But, but … baby!
From time to time in this space over the last nine months I’ve written about being pregnant, or rather my wife, Annette, being pregnant.Up to the latter part of June everything was moving right along on the calendar toward July 20, otherwise known as B-Day. Plenty of time to get the year-long house remodeling project tied up and keep my sporadic training for this weekend’s Donner Lake Triathlon going.Yeah, right. Or more accurately, wrong, so laughably wrong.Since about 2:30 a.m. on June 30, I have had a crash course in “baby reality,” as in his reality, not mine.It all started when Annette flicked on the light switch in the wee hours just about two weeks ago.”I think my water just broke,” Annette said.”Huh?” said I, knowing full well what she had just uttered, but thinking about the baby nursery’s bare wall studs, stack of Sheetrock, dangling wires, doors that needed to be hung and, and, and.”My water,” she calmly repeated, “just broke. Call the hospital.””But, but … I’m not ready.” Now, I didn’t let those misguided words pass my lips, but they crossed my mind as heavily as the 61 pounds of drywall mud slopped in the five-gallon bucket that was waiting to be lugged upstairs and applied to the walls.Lest I wanted to be eviscerated by a pregnant woman, telling Annette – who carried our son with amazing grace for nine months – that I wasn’t quite ready for him wasn’t prudent. So in keeping with the need to do the wise thing, I headed to the phone to call the awesome staff in the Tahoe Forest Hospital’s maternity ward.”Come on in,” the expert on the other end of the line said.”But, but … I’m not ready.”Well, actually, I mumbled something about mucous and contractions and then hung up the phone. I figured that a veteran baby nurse wouldn’t feel any pity for a bonehead dad who thought he had three weeks to go before B-day.But I should have known better than to think I had the luxury of time on my side, no matter what the calendar said. The first clue was that Kelly, our son, wanted to take after his runner mom and hit the ground feet first. Yep, the boy was breech and didn’t have any interest in turning around.First reality check: Traditional birth versus C-section. You don’t always get what you want.Nonetheless, when Kelly made his grand entrance in this world, I was knocked out. Yep, all the things they say about seeing your kid for the first time are true. And it’s even gotten more amazing.The sounds the little man makes just melt my heart and bring a smile to my face. Reality check two: Not all those sounds are gentle gurgling. At this point in my little man’s life, a good passin’ of gas doesn’t make him smile with accomplishment – it makes him wail. Reality check three: That wailing occurs pretty much at anytime and always at night. But just like having the house remodel done, you can’t always get what you want – like sleep.What Annette and I did get, however, is an amazing little miracle man. And that’s the best reality I could hope to experience. Forget the house, I’m ready.Contact Jamie Bate, editor of the Sierra Sun, at firstname.lastname@example.org.