King Kong and The Birth of a Child

September 21, 2009

So last night we were watching King Kong on TV. Our 3 ½ year old son was fascinated by how easily the giant “Magrilla” (as he called it) could fight off the T-Rex. (And yes, I realize that “Magrilla” sounds a lot like “McGrilla,” and once again McDonald’s comes into play). Anyway, King Kong is a movie that has a special place in our hearts because of its significance to the events surrounding the birth of the little Magrilla Fan. I remember that day in mid December, 2005. It was a Thursday. The baby was not due for another 10 days or so, but when we woke up that morning, my wife asked if I could please stay home from work to go with her to her appointment with her doctor. So I did. I mean, after all, when it came to the pregnancy, my specific task in the whole process was completed about 8 ½ months earlier (in about 10 very efficient minutes, I might add), so going to the doctor with her was the least I could do.

Well, the doctor took a look and informed us that the baby could come at any time. She told us to keep a bag packed and the car keys close. And we left. Now the doctor also suggested sex as a way to induce labor, but I had my concerns. First, she was already dilated to 4 centimeters so I figured what’s the use? She wouldn’t even know I was there. Plus, I always feared that somehow my kid would end up in therapy if we did it. (“I dunno Doc; ever since I can remember I’ve had this penetrating fear that my personal space is being invaded!”). Well, Angela had a different idea: She wanted to scare the baby out! I had the rest of the day off, so we decided to go see the new King Kong movie. (In retrospect, I think it was also my wife’s way of preparing me for how she might act during labor).

So there we were in the movie, it had just started, and I can already hear my wife breathing in rhythm. (He he, hooooo. He he hooooo.) I swear, the guy behind us must have been thinking “Hey lady, the native chanting scene ain’t for another hour! Can you give it a rest??” So just about the time that King Kong makes it to New York, my wife grabs my arm and says “We need to get to the hospital!” Being the dutiful husband that I am (as well as being too petrified to be a smart ass), I grabbed her purse, my stuff, took one last swig on the diet coke I was holding (that would come back to haunt me at the hospital), and off we went.

I have to say this about my wife; she is one of the toughest people I have ever met. You know those programs on The Animal Planet that show the mother bear kicking major ass to protect her children? Yeah, that’s Angela, and she has to put up with me. Now, I was feeling no small amount of stress as I drove to the hospital, because it felt like it was Moron Day on the Road, and everyone wanted to participate. But once we got to our room, and once Angela was hooked up to that machine to monitor her contractions, I was able to relax a bit. And once that happens, my inappropriate sense of humor begins to come back out (it’s kind of like a scared turtle.) So when one Nurse comes on to see how we’re doing and starts off by jovially saying “Well, what is going on in here?” well I respond in kind by saying “Ah, were just here getting her smogged. You can never be too careful with those emissions, you know.” And then there was silence . . . except for the sound of crickets chirping in the background. “OooooKay, I’ll go stand in the corner now while you two chat.”

After the Nurse left, I just sat there and watched the monitor while Angela chewed on some ice. A contraction would come; the readout on the monitor would arc up, and then go back down. And I swear the most I ever heard from Angela was a slight groan, and some controlled breathing. So I am thinking it must not be that bad, probably something like a little pinch. And that simple minded way of thinking lasted for about 45 minutes until my sister got there and saw what I was seeing. And once again, I was dispatched to the corner while my sister hunted down someone to give Angela an epidural. The corner and I were becoming friends. And from then on, every time anyone said anything that they feared could be turned into a pun, everyone in the room would turn and glare at me with this “Don’t even think about it” look. And I just thought to myself “Well I’ll just wait 3 ½ years and start a blog and I’ll say it all then.” Of course, now I have forgotten most of what I would have said.

Without going into too many details, 8:45 PM rolls around, and Angela is about ready to have a baby. We had been at the hospital about 6 hours by this time. Now I don’t know what other men think when one of their children is about to be born: I see some who get philosophical and ponder the meaning of life, others get teary eyed, some pass out, and some so all of the above. But me, well, as I stood there next to my wife, I was amazed at the random nature of the thoughts that were running through my brain. I remember distinctly regretting that I had taken that last swig of diet coke at the theater, because I had to pee like a race horse!!! And speaking of the theater, I was impressed that my wife had no “King Kong-like” outbursts! And then I saw my sister who was video taping the whole thing and I thought “You know, no body ever tapes the conception, only the birth. I wonder why that is??” And then my biggest fear hit me: “Lord please do not let this gum fall out of my mouth and land in Angela’s hair!!”

Well, at 8:58 PM, approximately 6 minutes after the doctor took her position and said “OK, lets have a first push” little Mason was born. By 9:30 PM he was breastfeeding (Yeah, he’s his father’s son). And by 9:45 PM, the process of making sure he had dad firmly wrapped around his finger was well under way. Just like with my daughter, all he had to do was show up.


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