Posted by Ben Stevens on

Children make us see how quickly time passes because in the period of a few decades a human being goes from completely helpless to full fledged adults who are still helpless in many ways.  My son turns 18 tomorrow and it got me thinking about that moment he was born.  If you have never witnessed a birth you are missing out but yet also very fortunate.  I often describe it as the most beautiful horrific thing you will ever see.  The truth is births can vary quite drastically as I can attest being present for all five of my children's births.  

Amadeus was born in the middle of the night, which I swear was an omen for his sleeping habits up until the age of almost six.  In fact, he only began sleeping through the night when I finally lost it one night as he came to crawl in our bed and I sat up and said "No, you go back to your bed now and we will see you in the morning".  I should say Lisa was pregnant with Allora and the not sleeping had to end so that we could begin a new round of not sleeping with a different child.  

Looking back it was actually kind of adorable because he would come in sometime in the middle of the night and wrap his little body around Lisa's head on the pillow.  I remember one particular morning waking up complaining I got no sleep and Lisa said "You didn't have a kid wrapped around your head all night".  I replied "No, but I did go to the bathroom in the night with a bloody lip from that kid kicking me in the face".  It was a regular practice for him to move and accidentally kick me in the head while he slept.  Back to the birthing story though.

Lisa decided to utilize the services of the hospital for this particular birth and during the early stages took advantage of the laughing gas as it's nicknamed.  The nurse said gently breath in through the mouth piece and if you are sucking on it too hard it will make a sound.  A few hours later after going to get Lisa something from the car as I walked down the hall I heard what sounded like someone playing the harmonica.  As I entered the room it was Lisa sucking on the tube like there was no tomorrow.  The nurse was right it did make a sound and she was trying to master it like she had a concert to perform that night.  

Eventually Lisa asked for and received an epidural, which essentially freezes your bottom half so you feel little or no pain.  It worked like a charm.  From 10pm-2am Lisa slept in her bed while I slept in the arm chair through all of the worst of her contractions.  We only woke as they came and checked her.  It was shortly after 2am when they said well you are ready to start pushing.  The moment had arrived.

I will never forget that whole birthing stage as it was so odd like nothing I ever experienced.  The nurses had called the doctor but Amadeus was coming too fast and they figured he would not make it in time.  In between pushing the nurses joked about doctors and how they make so much money but how it's nurses who do all the work.  I remember laughing with them and joking around all the while Lisa is having contractions and pushing.  It is quite the weird combination to listen to your wife pushing as hard as possible while simultaneously still giggling about comments the nurses were making.  Lisa gave birth before the doctor arrived and everything was great, we had a healthy baby boy.  

Now 18 years later my little boy is engaged to a wonderful girl he met from England and we are so proud of him.  On this, his 18th birthday we wish him all the best and look forward to watching his journey in this crazy thing we call life.  

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