Birth Day

On Wednesday night, I was up to about three in the morning. I’d already informed the Redstone school district to deactivate me from their call rolls in the off-chance that Clancy went into labor. It seemed pretty unlikely, but I went with it. That turned out to be a good thing. I also had several days to adjust my schedule to get up at six in the morning for the Monday morning planned c-section.

When Clancy got up, she informed me that there appeared to be some liquid discharge. This could be broken water, or it could be something else. She was headed to a scheduled appointment before starting her morning clinic. I was awake enough to file this away, but not awake enough to freak out or get anxious. I woke up about an hour later, and she called me about an hour after that, roughly 10:00.

Her water had broken and she was in labor. Due to various factors, we were a couple hours away from surgery at least. Probably three hours. That gave me time to start gathering some things, take a shower, and mentally prepare for everything deviating from the agreed-upon plan.

I arrived at about 11:45. She’d messaged me in the interim that it would indeed be 1 before they could take the baby out. Dr. Lang, who was supposed to deliver little Jumping Bean was in a conference on the East Coast. Filling in is a retired doctor with an impressive resume, Dr. Haskill. Haskill is retired and works part time until he hits a certain tax bracket. He’s working extra this year due to Clancy’s pregnancy. Haskill tends to be pro-cesaerean, which ordinarily might be a problem, but since she was going in for a c-section anyway, it worked out. When it comes to c’s, he knows what he’s doing.

I got to see her for a little bit prior to being taken to the delivery room. We were separated while they set her up and applied the anesthesia. A little while later, they started. I was positioned with her behind the curtain, though they said that I could stand up and watch if I so chose. Curiosity got the better of me, and I did. Due to most of the cutting being below the bump, I actually couldn’t see much until they started to push the bump out the hole. The bump, of course, being the baby.

When they first started to pull her out, I only knew it was her by process of elinmination. There was this big chalky white thing that was big enough that there wasn’t room for that and the baby, so… oh, hey, there’s its bum! Then a leg popped out, then the other leg, then an arm, the other arm, and lastly the head in a smooth motion. The gender was then announced.

I should say that the gender was not a complete surprise. Nobody told us, but we noticed a shift among the medical personnel using the male pronouns about 2/3 of the time to using the female pronouns about 3/4 of the time.

Baby was immediately taken to a station on the side of the room where nurses tended after her. From there, things went downhill.

Now, during all of this, nobody is talking to me. Nobody is talking to Clancy. Everybody has a job to do and is doing it. But when they’re urgently requesting a doctor at the station, that’s not a good sign. When they’re putting things over his mouth, that’s not a good sign. Clancy and I were looking at one another, neither of us wanting to be the one that was freaking out. It hung like there in the air.

Then Baby recovered. Now, no one had actually told us that Baby recovered for a few minutes after that. They were talking to us about other things. Trying to distract us? We didn’t know. Eventually one of them picked up on our tension and said that everything was fine. They then filled Clancy in on the specifics. Breathing. Heart rate. They scale babies from 1 to 10 by an index. Baby was just outside of the Critically Low range. It’s for the best that she didn’t know the score until afterwards. Once that was settled, Clancy got to look at the baby and confirm the name that we had already chosen.

I got to hold the baby while they moved Clancy to the recovery “room.” From there, we came up to our home for the next few days. The only lingering concern we had at that point was a lack of vocalization. She never cried throughout the delivery. This is apparently not uncommon for breech c-section babies as they are often too stunned to cry. For better and worse, she has discovered her voice. And how.

Another side effect of her being breech is that she prefers the breech position. She regularly extends her legs the same way that she did in the womb. It was also comedic how, in the ultrasounds, her hands were always up at her face like she was boxing. She tends to like that, too.

We get 2 or 3 days in the hospital. Since we’re already in the insurance’s dime (for the most part), we’re opting for the three (though we may change our mind tomorrow). The hospital has been great and is just full of super helpful people. I knew that “lactation specialists” existed, but I didn’t know that they were a part of a hospital’s staff. The food leaves a bit to be desired.

There will be a picture and an introduction later. One post at a time. This one required a word here and a word there, taking up almost a day.

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. Congrats!

    I’d say that all the scares were behind you now, but you’ve got a a lifetime’s worth ahead of you. But don’t worry. Everything else that happens makes it soooo worth it.

  2. It’s so wonderful how “scary” turns to “normal”. Welcome Jumping Bean. This is the world. That’s God over there. Don’t pay too much attention, He doesn’t listen… except when He does. This is us. We love you so much. Never turn away.

    Until you’re inclined to.

    Welcome welcome welcome.

    This is Us. We’re the ones who have have waited our whole lives for you to show up.

  3. Welcome Bean! You happen to share a nickname with my niece and your parents seem pretty cool. I bet you’ll be just fine ;).

  4. For better and worse, she has discovered her voice. And how.

    That does bring back memories. My daughter’s cranky time was just when I got home from work, so my initial acquaintance with her was largely being screamed at while she wore herself out enough to fall asleep. I would usually rock her gently in her baby rocker (Get a baby rocker! ), and coo to her, and see her eyes slowly start to close and then jerk open as she screamed some more. It was exactly like an argument with someone who never gives up. “And another thing!”

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