Posted by: Rob | October 11, 2008

It’s a Birthday

Twenty-six years ago today, a sweet young girl came into our world.

It’s my favourite Libra’s birthday and today she is 26. I still remember the year she was born. It was (Canadian) Thanksgiving Day that year.

I no longer remember the circumstances leading up to Shelley going in to the hospital that day.  She was nearly to term – about 38 weeks or so.  I think the initial projection was for a Hallowe’en baby, but those are guesses at best.

It was a Sunday, late in the day.  I had gone through all the pre-natal classes and I was set to be “coach” in the delivery room.  I think that contractions had started and so we went to the hospital.  The nurses got us admitted and all set up in a room.

It looked like things were going slowly, so about 9 PM the nurses suggested that I go home and get some sleep.  Shelley agreed so off I went.  And wasted a couple of hours watching a movie on TV.  I had just fallen asleep on the couch – no more than twenty or thirty minutes – when the telephone rang.

“Your wife would like you to come in now.”

I went back down to the hospital by midnight.  I spent the rest of the night measuring contractions and just chit-chatting in between visits by the nurse to peer under the blankets and check some mysterious parameter known as “dilation”.

Around 7 AM on Thanksgiving Day, we were moved and set up in the “case room”.  Preparations continued, although it seemed to me that the baby was ready to come any time.  Shelley sure wanted to push it out right then and there.  Of course, the nurses wouldn’t let it happen because the doctor wasn’t there yet.

I was perched behind Shelley’s head doing that “coaching” thing and holding her hands.   She was pretty exuberant with her grip as she pretty much sprained both of my thumbs as she clamped down on me during every contraction.

Finally, the doctor showed up around 9 AM, pretty much just in time to “catch” the baby.  I had moved around to the side by this point so I had a “bird’s eye view” of the proceedings.  It was really quite something to watch first hand.  I’ll never forget the look of her as she emerged.  She was about half way out when she started crying.

She was perfect.  The proudest papa ever, I was grinning from ear to ear behind the surgical mask.

Now, twenty six years later, I’m still a proud papa.  Happy birthday to my ElderD!


  1. funny how much detail you can remember about childbirth… i can quote minutes, moments, and words spoken by the damn janitor!

    happy birthday, elder d!

  2. When I was in the delivery room with my wife, I tried to whisper reassuring words into her hear but she yelled at me to shut up because I was breaking her concentration. I never looked past her neck at the proceedings. I’m glad I didn’t.

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