There are just a few days in your life you probably know by heart, your wedding day and births of your children. Today is my son Justin's 11th birthday. I remember that day as well as I do for the others, but I will tell those stories when their birthdays come along.

Mom and Justin, January 2002

It was about 7 am on Saturday, January 12th back in 2002. The snow was falling and my wife was feeling what she thought were contractions. So, off to the hospital we went. We dropped Dylan off on the way to stay with his grandmother (Lynn's Mom.) We were going as fast as we could, cautiously, to St. Mary's in Lewiston so Lynn could be checked out.

She was looked at by the nurse and yes they were contractions. It was too soon to admit Lynn, so we were told we could hang out at the hospital but the contractions weren't close enough to give her a room. Coming up on about 12 pm Lynn was officially admitted and got her room.  She was hooked up to a machine that recorded the baby's heartbeat and contractions, with nurses checking in on her frequently.

Dr. Tardif, the doctor on that day, checked in on her and said to Lynn, "You're having a baby today. I'll be back in a little bit to check on you again." Time was rolling along. Contractions were getting closer. At about 1:30 pm, I'd be guessing on this time because labor and delivery were about 45 minutes, the doctor came in to do what he does, deliver the baby. On the paperwork Lynn had said she wanted an epidural but the situation went from zero to 60 in about 2.2 and there was no way an epidural would work. Dr. Tardif added a pain medication into her IV. I don't remember what it was, probably something like Tylenol 3. Anyway, this birth went faster than expected. I'll leave out the gorier details but at 2:12 pm our little baby Justin was born.

The nurses made him presentable and wrapped him like a burrito and there he was all 8 lbs, 9 oz of him. He did break his clavicle on the way out but a bandage and time took care of that. Soon after, Dylan got to see his baby brother and Lynn's Mom and sisters came by too.

I don't know how you women do it? As a guy I feel so helpless in a delivery room. I hold her hand, listen to words you'd never imagine hearing from your loved one and the cry of pain. I try to help by being the so-called clear headed one but you feel like a bystander almost. They teach breathing techniques in birthing classes but from what I've seen through all three births that doesn't really come into play. Women are amazing. I shiver just thinking about the medical aspect of birth. Then when he or she is born all of the stress and pressure releases. When it's all over over as a guy you cry, get light headed and you have this feeling of being overjoyed like everything is perfect. Not sure about the mother, she's still healing.

Note to guys for the delivery room. Never over-do it at the hospital coffee shop while waiting for labor and delivery. Having to go to the bathroom while a baby is being born; I'm still trying to live that one down. Don't get too close and try and kiss her forehead or be lovey-dovey at all and finally when all else fails, just say, "yes."

Justin January 12, 2012