Ruby turns four today. It's hard to believe that it's been four years since we started this crazy ride (almost five if you count the terrifying day we found out we were going to be parents), so I thought I would tell you about this day, four years ago.
Simone was pregnant, of course, and everyone was telling her that she was going to have a huge baby. We knew it was a girl, and we knew her name was Ruby, but other than that, we knew nothing about her. Because they all thought she was going to be huge (Ha! Wait till they meet Edward!) they decided that they should induce the birth, so we scheduled a day to go into the hospital. Simone's doctor specifically scheduled us to go in on March 14th, since he would be on duty that day.
The first thing we found out when we arrived was that Simone's doctor was not on duty. "Oh, he doesn't know his schedule," the nurse told us. "His wife does all that for him, he has no idea when he is going to be where." How reassuring. So they gave Simone some inducing juice and we sat around and waited. And waited. Luckily I had brought along a lot of comic books to read, but after a while I fell asleep in the weird "chair-that-almost-turns-into-a-bed-sort-of" that they had provided to me.
Simone had some contractions I guess, but it was going pretty slowly, and at some point in the middle of the night they decided to put in the epidural. Simone and I are both terrified of needles, but I was determined to hold her hands and help her through it, even though I couldn't technically, you know, look. So Simone and I gripped each other tightly with all four of our eyes closed. I'm pretty sure we were both screaming. Anyway, somehow we got through it, and it was all downhill from there.
The big problem was that at some point they rolled Simone over and half of her epidural came out, so she could fully feel half of her body, which must have been really weird. And when she complained that she could feel stuff, they just upped the dosage, which made one half of her body 100% numb, and the other half not numb at all. They did eventually figure this out, but it was sort of too late. Simone was off in woozy dopey land for the remainder of the birth, which was actually not good.
Big problem #2 was that Ruby's heart rate was dropping. I don't know if it was the crazy amount of drugs now in the system, or if it was just that she really was too big, but suddenly everyone in the room was very serious, and they rushed Simone to the operating room. That was by far the longest few minutes of my life. There I am, my pregnant wife, basically my entire life, being rushed into the O.R. while nobody will tell me anything and I am trying to get into scrubs as fast as I can. It was terrifying.
They did let me in eventually, and they delivered Ruby with forceps. At least that's what they tell me. I was not at that end, I was in the hand-holding area trying not to look at what the large crowd of people was doing with the forceps and other scary medical items. It was pretty crazy in that room, but at 9:43 am on Thursday, March 15th, 2007, Ruby was born. She weighed 8 lbs 3 oz and she was 20.5 inches long, which seemed big at the time, but again, that was pre-Edward.
The worst consequence of the whole O.R. debacle was that, due to hospital regulations that deemed operating tables "unclean," Simone was not allowed to hold Ruby when she was born. They let me hold her, and then sent her upstairs to run tests, make sure she was human, and stuff like that. Simone didn't get to see her for over three hours. I remember spending most of that day four years ago running back and forth between Simone's room and the nursery, taking pictures and videos for Simone, and trying to console my doped up wife who only wanted to see her baby.
Ruby did eventually come downstairs to see Simone, and life has been crazy ever since. I remember taking her home from the hospital and thinking "Oh God, what do I do with this baby?" I remember what a good baby she was, sleeping through the night almost immediately, and learning things so quickly. I remember checking on her every couple of hours to make sure she was still alive. But mostly I remember being so amazed at how I could love anything as much as I loved that baby.
Happy Birthday Ruby. We're going to have fun celebrating you today, but nothing will ever compare to that day four years ago, the worst and best day of my entire life.