“my water just broke” said the text from Yarei.
It’s one of those select texts that make the record player of your life scratch and everything, for a brief moment, grinds into slow motion as the minions in your brain try to sort out the information. W a t e r . B r o k e. Plumbing? No. Financial problem? Negative. Birth of child: check. As I glanced at the text, I gripped the steering wheel and pulled a “Fast and Furious: Riverview Drift” hair-pin turn on Big Bend Road… imaginary smoke and all. As soon as my 4-cylinder hot rod stabilized and the blinker was safely turned off, I called Yarei.
“Are you ok?!”
All I heard was a nasal snort.
“Hello? Are you ok?!”
“BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Fooled you!!”
In the background I heard elf-like snickering… I could only assume it was Elias, who was in on this diabolical scheme.
“What?! You were joking?! You don’t joke about this! What if I sent you a text saying ‘I just broke my coccyx while riding four wheelers’ ? ” (highly probable).
Between bouts of mocking laughter, both adult and elf sized, she replied “You thought it was true?!”
“Of course! I’m on high alert, you pot-bellied mocker! You better not pull this again.. i’m likely to ignore you, only to watch the ambulance whiz by as you and Elias wave at me from the window… with grins on your faces.”
And so the record player resumed onto the next song: It’s the Final Countdown.
Our first 32 hours of parenthood have been great. I’m blessed to be married to a woman who makes motherhood look like the beautiful art it is. I find myself looking in wonder at our new son, Elias, and the Divine intervention that goes into making and delivering a baby. When Yarei is carrying him, I marvel at the fact that he lived inside her for 9 months. I had the priviledge of being present at his birth and I sure am glad I watched a video about this process before having a front row ticket to the live event (although nothing can prepare you for this show). Yarei had labored for over 62 hours and this was the culmination of a very hard, painful and exhausting road. I told her that I would be comforting her and stroking her hair on the northern hemisphere of the birthing process because the video of “the southern hemisphe” was a tad much. Well, once it was show time the nurses asked if I wanted to be a part of the “Southern Hemisphere Welcoming Committee”. I couldn’t use the “well, i have to stroke her hair” excuse because it’s not like I couldn’t be at both poles in a matter of seconds. When people say the two greatest days of their lives are their wedding day and the day their child was born, I can now understand both of those great events. As part of the “welcoming committee” I was to encourage Yarei to push along with the nurses. The nurses would cheer along saying “you’re doing a great job!” and “you’re doing this for your baby!” I was quiet at first, with eyes big as hubcaps, not sure what to say or do. In a bewildered daze, I gave the occasional hair stroke, and whimpered small word of love and encouragement as she bore down on each contraction. But then the 5th contraction came along and I was feeling bolder and a little more creative. By then, the baby’s head was emerging and I thought “you’re doing a great job” just wasn’t the kind of cheer I wanted to use. So I opted for:
“Way to go, Yarei!! He’s prairie doggin’!!”
Well, that little cheer had the opposite affect I wanted as it sent Yarei into a belly laugh, which then ended the pushing action. Ooops… but in the end, he emerged victorious like the honey badger, with a little fist coming out right after the head to indicate the beginning of the Elias revolution!!