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Thursday, May 5, 2016

A few moments of silence

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

As I write this, it's quiet in the house, for once.

My new baby boy is asleep on Grandma's shoulder in the rocker in his room. Aunt Katie is asleep in the guest bedroom. The new Momma, who is feeling a lot worse than she'd like, is sleeping fitfully in our bed.

I know moments like this are now tenuous, at best, so I'll try to get some writing done in the living room while I have the chance.

Everyone has been telling me for nine months that this event would change my life. I wasn't one of these proud young parents thinking I had things under control. I knew this was going to change everything, I just don't know if I understood how.

I guess what you could say is this: ever since Miles Scot Jernagan was born at 6:58 p.m. on July 23, my brain has been absolute mush. I can't decide if this is because I'm overcome with emotion or exhaustion.

I suppose it could be a little of both, though.

It all started at 8 a.m. Thursday with a trip to the hospital for another OBGYN appointment. At that time, Dr. Cooper decided it was best to admit Nicole into the hospital and try to have the baby.

The next day-and-a-half was mostly a case of hurry up and wait. They tried to induce on Thursday afternoon, but the adverse affect it had on the baby's heart rate caused them to call it off. It was time to wait again.

And then shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday, Nicole suddenly said, "Oh no ... I think my water just broke."

Indeed she was right.

And still we waited. The doctor decided it was best not to force the issue, so it was 25 hours before the baby actually emerged.

A wait of that kind, coupled with mounting hours with very little sleep, tends to have a strange effect on one's excitement. While I was still ecstatic over what was happening, it was easy to just get lost in watching TV or reading a book. There's a certain monotony to spending two days in the same room.

The monotony ended, though, when Dr. Cooper decided not only was it time for Nicole to start pushing, but I would be holding one of her legs. I was about to have the second-best seat in the house for a miracle I have spent most of my life being sort of freaked out by.

But don't let anyone who's witnessed a birth tell you otherwise. A person should never miss seeing his son's or daughter's first moments in the world. It's absolutely amazing. I'd be kicking myself for the next 60 years if I'd missed it.

Since then, it's been more of the same. Every new moment is amazing, even the moments that aren't necessarily happy. We have, of course, already decided our baby is not only amazingly handsome, but also a certifiable genius.

We're not biased or anything.

So I guess I'm beginning to understand how this baby will change my life, but only beginning. A parent learns a lot in the first few days, but I know the process continues for the rest of our lives. I'm looking forward to that.

Before I go, I want to say thank you to Dr. Jamie Cooper and every nurse on the OB staff. You were all wonderful and informative. I can't imagine any staff anywhere giving us a better experience.

I also want to say a special thank you to Nicole for bringing this miracle into our lives. I know we're a team, but you've done all the heavy lifting so far.

Thanks to our family, friends and anyone else who's offered well wishes before or after Miles' birth.

And with that, I'll sign off. I think a little someone has started to stir.