After the admittance ordeal, we headed up to the second floor to the triage unit. We told the three nurses working the floor our situation. They understood and gave Jackie a gown to wear and told us to go to a bed behind a large curtain.
After a few nurses tended to us, we learned that three other women who were scheduled to for c-sections also had their water break that night. One nurse theorized that it must be something in the atmosphere. I laughed at the notion, thinking she joking. Her face stayed poker straight. She wasn't kidding. Okaaay.
Fast forward a few hours and Jackie's contractions begin to pick up steam. Now, there's something you need to know about Jackie. She's easily the strongest person I know. I'm not joking. Don't let her 5'1" stature fool you. She's ripped. But the pain was definitely putting her in a strangle hold. There was no way she was going to last until 9 a.m. Something needed to be done, ASAP. So, as soon as the surgeon was finished with the other two fast-tracked c-sections, our nurse told us we'd be next.
|Jackie just before the surgery.|
|Me (the eyebrows should be a dead giveaway) waiting in the hallway to be called into surgery.|
Fast forwarding again, it's about 10 minutes to 6 a.m. and Jackie is in the operating room. Another nurse handed me a pile of scrubs to put on. I was so nervous and shaky and I could barely do up the string on the green colored pants I was given. Then I waited in the hallway. And waited some more. And some more. I'm sure I waited only 10 minutes or so until they called me into the OR, but it seemed like an eternity.
When a nurse in full scrubs opened the OR door to call me in, I jumped like I'd been bitten by a snake. I ran right into that room. There was Jackie, laying on the operating table with what looked like a big blue tent around her. All I could see was her face. She'd been given a spinal, which, in her words, made the pain from the contractions vanish almost instantly.
I was told to go and stand right near Jackie's face and not to touch anything. I stood there not knowing what to think. On just one hour of sleep, my mind and body was a punch drunk mess of emotions. I kept holding back tears knowing that a major turning point in my life was just seconds away.
"It's a boy" yelled one of the nurses. I held Jackie and cried instantly. I peeked my head over the curtain and saw one of the nurses holding him up. Time stopped. I count that sight as the single greatest moment of my life. It brings tears to my eyes and chills to my skin whenever I stop for a few moments to think about it. Jackie and I had done everything conceivably possible to prepare us for the arrival of our child. Yet nothing, not a video, not a book and not even first hand testimonials could have prepared me for that moment. There's truly nothing like it. I could go on and on about it, but I think you get the point.
The events which followed, such as all the visits (good and bad) from friends and family, the infamous "Second Night" and the unparalleled joy Ethan has brought in his short time here warrant their own posts. I'll save those for another time.
|Ethan. 11 seconds old.|
|Ethan and his aunty Erin.|
|Ethan with his aunty Carly.|
|Ethan and Ashley.|
|A proud mama.|