So we met Tracy, on the right, and she was the best nurse/partner you could ask for. She answered all our questions and got us all dressed up and ready to go.
Rebecca was taken down to the delivery room to 'hook up' with the anesthesiologist, while I was relegated to a lone chair outside of the room. I sat here for 15 long minutes, just me and my thoughts. (It actually was very calming) I could think of nothing but sending all the good energy I could do this little baby, about to join this world.
And while in a trance, I heard these feet running towards me down the hall. It was Dr. Dwight, all scrubbed in and ready to go. As he ran by he asked "So you ready to be a daddy in five minutes..? We're calling you in soon." And he ran into the room.
And this is where time stood still.
Tracy called me into a bright white room, with clean white little mosaic tiles and a lot of shiny aluminum railed equipment. Monitors and wires and trays with tools. Four aqua marine doctors surrounded a bed, and at the end was a lone stool, all for me.
I sat and saw Rebecca almost beaming. Her giant smile and big brown eyes happy and relaxed. What else do I remember? A big black thermometer sticker stuck on her forehead, and a boom box behind her playing a 70's dance song and the doctors talking about how relieved they were not to listen to another Michael Jackson track on the radio.
It was all rather casual and relaxed.
"Rebecca, can you feel that?" the Dr. asked.
"No. Not at all." she replied
"Ok. Lets go." the Doc ordered.
From where we were at, we could only really see each other. A big blue curtain was hung just at her chest so we could only listen to their 'Dr. speak' and the odd clanging of a tool or suction hose. All I could do was hold her outstretched, tied down hand, and keep her company.
"You guys are minutes away from meeting Olive...!" Dwight announced.
I looked over my shoulder and the clock said 3:08 pm.
And the odd thing about that clock. Well, it was the same clock I would stare at in my school days. And everyday I would pray for that clock, with super eager anticipation, to reach that magic time of 3:15 pm, when school let out for the day. I consider that the happiest time on the planet. And here I sat, with that same happy intensity, hoping for another 3:15 'fantastic moment'. (Oddly enough, Rebecca and I got married in England at precisely 3:15 pm. So this 'timing' was incredibly profound in my book).
"Erik, would you like to see the head?" Dr. Dwight just asked.
"Uh, yeah..!" I replied.
And I stood up and peaked over the curtain, and there were four doctors carefully leaning in and concealing any parts I didnt really need to see, and then I saw this little, gray, slimey, shiney, 'Olive head' just jutting out of her belly.. And I was in awe.
I ducked back behind the curtain and whispered "She's beautiful."
And on that cue, we heard the first little cry from our baby girl.
And that is when time just kicked into warp speed and there were suctions and adrenalin and crying and smiles and hand squeezing and kisses.
Little Olive was quickly taken over to the baby table, where some nurses toweled her off and kept suctioning out any extra fluids she may have had in her windpipe. And the more they did this, the louder and clearer those cries got. And we were over the moon.
and took my camera and gave me some cutting shears, and I cut the umbilical cord. (Which in my opinion, is a very weird way to make an acquaintance with someone..).
Anyways,, It was tougher than I expected, (or they had given me gag scissors). Well I finally got through.
And once that was sorted, the nurse bundled little Olive and quickly whisked her to meet mom.
The two of them bonded for a moment, and Rebecca got to kiss her and then once again, Tracy took my camera, handed me the baby, and snapped one of the most incredible photos I will ever look upon in my lifetime:
This is that moment. That moment I will never forget.