My wife was induced on Monday afternoon. My son was born late Thursday night. They came home Friday afternoon. The ordeal lasted five days.
I watched powerless for five days while my wife, Sally, was broken and exhausted from an uncomfortable and painful hospital stay; one where I was forced to leave her alone to suffer every night. We had not slept apart for more than three years. Leaving her alone and in pain every night was one of the most horrendous experiences of my life, and lying in bed at home without her was the loneliest I have ever felt. I even became afraid of the dark again, as lost and frightened as a child without her.
What had been an entirely normal pregnancy became unfortunately complicated in the final few weeks, and getting my son to us healthily meant a lot of suffering for Sally. How she managed to survive what they put her through, I will never know. She has a strength I can only dream of having. She has become my hero; someone I know who can do anything when it comes to me and our son, Jack. She went through agony to get him here safely. She would have died if it had been necessary.
Jack was born at 10.27 PM on the 26th June and weighed 7.8 pounds. He was delivered at 38 weeks exactly. The complications that threatened him reared their ugly head as he emerged from my wife's body. He became choked by the umbilical cord and trapped inside the birth canal. Two midwives, a doctor, and a well-timed surgical cut not only saved his life, but got him out as healthy as can be. The moment when the fetal heart rate monitor plummeted, alarm bells ringing, and a doctor came rushing in, was the most terrifying moment of my entire life. I may be a writer, but that isn't a cliche. I literally felt true terror for the first time in my life. It shook my entire body and was like nothing I have ever felt before. It was primal. When they finally got Jack out, he was completely still for ten seconds - like something not alive. Then he started screaming and I thought I was going to pass out with relief. Instead of hitting the floor, though, I wept; uncontrollably and like I never have before. My son had been born only two minutes, but already I loved him more than anything else on Earth. I suddenly realised that I loved my wife more too; something I had thought impossible up until that point.
While it was an horrendous week. We now have our little Jack and could not be happier. We can't stop staring at him and feel more love in our hearts than we even knew we had the capacity to contain. We are a family, and we have already gotten through our first crisis together by sticking together. I just hope, that if it ever comes to it, I can be as strong as Sally was when it comes to protecting our son.
This video was taken two hours after Jack was born. Sally and I had not slept for over twenty-four hours. Sally had been in agony for several days. Despite all that, we have never been happier than we were right at that moment.