April3, 1988, just 23 years ago as I sit here recalling what happened that nigh, seems like so long ago. Yet what happened on that day is as clear to me today as it was back then.
The story actually started nearly 9 months prior to this date, otherwise we would not have been in a hospital as my wife was preparing to birth our youngest daughter. I could tell you all about that, but because my daughters hate hearing X-Rated stories of their parents, and because the activities of that day are not so germain to the story at hand, I’ll refrain from sharing that story (for now).
Back to the hospital the evening of April 3, 1988.
The staff at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital were all being very attentive to my wife as she entered the last phase of birthing (I love saying that).
The nurses were managing the broad spectrum of cables and hoses that connected her to the health monitoring and saline dispensing systems. They frequently squeezed her hand and asked with a soothing and caring voice, “Are you OK dear? Not much longer now. Hang in there. If you are in pain we can get you some drugs. Just let us know”
My wife was standing firm. No drugs. I always imagined my wife saying to herself, “I did not have any drugs when I conceived her, I’m not having drugs while birthing.” (Again, I love using that word.)
Yet, the anesthesiologist stood by waiting, surely hoping that she would scream out for “MORPHINE DRIP STAT!” But it never happened.
As the team prepared my wife for what became her quickest birthing, the Doctor was no where to be found. The nurses told us that he was running late because he had to attend a public function downtown. I heard one of the nurses assure my wife, “no worries dear, he’ll be here in time.” I thought I heard another nurse say something about wine, not sure though.
As if on clue, the Doctor walked into the room merely moments before our youngest daughter birthed. (he he he). Fully garbed and sterilized, beanie on his head, shatter proof safety glasses on his face and blue rubber gloves on his hands, he took his position directly in front of the birthing canal literally seconds before the birthing moment.
As the nurses joined me encouraging my wife to breath, push, don’t push, breath, relax, stop yelling at me, breath, don’t blame me, push, push, push harder, the doctor stood firmly with his hands and arms in perfect baby catching position.
Total birthing activity took less than it takes to heat up a grande burrito and Bing, Bam, Boom – Baby is Birthed!
As the Doctor grabbed the baby from the birthing canal he cheerfully announced to my wife and I, “Congratulations Mr & Mrs. Burriss, here’s your Son,,, I mean Daughter.”
I will never forget that 5 seconds in time. Of course, I did write another version of this story a few years ago – you may find that version interesting as well. Check out Happy Birthday Lauren.
After that experience, I have always thought to myself, wine. His vision was impaired by the wine. I’m sure that’s not the case. I’m sure the umbilical cord created an optical illusion for a few seconds. But, because we never asked him and he never offered an explanation, I’m going with, the wine.