Ladies and gentlemen it is time that I, Joe Clarke, take the www.joeandsarabeth.com helm once again to write about the birth of another beautiful child of ours. It would seem that this is about the only time that I write on this site anymore is to provide a detailed “from the eyes of Joe” experience brief complete with honest revelations and perhaps a dash of humor. Let’s be honest, since I’ve posted for every one of the kids when they’ve been born, I’ve put something in motion that I can’t stop. Unless we stop having kids. But that’s a conversation for another day.
Also on that note, for the haters, don’t be sorry that I have 4 girls. Children are a blessing, and it irks me to no end to hear someone say “ohh I’m sorry man, 4 girls? How old are you again?”. I usually stop them right there and say, well you shouldn’t be. Kids are a blessing and I love my family. I love having a big family, ups and downs, challenges and easy times. Talk to folks we know like the Pavlak, Agnone, and Uvegas families and ask them what it was like steering the ship of a family with a lot of children. Ask them what it was like on Christmas, do they really remember the total dollar amount they spent in the weeks before Christmas, or do they remember their kids’ faces? Ask them if they could do it all over again if they would wanted to have had fewer kids. OK, rant over on the quantity of kids part of the conversation.
It’s pretty humorous that just earlier on that day, SB and I were joking with our friends, Nate and Cindy, about the fact that it really could be any day now that our little girl comes along. In fact, Cindy was rooting for that baby to drop right then and there I think. It would seem her wish was granted. So anyway, there I was. It was about 11:30 at night and I was occupying space in SB’s office due to my eviction from the basement office due to recent external plumbing failures. I was enjoying what I would call a well earned round of Team Fortress 2 with Erik Gibson (Crashmagnet), posting Forge LAN photos, working on a presentation for work and just having a grand old time on a real desktop computer. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Mac, but every now and again I just want my 3 monitors and 2 video cards, especially this week since my PC had been sitting on the kitchen table for a week.
Sarabeth walked into her office and said…”I think my water broke”. I said in a fairly nonchalant fashion…”Oh snap. What does that mean again? I suppose you should call the doctors office.” Then I actually typed into google (this is how sadly dependent and forgetful I’ve become) “what to do when your water breaks”. The internet reached out from my computer, smacked me in the head and said: “go to the hospital dummy”. The woman who answered the phone for the doctor’s office when SB called also concurred with the internet’s assessment. So we called SB’s mom and she came over. And thus the adventure begun. I carefully drove to the hospital, doing about 5 under on every road in super grandma mode. On the way to the hospital, we knew that SB probably wouldn’t get anything to eat if the birthing process was to be anything like what we’d experienced before (several hours long), so we stopped by the golden arches for some french fries. We continued on our way, and during the ride I distinctly remember telling SB, “There’s no way you’re 9cm yet…I’m pretty sure you would know it and would be punching me in the face”.
We arrived, got checked into the hospital and got immediately placed into a room. I went down to get the rest of the bags since it was obvious we were staying, and on the way back into the room I definitely heard one of the nurses say, “Oh my, you’re about 10cm! You’re almost ready to push!” Uhhhh…..saywhat? So I’m not going to have time to do a live blog here? I really had to eat my words on that one.
The nurse started an IV on SB, which always ends up making me queasy, especially if they have to do it twice, which she did. So I went and sat down, as I could feel the color draining from my face. Way to be a real man Joe, a real man. Your wife is about to be stretched out like a balloon and you’re falling over white in the face because an IV missed? Yep. I sure was. And I probably still do that in the future. If SB ever has to do a C-section, I’m going to need some Valium. Hey, at least I know myself well enough to call it like it is.
So the IV was started and Dr. Foote showed up just at the right time. It was at this point we were trying to decide if an epidural would be effective at all since we were this far along. The scariest part I think for SB was simply not knowing what natural child birth was going to be like. We ended up deciding that an epidural was more risky, because SB was having the labor shakes and since she was now 10cm, she was pretty much done already. So we pressed on! And by we, I mean SB. I was merely the washcloth, ice, drink man. That was me. I had it down pat though. And talk about weird, I was just sitting there saying nothing doing nothing, not a single sarcastic quip or joke was heard from me for the entire time she was in labor. I suppose that’s a good thing, all I kept saying was positive encouraging remarks. Then at 1:44AM, our little Tessa emerged weighing in at 5 pounds and 13 ounces, 18 and 1/4 inches long. Sarabeth is a champion, and I’m so proud of her for pressing through!
Welcome to the world Tessa. You have tons of love around you, especially from the two people who will be on your side no matter what may come in this world, your Mommy and Daddy. Love you.