain as she pushed, it was something that had to be seen.  We were like a football team in the huddle, all hunched over with our hands on our knees.  It was not looking good as trying to push out a nearly ten pound baby can’t be easy, as a guy I can only speculate.  When Michelle and her Dad decided to go have a quick smoke outside, down four floors, I had the feeling that this would be the time that Luke would show up.  I was right.
            Michelle’s Dad Paul made it back but she did not.  Luke was pushed out by Lindsay at 8:31pm and weighed 9lbs. 10oz.  One hell of a big boy!  We all hugged and felt a huge relief that Lindsay did not need to get the dreaded C-Section to get Luke out.  Now, despite the hard part being over we still were ushered away from the door and told to go back to the waiting room.  It was once the delivery was over that the phone calls and text messages began flying out.  I called my mother to tell her the great news and would send a few photos to my friend Emily once I got inside.
            I tried to get a view every time the door opened, even coughing loudly so Lindsay could hear, but we just had to wait.  It was worth it though.  I was close to the door when Chris popped out, he waved me in and I was first to see little Luke.  Yes, I can always lay claim to that.
            I had heard the doctor saying his arm was getting tired holding Luke.  I thought he was just messing around.  Then when I got the chance to hold him I found out that it was no joke.  My arm was tired and that boy was big!  I thought it was going to be a quick pass-around of Luke but with everyone else busy talking to Lindsay or each other I was able to spend a good few minutes just staring at the new life and newest member of our family.  It was a moment I didn’t want to end, but there were so many other people that deserved a chance to share the same feeling I had.
            The funny thing was after all of the waiting and anticipation it was not very long after we got to see Luke that we all decided to leave the parents alone with their baby.  Plus, we all were so worn out from the enormity of the day.  I remember walking out of the hospital through the side lobby since the main lobby was closed and trying to take stock of what had just happened.  It was impossible, so all I could do was smile and feel blessed that I had been there to witness Luke’s first moments on earth.  That seemed to sum it all up for me.  Welcome to the family Luke!