Who would have thought that labor could sneak up on you?
And yet for the first six hours my wife's labor we were uncertain, wondering "Is this it?"
Maybe it was false labor. Maybe it was just something she ate that gave her those cramps every 10 minutes.
So it was 3 a.m. on a Saturday when we finally decided it was time to call the doctor. Waking up to find Michiko doubled over on the bed was a pretty good hint.
The little voice on the phone advised us to go to the hospital and get my now formerly pregnant wife checked out. So we packed our bags and hit the highway that was populated by drunk drivers and truckers making overnight runs.
I sped a bit. At one point as I was exiting the interstate a cop came up the ramp behind with his blue lights on, and for a while I thought I would get to do that part in the movies where you desperately shout out "Officer, please, my wife is having a baby."
I pulled over but the cop blew on past. It would not be the last thing about this event that would be most un-movie like.
At the hospital we quickly learned that indeed the blessed event was upon us, but at that point my wife no longer needed to be told. They wheeled us into a room and, upon our request quickly administered an epidural.
And then my wife fell asleep. She fell asleep in the middle of labor. Some time after dawn we woke up and sat there, she looking relatively peaceful and feeling no pain, until the mid-wife came in and said "OK, let's have a baby."
Well, after that we started the whole pushing part of things. Again, unlike the movies, I wasn't made to dress up in hospital scrubs at that point, although that would come later.
We pushed for two hours but no progress. The doctor came in and did unspeakable things to my wife, but still no baby. Her head was too big and she was looking up, and we all know how bad that can be.
So the dreaded pronouncement was made. She would have to have a C-section.
Well, on the bright side the baby would get to have a nice, round head instead of the cone-head children born naturally usually have.
On the down side, I got to witness my wife apparently being tortured by mean people in green robes. This time I got to don scrubs, too.
That whole thing was just too unpleasant to write about in detail, but just when I was ready to start screaming at people, out came Emily Margaret Brock.
And no, they don't spank them on the butt anymore to make them cry. They wiped up the worst of the nastiness and plopped her on my lap since Mom was at that point still unconscious.
It was all that everybody kept telling me, except they were never able to really get it across to me. I won't be able to get it across to you, either, if you haven't already been through it. There simply are no words.
So now it's been a week and we're getting the hang of changing diapers at 2 a.m. and worrying over every little thing Emily does. We still haven't stopped going "Ohh, how cute," and I doubt we ever will.
I am sleepy. I am worried. I smell a bit off.
I am Dad.
Ed Brock covers public safety and municipal governments for the Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .