Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Day at the Baby Mill.

Well now... I'm officially a father. I can't explain how strange that is to say for the first time in my late thirties. The whole thing happened quite smoothly. Say what you want about c-section births, but the kids come out looking ready to go. No pointy head or garishly twisted limbs. On the other hand, we could tell that ours would have liked to stay in there for a couple more days. He sure can scream. M. said that he was pissed off when he got pulled out of his cozy little pocket. It will probably take a day or two for him to get used to the idea of being out in the world. I guess it's a useful lesson for him to learn right away- things don't always go according to your schedule.

Overall (like I said before) things proceeded without a hitch. Still, one thing did happen that angered me. We were told a few days ago that only one person would be allowed to accompany M. into the operating room. Her mother has been with her for every one of her surgeries before, and she knows M.'s reactions to anesthesia. She was also a nurse, so she has a lot more knowledge than I do about the entire process. It seemed to make sense for her to be the one to go in. So I decided to curb my emotions and ego, and cede my place along M. in the birthing room. I was a bit sad, as everyone I told about the decision seemed to think that I would later regret it. After awhile I felt resolved about the situation.

If you think about it from an anthropological perspective, the historical norm is to have only the women present for birth. They huddle around the expectant mother, muttering whatever incantations seem appropriate at the time. The men stay outside the tent and hope for the best. I figured if it was good enough for millions before me, than I would have to accept the situation for myself. Besides the nurse promised that they would bring the kid by the postpartum recovery room before they wheeled him to the nursery. That way I would get to see him. My plan was to go get some lunch and a smoke in the meantime. The anesthesiologist suggested that I would have plenty of time. But then the nurse told me to wait, or I would miss my chance.

I decided to play it safe and wait in the room. It was a bit tedious, and I mostly spent the time watching the clock. The door to the room was open, and so I felt like there was no way they would sneak by without me noticing. I thumbed through the channels on television, and halfheartedly watched coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. I really couldn't do much else. The minutes passed by very slowly. But finally M.'s mom came in and started removing her hygienic blue paper suit. I asked if the kid was on his way, and she replied that they had already taken him down to the nursery. I immediately boiled over and started using the type of language I'm not used to uttering around my in-laws.

I went to the nursing station and tried to explain my plight without yelling at anyone who wasn't responsible for (what I considered to be) an extreme act of neglect. They got me a wristband which was supposed to allow me in to the nursery, and then someone led me there. My guide went in to check out the status inside, and came out after a few minutes with the message that I would be allowed to see my son through the window. I wondered why the hell I needed a wristband to do what anyone loitering in the hallway could do. I stood there steaming as I got the first glimpse of my boy. He was being washed and he was not happy. Neither was I. And I wasn't very pleasant with the doctor who had come to see how I was feeling as a new father. Still I knew that things could only get better from that moment on.

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Blogger Ryan said...

I have no doubt Mr. Grim that you will be one hell of a father. The kid couldn't do much better. Congratulations!

11:49 PM  
Anonymous jefg said...

Congratulations new Dad! Glad everything went well (except for I-should-have-held-my-baby-sooner part). I think the mother-daughter connection was important, and sounds on balance a good decision. Relax (good luck) and enjoy! More on the land line, and when I get to see the new addition to your family. In the meantime, we'd love photo(s).

6:44 AM  
Blogger victoria said...

-Just wait for your first parent/teacher conference!

Congratulations to you and M! Welcome to the world
little Grim. We can't wait to meet you~ All the best from the entire Cessna clan

8:21 AM  
Blogger Susan Constanse said...

Congratulations, Serendipity. I hope that all is well with mother and child.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Thank you kind folks. The adventure begins...

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations D & M and best wishes to you and your new son. Stay happy in your new adventure. Everyone from drawing says
the same. Noir had a baby boy also, a guess it the year of the boys. Be cool. Mark

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just do what the kid wants and you won't get hurt too bad.

6:51 PM  

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