Thirty nine hours ago I woke up and went to work.
It was a fairly normal day and I made a call to my wife to propose we have our annual birthday bash a little early. We’ve always celebrated our birthdays together since they are a day apart. We knew this year’s celebration would be tough with the wee one due April 7, a mere week from our birthdays.
I should mention that our favorite place, the place we have dreams about, is BLT Steak. Pop-overs and Porterhouses (or one Porterhouse shared…)
Now, when you go into labor there are things they ask you not to eat: red meat, cheese, tomatoes and citrus… too hard to digest or too acidic. So avoid them.
So I ask my wife if she wants to head to BLT Steak after work and have our little celebration early. We waddle down to 57th Street and walk in, thinking we’d just sit at the bar.
It’s packed. We can get a table at 9.
I ask her what she thinks and she looks at me and says, “I just don’t think I’ll feel up to it tomorrow.”
That’s called foreshadowing.
We waste some time in Borders and head to dinner at 9 pm.
We relish our pop-overs with butter and sea salt. I want to bathe in the duck liver mousse with port wine jelly… my wife not so big a fan of the duck liver. No biggie, more for me… We are dazzled by the hen of the woods mushrooms. And of course, we slowly savor the perfectly crusted, melt in your mouth Porterhouse with a Gorgonzola cream sauce. Of which we have leftovers that I’ll attack shortly.
As we look over desserts some patrons next to us notice Angie’s gigantic belly.
“Order the pineapple. It induces labor.”
We all laugh.
We take the subway home, pleased that we’ve had our last hurrah before becoming parents.
We get home and I sift through the mail and pull out the 2010 Census. “I’ll wait for him to be born before I fill this out. Then I can put his date of birth on here.”
15 minutes later Angie jumps up off the couch. She bee-lines toward the door.
“You have to throw up?”
She looks suddenly flushed and then slips into the bathroom.
She’s standing in a puddle of clear water.
And it just kept coming.
We call the doctor and are told we should go to the hospital.
It’s 11:45 pm.
We take our time, shower, grab our already packed bags and head out, ready for the long night.
She's having no contractions when we get to the hospital. Within moments she's in full active labor with heavy consistent rolling contractions.
Four hours later she finally asks for an epidural.
Things calm down until around 8:30 when I pull out my trusty workhorse, the Canon G9... and it breaks. Lens Error... won't even turn on. (Insert expletive here.)
A quick run to Duane Reade for a disposable is a quick patch.
At 10:51, after much pushing and much hard work, on St. Paddy's day, Liam Christopher VanDijk takes his first breath and is welcomed into the world three weeks earlier than expected.
21 inches, 7lbs 11 ounces. (I previously wrote 10 lbs 11oz. That would make him a giant. Sorry. Blame it on my sleep deprived brain.)
Mother and child are doing fine.
Evidence is below... shot with the Canon PowerShot I bought for Angie... at 3:30 when we were moved to postpartum and the boy was being bathed and checked and the wife was napping. Thank you Best Buy.
39 hours later, Dad is sitting with a celebratory shot and ready to finally get some sleep.