By: Tanya Dodd-Hise
So the last time I wrote it was Monday, October 24th, and time had stood still while we waited for four or five days thus far. Needless to say, I wrote it and put it out there, and sure as hell, things started moving and shaking within hours of my authoring that blog.
As you may remember, Erikka had gotten thrown in the hospital on complete bedrest because of high blood pressure, so that’s where we sat. Monday. Game 5 of the World Series. We had finished dinner already and Noah was with a friend for the evening – I just had had a feeling that I needed to stay with her that evening, at least until the end of the game. Erikka had been feeling particularly lousy that day, with blood pressure readings bouncing around, and another day of a lingering headache. Every time she reported the headaches, she got a barrage of questions: Are you seeing spots? Any visual disturbances? Seeing double? To these she always answered “no”. Well, Monday night during the game, she tells me that she is seeing little white spots, so I, consequently, pass this nugget of information on to the nurse. That seemed to have triggered something, because her response was, “Hmmm. I’m going to have to page your doctor and let her know about this.” Um, okay. We go back to watching the game, and about ten minutes later the phone rings in the hospital room (which had only happened one other time). I answer it and was greeted by our OB/GYN who said, “Is this Tanya? This is Dr. P…we’re going to have a baby tonight!” I paused and said, “Um, excuse me?” She continued, “Well, there are too many factors that have been going on for too long, and now she is seeing spots so we’re just going to do this tonight. I’m heading up there now, so we will see you shortly!” I answered, “Um, okay! Bye!” I then looked at Erikka, who had a very puzzled look on her face, and told her what the doctor said – and then I proceeded to go into crazy, panicked “dad” mode! I gave her a phone and said to call her parents, and I went out into the waiting room to call those on the list to be there, not even realizing that it was already almost nine o’clock at night!
Pretty soon we were whisked down the hall and taken to a labor and delivery room, where they started working to get her ready for her c-section. I had changed into the pink scrubs that I had bought for the birth, and then they gave me booties and a jumpsuit to put on top of them. We were still watching the Texas Rangers game while we got ready to go into the O.R., and the score was tied as we prepped for it. I had on my lucky red hat that I wore for every game, and I got permission from the doctor to wear it in the O.R.! Soon we were on our way, across the hall, where I was positioned on a stool next to Erikka’s head, camera in hand and cell phone in pocket. This was about to happen. I was about to meet my daughter for the first time. I was freaking out a bit, and the adrenaline rush was making me re-think the wisdom in having had McDonald’s for dinner. So I sat, took some deep breaths, kissed my wife, and told her she was doing great.
Soon our doctor and one of her partners walked through the operating room doors and proceeded on their way. I stood up once, early on, to look over the curtain and see what was going on – not a good idea at the moment I chose. I sat back down, and didn’t look again until they told me that it was time and they were pulling her out. When I stood back up, camera on and ready, I held my breath as they delivered my baby girl’s head first, and then slowly the rest of her body, while she looked pissed off for the intrusion into her bubbled world.
For a moment, time stood still. I heard the comments of how big she was, and they held her up for me to see and photograph. I didn’t know if I should smile, cry, laugh, or all of it. She was here, and she was okay. She was only 37 weeks along, but she was perfect. The time was ten o’clock, on the hour; an hour earlier I was watching baseball, and now I had a brand new baby girl. It’s amazing how quickly your life can change. While I had given birth to two babies, one naturally and one via c-section, I was now in an entirely different position and getting to experience it from a whole other perspective. I watched her come into the world, and I held the hand of my wife while the anesthesiologist took my camera and took our first photos as a family together. The baby weighed in at eight pounds, six ounces, and measured 20.5 inches long. She has big chubby cheeks, just like we saw in the sonograms – it was amazing!
While they finished up with Erikka, stitching her up and such, they took the baby and me back across the hall to our original labor & delivery room. I held her in my arms, and we had about ten minutes just to ourselves, she and I. We walked around the room together, while I just stared at her, completely and totally in love with her already. I stopped at the television, and realized that the baseball game was still on, just as we had left it when we went into the operating room. I paused to look just in time to see the last ball played, and the Rangers win game five over the St. Louis Cardinals, and cheered quietly, telling the baby that she brought our guys good luck that night! Soon they brought Erikka in, and she was awake and alert, doing fabulously and ready to meet and hold our beautiful baby girl.
We named her Harrison, after her grandpa. Harrison Sinclair Jayne-Anne. And she’s perfect.