With all of the babies being born in the Mullins clan it got me thinking and remembering what it is like to be a first time Dad. There are so many emotions that are happening that it puts you into system overload. It is not just the birth. That is the one that is the strongest.
This rollercoaster ride started for me the two words I wanted to hear, “I’m late!” We had been trying to get pregnant for a year and it was just not happening. I even went to a specialist to see if there was a problem. I was elated but didn’t want to get my hopes up. We went and got a home pregnancy test and she did it right away. Positive! O-Kay, this is getting serious now. It is time for a visit to the doctor to confirm the results. The results came back, “Congratulations, your going to have a baby!” Hearing it from someone else made it really hit home. I’m going to be a Dad.
We went to the doctor for the ultra sound. The doctor put the warm gel on Melanie’s tiny flat stomach. “There it is” she said. It looked to me like a little peanut. “Well, what is it? Boy or Girl” I asked. It is still too early to see that. Now it was real. I could see that something was there. The next ultrasound we heard the heart beat. I was very excited.
Days, weeks and months passed and the excitement would come and go. I didn’t know how to be a Dad. Would I be a good Dad? Would the baby be normal? Would Melanie be o-Kay? All of these things were going through my thoughts. In the mean time, Melanie’s body was changing and she was having similar thoughts. There were way too many emotions happening in the apartment.
Then the big day came. We spent the day shopping and stopped off at Jason’s Deli for lunch. I ordered a large baked potato smothered with chili with beans. We got back home and Melanie started to nest. She took out all the baby clothes and held them up, give them a real good look and then fold them neatly to return to the dresser. She did this only to repeat the process again.
Twin Peaks was on the television (we never missed that show). Melanie went to the bathroom and then returned to watch the show and nest. A few minutes later, she got up again to got to the bathroom and then nested some more. This occurred a few more times until she started crying in the bathroom. “Honey, what’s wrong” I finally got it out of her. “I’m incontinent!” she cried. I called the answering service to page her doctor. A doctor called (not her doctor) and said I needed to get her to the hospital to be checked out.
I grabbed her packed bag and we headed out to the hospital. We arrived and the nurse took Melanie back right away. What was happening was her water broke but up high and it would leak out when she moved or the baby moved. It’s time we were told. Let the games begin! Phone calls were made to family and the nursing staff called the doctor.
We got settled in a room and family started to arrive. The room was crowded and getting loud. I asked the nurse if there was any way we could move these people out. “Time for an exam, everyone to the waiting room.” The room was quiet, except for the groans of labor pains. Then when Melanie’s head just about spun around, I asked the nurse for the epidural.
Into the room walks what appears to be a red headed freckle face kid of 13 years old. Melanie looked up and said “You’re the doctor?” “Have you ever done these before?” This is when the doctor replied “Well, this is my first time without the book.” I will state for the record that that is the worse time to be joking with a woman. I really thought she was going to get up out of the bed and strangle him! I assisted the doctor holding Melanie while he started the epidural. “Can we just get this started and quit talking?” I swear that is not the woman I married. “It’s done, you’ll fell better is just a second.”
Now we have calm to the high seas. Remember the potato I ate earlier? The beans are starting to work. I would excuse myself to the bathroom to get relief. Then come back and start “coaching” again. Until I heard those little words of love, “if you tell me how to breath one more time I’ll kill you!” Those classes were a big help, not!
The doctor comes into the room. Hey, that’s not our doctor. “Sorry, your doctor is in New York at the Governors’ Ball.” He delivers Ashley and lets me cut the cord. The nurses take the baby away to clean her up and make sure that she is doing fine. I stayed with Melanie to make sure she was good. The nurse brought Ashley over and Melanie held her for the first time. My eyes were watering and I was trying to hold it together.
I went down to the waiting room to tell the family of the birth of my precious baby girl. I look in the waiting room and my mother and mother-in-law are sitting next to each other. That is when it hit me. I started bawling like a baby. They both got up and started towards me. “What’s wrong?” they said in unison. I was crying so hard at this point I could hardly speak. Then I finally got it out. “She’s beautiful!”
That was the first time my daughter made me cry. It has not been the last and I know there are more tears to come. This is a rollercoaster of emotion called life. Welcome aboard!