Introducing Wyatt

Guest post by Byron (the new dad)

Amy has asked me to write an account of the birth of Wyatt. I think she feels she lacks the proper perspective, which I believe she considers one unclouded by excruciating pain or narcotics. I will do what I can.

He was five days overdue and we were still calling him Grover. We had a routine OB appointment on Wednesday afternoon, but Amy had a feeling and insisted we bring along both the car seat and the 'go' bag she had packed for the hospital. I rolled my eyes.

At the appointment, her blood pressure was elevated. This had happened before, but typically a second reading taken 10 minutes later was normal. In this case, though, our doc sent us to triage, the first step on the yellow brick childbirth road at Swedish Hospital. Predictably, her BP was normal in triage. They hooked her up to contraction and fetal heartrate monitors anyway, though. We had yet another ultrasound. Things seemed OK. In fact, the nurse told us they were sending us home.

As she was saying that, though, the doctor called back. She didn't like the way Grover's heart rate would dip with most contractions. Made it seem like he was in some kind of mild distress. So they admitted Amy, and we walked down the hall to our birthing suite. In the birthing suite, more of same: Contraction, heart rate dip, heart rate recovery.

As long as we were there, our doc said, we might as well see if we could get somewhere. So they gave Amy a 'cervical ripening agent.' This was not induction; she wasn't far enough along for that. Fast forward to the middle of the night: No labor progress, and the contractions were coming too fast to give another dose of The Ripener. Grover was still not digging the contractions.

Honestly, I'm not sure what would have happened had Amy's water not broken spontaneously at 7:30 AM on Thursday. I think I said, "It's on," or words to that effect.

Amy labored for three hours or so. I think her labor made up in intensity what it ended up lacking in duration. She had front labor, back labor, and I'm pretty sure sideways labor too. No epidural; they wanted to wait until she was farther along. By 10:30 or so it became apparent that she was not going to get farther along anytime soon, and that Grover was still not happy about being squeezed.

So that was it. They got Amy prepped, wheeled her to the OR, and about 30 minutes later the anesthesiologist tapped me on the shoulder. "If you stand up, you can watch them take him out," he said.

"Oh my," I heard our OB say.

"How does he look?" Amy said.

"He's--" I said. "He's beautiful."

I've heard from several of my friends who are fathers about how emotional the moment of childbirth was for them.

I don't consider myself a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of guy, but I burst into tears as soon as I saw his enormous bloody head come out of the incision. It was spontaneous and uncontrollable and completely biological.

Amy wanted play-by-play but all I could do was blubber about how beautiful he was and how big he was.

They pulled the rest of him out, and the baby equivalent of a NASCAR pit crew got him cleaned up in about the length of a pit stop, and then they handed Wyatt Grover Wallace Kneller to me.

There had been no problem. No cord wrapped around his neck or anything like it. He was just a 9-pound 13-ounce baby packed into a not-so-big space.

That was it, really. It was pretty much love at first sight, for me. We stayed in the OR for another half hour or so while they closed Amy up, and then it was back to the birthing suite. Amy's sister Becky was there (she'd been there for most of the labor), so she got to meet him right away; my cousin Jill came that evening and stayed until we left the hospital, three days later.

It's been a wild ride. Amy's parents came for a few days to help us out. Friends came with food and stayed to hold Wyatt. Amy's recovered from surgery nicely and is slowly winning the battle with sleep deprivation. I weighed him the other day using the bathroom scale (weigh myself, then hold him and repeat). He's 11.5 pounds now. Bigger and cuter every day.

I think he looks like me.

Wyatt was born January 6, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.  Photo taken at one day old.


jill pratt said…
Oh thank god. I've been waiting for a new post. Glad you are keeping the guest post alive Byron. I am dying to see this little guy again...feels very surreal to have left at 4am after a night of no sleep...sometimes I wonder if it really happened at all...but then I remember that Amy never posts to her blog anymore and doesn't return my phone calls...she must really be a mom! :) I miss you guys!
Sarah said…
Thanks Byron for the post! I concur that he is a spectacular, beautiful little person. Given his parentage, I am not surprised.
See you soon!

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