June 5, 2010. Here's how this guy decided to make his entrance. Erica and I had been minding our own business for some time (9 months?). The date of his due came and went and the doctors decided he had yet to pack his things so he needed to extend his stay in the womb just a bit. We were very relieved as our man-to-man defense was working its magic on the 2 kids we had already. Our zone defense was in need of a few more tweaks so the extra few days were quite welcome. Friday night after his due date the contractions began and we knew he was close. Erica was able to sleep throughout the night somewhat as they subsided just enough, but the next morning it was time to go to the hospital. Erica kept trying to put it off while mowing the grass and trimming the hedges and cleaning up around the house. So after the boys went down for their afternoon naps we figured we'd take a little drive to the hospital to see if our baby was ready yet.The nurses checked and he wasn't quite ready yet - still hadn't packed up his umbrella or 7 dogs playing poker painting (he wouldn't cheat if he were neutered). Since it was a Saturday and doctors control nearly everything in our universe, there was very few staff already there on duty. So the nurse that was there told us to start walking around the halls to try to convince the baby to get things rolling and that the doctor was on her way. We laughed as we thought, "Silly nurses don't know anything. What's walking around going to do?" 15 minutes later contractions had gone from 7-8 minutes to 3 minutes. But still we walked as we reflected on all the modern advances science had made in forms of birth control. 30 Minutes later the doctor, looking very calmed and relaxed and well rested, strolls into the hospital and announces to everyone within 3 zip codes, "I think we're having this baby. She looks awful!" Now that's what every 9+ month pregnant woman loves to hear - right after "So. Did you have the baby yet?" and right up there with "Are you having triplets because you look HUGE!"
The nurses ushered us back to the room where we could relax - until the doctor came and broke Erica's water. They did offer her some to drink to replace the one they broke though so...bonus. Next came the finest drugs known to woman - the epidural! In the right hands an epidural can make anything tolerable - even child birth. I had witnessed it twice before - the power of just such a drug. But this time was to be different. The anesthesiologist came in and we knew immediately we were in trouble.
He assured us that he had done thousands of these procedures before and we had nothing to worry about. Of course he didn't tell us until after that his success rate was a mere %20. True story - all joking aside. He prepared the needle - which appeared to have been on loan from the city of Seattle. It was huge. Erica said, "I'm going to pass out." (I said the same thing but no one listens to the expectant Father). To which both the nurse and good doctor simultaneously reply, "No you're not." Then she collapsed in their arms and they both got a very unwelcome surprised look on their faces. She comes around and the next thing the good doctor said when he'd finished tapping Erica's back for maple syrup was, "Its kind of crooked." Erica, still trusting of these strangers to actually attend to her bodily needs, exclaimed, "I'm going to throw up." No nurse ever moved quicker then this one did as she learned her lesson with the whole fainting ordeal. She returned the bed pan promptly enough to avoid calling in the clean up crew. All done? Not even! The crooked nature of the needle left poor Erica's right side with almost all of its feeling and the left side number than Keith Richards at a Bob Dylan concert. Repeated attempts to convince the good doctor of the discomfort went unnoticed. He even convinced himself she wasn't in any discomfort and then promptly left the room. The pain continued but eventually getting the baby out was the only thing that would stop it.
The doctor returned and now its time for delivery (not DiGiorno's). I'll spare you of the exact details of delivery but know this, the baby was 2 pounds bigger than Grant and Peter. So out he came and he was beautiful. 8 pounds and 6 ounces and 21 inches of screaming fury. They cleaned him up and wrapped him up tight and finally handed him over.
5:52 PM he was born after we had arrived at the hospital around 2:30 PM. Not bad but I challenged Erica to keep it under 2 hours the next time (The stitches come out of my lip next week BTW). Now, about the name. We have yet to decide on any name for our boys before they were born. Being as it was a Saturday and we wouldn't leave until Monday, the nurses weren't too pushy with getting us to name our child this time. They did give us a book of 50,001 baby names which did not help as we are not from Asia. Nothing felt right. Grant and Peter and Erica's mother came on Sunday to visit the little guy and one of the nurses asked Grant what his little borther's name was. He answered, "Natalie." We don't even know a Natalie so where he heard this name is quite a mystery. The nurse says, "Well maybe you can name him Nathan." Great idea! I hadn't thought of that as its too close a name to my brother Nate's but it seemed to fit just fine. So we had a first name and a good one at that. Now for the middle.
Alexander. Many will surely think it comes from Alexander the Great - the king of Macedonia and world conqueror. Others will surely attribute it to a baseball great - Grover Cleveland Alexander - Hall of Fame pitcher for the Phillies, Cubs, and Cardinals. And some of you will say it must be from Alexander Graham Bell - inventor of the telephone. All would be wrong. Alexander comes from my best friend from the first grade. He moved away after one year and I don't remember where or even his last name but the name stuck with me.
Here's one more picture for you: