Saturday, July 3, 2010

Birth Day #2: Champaign 1993

So, come the day Second Daughter was to be born, we--Fru and I--had already been through it. We had an almost-two year old and Fru had been through pregnancy before (we were Mommy and Daddy already) and we knew what to expect. So, when Fru woke up early on an early spring day and said she was having contractions, I was ready.
I think I went back to sleep.
I think she told me to sleep because she knew the contractions were far between and that it would be a while and that it would be a long day. Okay. So--I think I went back to sleep.
But, by a-little-less-early in the morning, I was up and about and getting things in order for the trip to the hospital: packed the bag, contacted the pediatrician, contacted Fru's sister and father so that one of them could watch First Daughter while I took Fru to have Second Daughter. Stuff like that. I was also writing a screenplay at the time--had just finished it--and was supposed to fax it out to Los Angeles that day for the co-writer to look over and shop around. (This sounds a lot more exciting than it was--it was a screenplay adapted from an unpublished novel of mine, co-written with Craig from U. of Iowa days, who was now a film/cartoon editor out in L.A. and a struggling screenwriter [nothing ever came of it, though manuscript is still out there to this day].) So, there was a little back and forth between Fru and I as she sat there with her contractions and I stood there with my screenplay and finally I went out and faxed it away--because her sister (I think) had come over--and then I was back and then we went to the hospital.
With the second baby we knew where the hospital was this time (unlike the 1st where we had to stop and ask someone in the street). So, it all went well getting there and meeting up with the doctor and all that. But . . . But, as we had known, the second baby in the womb had refused to turn. That is, she had finally turned but--according to ultrasounds--she had left one leg up and one leg down. So, the doctor decided that the safest thing was a Cesarian. C-Section.
So, I think they gave Fru some medication to stop the dilation and for the operation and I was given a gown and cap and booties and went in with her to the operating room and stood off to the side--held her hand--as the doctor opened her up (I recall seeing the tubes that must have been connected to the "suction" and the tubes were suddenly filled with red red blood--and I mean a lot of blood) and pulled out a baby. A baby girl. SECOND DAUGHTER!
And after cleaning her up a bit, she was handed to me and I held her and held her until they took her from me.

They tell you that a C-Section is easier but don't let them tell you that. Fru was in pain. She had a big cut and stitches and could not maneuver very well for weeks. It affected her ability to breast feed, her ability to hold First Daughter after Second Daughter was born.

As for First Daughter, who was about a month shy of being two years old, she was happy. There were no questions or resentments about having a sister. We--First Daughter and I--went to the hospital to visit Fru and the new baby and First Daughter was delighted with Second Daughter. In the confines of that little private hospital room, we were a family: Fru in the hospital bed, Second daughter either with her or in the roll-in crib from the delivery room (or wherever), First Daughter either curled up in the bed next to Fru or on the little couch and me, me there with all three of them. It was nice. It was March--March in the midwest being one of my least favorite months, what with the long winter trying to be over and the promise of spring and yet the undecidedness of the month as it shifted from warm to cold to messy--and it was just nice to be a father again, to have a new life for us to tend to and love.
And people came to visit and then Fru got to go home, where the house had been decorated for the arrival. And the day we got to bring Second Daughter home was a beautiful day. Spring had finally blossomed for real and it was sunny and light-lighted and the first flowers were up, the trees held leaves, and our new baby came home to the house on Miller Street in Champaign, Illinois.

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