Well, my nine-month-pregnant-with-our-second-child-and-officially-due-this-Saturday-wife (you can already tell where this is going to end up, can't you?) woke me up at 2:30 a.m., this morning. She said, later, that it wasn't so much the contractions as the fact that she was annoyed that I was getting some sleep (with our two-year-old first-born), and wanted some company. Her contractions were coming about every three-and-a-half minutes, and lasting about 30 seconds (that's measured from *gasp* to "okay, I can talk again"). We called the hospital, and they advised us that she should come in once she felt it was "too hard to deal with at home."
We started pulling things together (and I got dressed) so we'd be already to go.
Now, you need to know that with our first child, my wife endured about two days of "light" labor before checking into the hospital (at 4 cm.) and then not delivering until 23 hours later. In retrospect, I think she was just being much more of a trooper than she realized, but she assures me that, feeling all that she did, she did not think she'd be delivering until Friday (tomorrow) morning.
I think her water broke around 3:00 a.m. Very shortly thereafter, it was obvious that "second son" (a.k.a. "Ben") was NOT going to wait for the hospital, or much of anything.
Ben was born at 3:42 a.m., this morning. As a lawyer, I need to confess that this is multi-layered hearsay: I heard this as the delivery time from my wife, who heard it from the paramedics, who were telling it to the hospital admissions folks and said that was the time noted by the 9-1-1 dispatcher when I told her (the dispatcher) that he was out.
Daddy caught the baby, cleaned his nose and mouth, and tied off the umbilical cord (all under the direction of the 9-1-1 dispatcher). Big brother woke up very shortly thereafter and wandered into the bathroom to see what was going on. He took it all in very well (despite the blood everywhere), and was fascinated to meet his new little brother. The paramedics arrived very shortly thereafter and handled cutting the cord and delivering the placenta.
Mommy and baby got a nice trip to the hospital in the ambulance. Daddy followed a little later, after uncle (Daddy's brother) came to pick up big brother. After seeing that mommy and baby were safe and doing well at the hospital, and making the necessary telephone calls, Daddy got to come and clean up . . . .
Epilogue: (1) As my wife pointed out, we can always buy new towels - toss them! (2) As I pointed out, this might be as good an excuse as any to get a new mattress (where her water broke; not where the baby was delivered, or there would really be no question). (3) I am SO glad I went to law school, rather than medical school, and I have NO plans on a career change. (4) I know some dads feel they need to play a bigger role in the birthing process: "Oh, oh, let ME cut the cord!" "I want to catch the baby!" I've just never felt that way - "Leave it to the professionals!" is my motto. This experience HAS NOT CHANGED THAT OPINION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have hospitals for a REASON, I suggest that we use them!
(Apologies to Llevram if this post was a litte too family oriented for a family-friendly board.)
(Incidentally, big brother was quite disappointed that the paramedics took baby brother away, and kept asking, "Ben? Ben?" Daddy has promised we will go see more of Ben later today.)