Since announcing the arrival of our newest son, we have been fielding some questions concerning his dramatic entrance.
Quite a few people have inquired about the details of the delivery of our new baby and I would like to spell it out here for those that are curious!
As scary as this experience was, we got lucky three times for every one bad thing that happened. I am not trying to one-up anyone else’s experience or complain about ours. Almost every pregnancy and delivery borders on impossibly difficult. Our baby and his Mama were and are perfectly healthy and it is not lost on us that so many people are not so fortunate.
Our Saturday morning began at Table Rock Lake, sipping coffee and eating breakfast outside my in-law’s camper where we stayed the night before. Our son Luke did not sleep well, but we eventually found out that his lack of sleep would mean he’d later become tired at the perfect time.
Emily text me and said that she did not feel perfect and was ready to leave whenever to drive back home. She made it known that she was having contractions, but the timing and duration were not in a range that meant we needed to hustle.
She began to feel better and we picked up lunch and went home. After lunch, I put our tired boyo down for a nap and mowed the yard while Emily took a shower. After I was finished, I came in and did the same, so we could both be ready for our planned date night.
Luke was still sleeping and my parents were getting ready to come up from Miller to watch him. Emily had begun to feel contractions more strongly, but they were still a bit less than a minute long and just over five minutes apart, so we knew the hospital may turn us away.
Still, we would probably need a hospital visit to check and see, so I began loading our pre-made bags (Emily is a big planner – we were only at 37 weeks) while she put on a dress and got ready.
Her contractions quickly turned near-constant, and she was struggling to get her hair curled. I asked my parents to hurry so that we could see Luke before we left to explain to him where we would be going.
It was quickly becoming apparent that it was hospital time. Emily text my parents to tell them that she was doing okay and that they did not need to hurry (2:49 pm). I simultaneously text them in a separate chain to tell them to please continue speeding.
Suddenly, things changed for Emily. She started feeling pain and began heading downstairs to the car. She almost made it, stopping at the kitchen sink, screaming in pain as her water broke (3:09 pm). Apparently, that was the last line of defense holding this naughty baby back.
I snipped away her undergarments and called 911. My parents had just pulled in and were getting out of the car and I told them to run. Emily, now quite exposed, told my Mom to not look at her. That ship had sorta sailed. I told Mom to check on Luke, who it turns out, was miraculously sleeping through the screams. That was about the biggest win of the whole fiasco.
The man on the phone said that we had to get her lying down. I had Mom grab some towels and a pillow, but Emily wasn’t feeling it. We convinced her that the baby probably shouldn’t drop to the hardwood, so my Mom and I were able to get her down.
I won’t go into detail about how close this rascally baby was to coming right then. Instead, I’ll tell you a sad side-story:
I was instructed to remove the bright white shoelace from my immaculately kept LeBron 15s – the operator said I would have to use it to tie off the umbilical cord. Devastating, right? Anyway…
We had heard the sirens outside once, but apparently, they missed our house the first time. Unbelievable. Luckily my Dad was flailing like a mad man in the middle of the road when they circled back around.
The Cox EMTs, Greene County deputies, and Battlefield firemen all barged in, and just in time. I (happily) relinquished my spot of honor to an EMT to scoot up by Emily’s head. Emily asked how many babies he had delivered and he gave just the answer you would expect at this point, “None in the field, ma’am.” I then stepped in and lied, telling her somebody else in the room said eight. #HusbandLife
Having replaced me maybe 15 seconds prior, the inexperienced EMT told her to push, and by the time I looked back down, our son was out in one incredible jolt, face down and successfully caught (3:22 pm).
The little guy cried a couple of times before going pretty quiet, looking a little purple. He was fine though, despite my fatherly fears. Another EMT ripped Emily’s shirt open for some quick skin-to-skin time with the baby. In retrospect, I’m quite jealous of the steamy maneuver, but I have decided to let it slide.
There were maybe a dozen people in our kitchen by that time and once we determined the baby was fine, Emily was feeling a tad exposed as you can imagine. I took the baby in a beach towel, and they helped Emily stand and walk (this lady is wild) to a gurney.
Emily then went through an awkward receiving line of “congratulations” through our living room from all of our new best friends. I will add that the firefighters cleaned our kitchen and threw everything in the washing machine. We are planning to spot them some donuts for that.
I couldn’t ride in the ambulance, so I got my keys and tailgated them all the way to Cox. I tried to inconspicuously park in the ambulance area, but was told I’d have to move. I told them (maybe demanded) to open the door so I could see my wife and son. They did, and I told them I was there and would see them in a minute.
Everything on the Cox campus is jacked up thanks to covid, so I wound up doing a lot of running. I parked, went in one door, was directed to the ER, told she wasn’t in the system, directed to a locked door, and finally to the correct door to get to labor and delivery.
I was sweating, swearing, missing a shoelace, and may have been lucky to have not been escorted out. Also lucky to have had an appropriate forehead temperature to get in the building.
We were reunited in labor and delivery and had a pretty normal hospital stay from there. Emily was great and had a nice recovery since she did not get any medication. Carter Daniel Harrington was 7lbs 1oz and 19 inches of good-looking baby.
Luke slept through the entire thing somehow and was unfazed. My parents stayed with him and he got to stay with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins the next day. He is the best big brother.
Like I said, every pregnancy and delivery has its own ups and downs, but this was our experience. For being traumatic and untimely, it also could have gone so much differently. We were very lucky.
The luckiest part of all? My Mom found my shoelace perched, untouched on top of the other garbage in the trashcan, completely salvageable. You have to love a happy ending.