Our doctor said “I’ll be shocked if you’re not in the hospital tonight with contractions.” It was Monday, January 26, 2015 and we were thinking about life and babies and the future and our marriage and our home. We high-fived leaving the Doctor’s office, we’re high-fivers from time to time, don’t judge. Casey and I were preparing for our first child, a laughable idea really, “preparing” for children. How does one prepare for the world to change?
The day went by and nothing of consequence took place. We had seen the doctor and then gotten some food. Casey had been contracting for weeks and was slightly dilated but nothing seemed imminent. We played some card games and relaxed, watching tv. I was busy cleaning the dishes and picking up when Casey said, “so I’ve been having contractions for a half hour now.”
“They’re happening pretty frequently.”
Casey was tired, and considered just going to bed. That wasn’t going to happen! I insisted we start timing the contractions. There’s nothing easy about knowing when it’s time to go to the hospital. I know the movies say there is. And sure, if your water breaks or if your having painful contractions then it’s a sure fire sign to get your butt down there. But often times neither of those occur. Instead Casey was calm and relaxed and sleepy. But their frequency increased. Every five minutes, every four minutes, every three minutes. After over an hour of timing contractions she looked at me and said, “ok, let’s go to the hospital.” We high-fived and started loading up the car.
Even at the hospital the reality doesn’t fully sink in. Sure we fill out some paperwork and get checked into the room. There are monitors, nurses, and hospital gowns but we still sat waiting to be told it wasn’t time yet, you can go home. We checked in at midnight and saw the doctor a little after 5am. The doctor told us it was going to happen today, no doubt.
That’s a surreal experience. There were many things leading up to this moment: meeting Casey, winning her heart, keeping her heart, marriage, navigating marriage. So many clear steps and life happenings and it still feels like you just stumble into this moment. Like I tripped and here I was in the hospital waiting and high-fiving my beautiful wife, mother to be.
Just a pinch before 8am I walked into our room from talking to a friend in the hallway, and Casey says, “I’m at 9cm.”
Nurses start to file into the room like we walked into a play. Actors shifting from spot to spot, talking and moving props. All of them part of some elaborate scene that Casey was in middle of but neither of us had the script. Ha! That was probably best. There is pushing and breathing and waiting and calling the doctor and more pushing and more breathing and then there is a child. Seconds ago we were two and then, as if the all the time before had vanished, we were three.
On Tuesday morning, January 27, 2015, after a long night and no less than six high-fives my daughter, Raegan Eve, was born. Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure stumbled upon by a man in a field; who then goes and buys the field. I have wondered how anyone might stumble upon treasure. Now I know.