"Honey, I'm having contractions." Hossmom said.
4 minutes later she had to say it again because I was still asleep.
"What?!" I said. I want to point out that I actually responded this time.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"I think so."
"What time is it?"
You have got to be freakin kidding me. Who goes into labor at 3:30 in the morning anymore? Seriously?!
"How far apart are they" I ask
"About 7 minutes" she says.
I think this is good. I can get at least another hour of sleep before I have to deal with this. I am not my best that early in the morning.
And to my shame, I actually do fall asleep for exactly 6 minutes. Thats when she says the contractions are getting closer. You know how you hear those stories about people who go into labor for 17 straight hours. Yup, that's not us. Hossmom goes from red light to wheels screaming in a few short hours and it looks like this is going to happen again. For Little Hoss, the whole birth took less than 3 hours.
It's not supposed to be this way. We have this planned out damit. We are a good week and a half away from our SCHEDULED birth! It is supposed to be on September 29th around noonish. That's what we talked to the doctor about and damit if that wasn't the plan. We are at 37 weeks and I need at least another week to get ready for Bubba Hoss. I have a garage to clean, a hospital bag to pack, a changing table to buy. I have tons of crap to do.
My wife and I plan out everything to the point that we over plan. We think of every angle and then come up with contingency plans incase the first plan goes to shit. I have 5 different routes to the hospital. We have alternate names picked out incase the sonagram was not correct. We have a medical kit that Doug Ross could perform a heart transplant with while high on crack. However, for some odd ball reason, we never, ever planned out a 3:00 AM birth. Didn't even cross my mind. I am as shocked as you are.
After my cat nap, I immediatly spring into action. Like my daughter when she gets excited, I stamped my feet and turned very fast in a very tight circle. This is so cliche it's killing me. You only see people going into labor in the middle of the night in movies. I expect Robin Williams to be the on call OB/GYN and Tom Arnold to video tape it. (For those that don't get that, the movie is 9 months. When you are pregnant, your wife will force you to watch it.)
But I recover and ask my wife if this is Braxton hicks, or to the uneducated, false labor. She says she is pretty sure it's not.
Ok, I have to recover here. First things first, we need information. I run to the computer and fire up the old blood hound search engine. I find my pre-approved pregnancy problem site. It says that we don't have to go to the hospital until the contractions are 5 minutes apart. I ask my wife how far apart her contractions are now.
"About 4 minutes" she says.
Shit, here we go. In less than 30 minutes we have dropped another 2 minutes in contraction time. Visions of my son being born in a Taxi cab by a guy named Otto spring into my head.
But no problem, we will just use our other plan but move it up a bit. Instead of getting to the hospital at 10 with our entire family following us, we'll just go now. I start packing Hossmom's hospital bag, which we should have done weeks ago. But seriously, we had several more weeks! I throw in a bathrob, slippers and toilet paper. I don't know why really. It's not like we plan on taking bathroom breaks on the way there by the bushes. We do that on Sundays. But in it went.
I head down stairs before Hossmom and start loading up the car. I get to the garage and open the door. For some reason it dawned on me that today is trash day. I have a lot of trash to take out. So I take out the trash. Hossmom comes to the car and sees me doing this. She questions where my priorities are at. I point out that I was able to accomplish this before she got downstairs.
That's when she asks me if I had gotton Little Hoss out of bed. Uh-oh. That's a big oops. I totally forgot about my daughter. I go back upstairs and get her up and to my complete and utter amazement she is in a great mood. Cool, this might be pretty fun after all. I have no idea what I am going to do with Little Hoss. In the original plan she was to be with her grandmother. I don't think that is happening now. And as I am taking Little Hoss with us I need to pack her a bag. I should be a major league pitcher because the accuracy I was throwing canned manderian oranges into that bag was nothing short of amazing. I didn't miss once. I had brought my A game, it's go time.
I get everyone loaded up and off we go. I decide that we are going to take pre-approved route #1. It's 4:00 am by this time, there's no traffic. A strange calm comes over me. I got this. This is no problem. I've actually done this before. However, this is a little disappointing to me because I have the only real excuse to speed and run red lights. We get stoped at one where there is absolutely no traffic. None what so ever, but there I sit with a wife in labor and a 20 month old in the backseat. My wife, who was also calm, asked me if I was dying to run it. I nodded yes. She then pointed out that I really wanted to get pulled over just so I could scream "my wife is in labor I need a police escort!" The cop would nod and then an entire presidential fleet would lead the way. As long as we are living the cliche, that's go all the way with it.
But I am good and we make it to the hospital. By this time, Hossmom is in some serious pain. We are still at 3 minutes apart, so maybe this could take a while.
Nope. God thinks it's funny.
Her contractions shorten to 2 minutes apart. She is screaming for drugs. Natural childbirth is for hippies and midwives. I want no part of that.
Little Hoss is with me and having a great time. She has long hallways to run around and all kinds of ebola caring needles to stick her little hands into. But when she sees Hossmom in pain something changes in her. There are 3 nurses around my wife who by now is moaning/screaming/hating me. Little Hoss's brow creases. She looks at me as if to say "Do something you shithead, they are hurting mom."
When she sees my inaction, she cant' take anymore. She bolts from my lap and rushes to Hossmom, a look of vengence and justice on her face. She runs smack dab into the middle of a nurses butt and gooses her a little.
To be completely honest here, I am proud of this. Little Hoss knows that she is out numbered and her strategy of butt hitting is not really going to get it done but she charges forth anyway because Hossmom is in pain. That's why I love my little girl, she is pure Hoss, no doubt about it.
I quickly get up and go get her after I witness her version of Custer's last stand. She wiggles in my arms. Then she doesn something that she has never, ever done before.
She looked right at me, gave her best war cry, and then she slugged me.
Straight on in the face with a closed fist. She has poped other people before but never me, ever. I am taken aback by this but again, I understand. However, you cannot challege Hossdad's rule so I have to grab her arm and tell her no. She then kicks me in the groin with her troll foot. She's a dirty little fighter to. She gets that from my wife's family but I appreciate her resourcefulness. It is at this point that I decide to "Make the Call."
I grab my cell phone and call both mothers but I don't have any hope that either one will wake up and pick it up. I mean, it's freaking like 4:30 here. I get no answer but leave a message. I then call the only other person in town, Uncle Bricksalesman. He doesn't answer either. I call both Mom's again. Nothing.
Then my phone rings, it's Uncle Bricksalesman. I am actually surprised because, and I swear this is true, he once slept through a friends heart attack. He was in the room but he just didn't wake up.
I tell him "It's time."
"I figured" he says. "Why else would you call me?" "Well, I got a meeting in Mckinney at 9 but I should be up at the hospital after that." he says.
I want to say, Look you douche, I'm calling because I need you to come up here and watch my daughter so I can be at the birth of my son. But I don't because the truth is Uncle Bricksalesman is a good guy. I will give the man full credit. I tell him no problem because I didn't think anyone could actually get up here at the rate Hossmom is going.
We hang up the phone. But the phone rings again. It's Uncle Bricksalesman again. "Um, do you need me to come up and watch Little Hoss" he asks.
And there is the connection ladies and gentlemen. Give the big dancing bear a snoodle treat. I tell him that would be great if he could.
By this time Hossmom finally has her I.V drugs and is feeling fine. We re-enter the room and I let her know what is going on. The nurse comes in and says that she will be prepped for surgery at 6:30 and will give birth after that.
To this point, I feel that I have done my job remarkably well. People will tell you that a Dad's job is very important in the birthing process. Here's the truth: They are just trying to make you feel like you are doing something, which you are not. They don't really need you after you get them to the hospital.
You are the scary high school janitor that drives the bus. You load every body on and take them to thier destination all the while listening to your 1980's hair metel that the rest of the bus hates. You drop the kids off at the museum and then go back alone to your bus and pull out the porno mags that you had stashed under your seat. This is interupted when the teacher sends that one kid back that laughed during the femal reproductive presentation so you have to extingush your blunt and watch him until the rest of the class is ready to go back.
That is basically your job as a dad. Get them there and watch any left over kids. Honeslty, it's a pretty sweet gig. Except that from here on out you are ignored. No one really talks to you. No one asks for your permission or for your concerns. You are basically no better than the paper towel at the nurses station. But at least that gets to clean up messes and at this point, you are not even that useful.
As I am a control freak I feel that I have to make my presence known. I pull the nurse aside and in my best concerned father statement I say "Look, they mean the world to me, take good care of them."
She looks at me like she has heard this same speech a thousand times, which I am sure she has. She pats me on the back like I am 5 years old. She tells me to wait in the waiting room and they will come get me when they are ready, providing Uncle Bricksalesman gets there in time to watch my daughter.
So Little Hoss and I go to the waiting room where we enjoy the fine cusine of fruit loops, juice boxes and the occasional crayon in the pie hole. For some reason, this action centered me. I felt almost normal by just being with my daughter. I don't know how she does this but it's happened before. When I am with my wife or daughter I feel confident, calm and like superdad. I dig this. Ok, this will work. I will be the dad that is passing out cigars in the waiting room. I have no problem with that. But then Uncle Bricksalesman shows up. Seriously, the man is a rock. Dependable as the flowing tides and twice as handsome.
I head back to the prep room in my scrubs. Several nurses check out my ass, I can't blame them, I look fantastic in scrubs. I wait for what seems like years until one of the nurses comes in and tells me to follow her. Like a trained puppy I nip at her heels until we see Hossmom in the surgery. I get there about 2 mintues before they pull out Bubba Hoss. She looks wonderful and I thank God that she chose me over any of you other yahoos out there. I did make one mistake in there. I looked over the curtain to check out the action. Let's just say that this is not a good idea.
The rest you know. Bubba Hoss pops out, gives his victory yell and everything worked out fine.
I head back out to the waiting room to find Little Hoss with Uncle Bricksalesman and my mother. I call her name and she runs to me and gives me a big hug. She ignores everyone in the room as she jumps into my arms, like they aren't even there.
Being a dad kicks major ass and now I get to do it some more.