Fast forward to the big day…actually the day BEFORE the big day. I think the excitement over Obama’s victory left my immune system a little vulnerable, as the day after the election I found myself with a sore throat & fever, five days before the official due date. That night I left more than a few loose ends untied, including packing a bag for the hospital.
Luckily my wife packed hers before she went to bed, because at ~ 1:30AM she went into labor. And being the ridiculously considerate partner she is, Janet left the bedroom hoping to let me sleep a few more hours while she labored solo. When she came in at 5:30AM to tell me we were having a baby, my first half-awake thought was “well I’ve known that a few months!”, which was quickly supplanted by – “holy crap! You mean today – like now!?” Part of me was a little bummed I missed the first four hours of her laboring, but that was quickly subsumed by the excitement of knowing that today was the day we had been waiting so long for. And judging by the frequency, strength and duration of her contractions, I was hoping we would be waiting at least a couple hours more!
I had always scoffed at the stereotypical panicked new dad rushing to pack his bag, absentmindedly encouraging his wife to breathe and forgetting what to do next. But I have to say I came a little too close to “that dad” that frenzied morning! I did manage a shower and during that relatively calm moment I envisioned telling friends and family about our new baby and I knew instantly we were having a girl – it was a tremendously overpowering feeling, and one I will never forget.