Right now, I am sitting in my chair at home with a two-day old, beautiful, healthy baby boy laying peacefully on my chest and cooing in his sleep. My beautiful wife, Bre, is in the next room resting from the toils of labor.
When my wife exclaimed with restrained glee that she was in labor, I was in disbelief. Her water had broke at 3:15 AM but in one of her moments of mercy, she decided to allow me to sleep without disturbance. Around 7:00 AM she let me in on the news that her body had begun the process to encourage the new addition to make the dramatic trip to meet us.
In an attempt to match her nonchalant demeanor, I agreed that sitting down for a nice breakfast was the right decision - why was she so calm? The litany of prenatal books informed us that "early labor" is a time to drink water, eat a healthy meal (preparing for the marathon), and relax. We were relaxed. Like, really relaxed - supporting my disbelief that we were going to be meeting our little one anytime soon. She took a hot shower and had begun gathering things for our trip to the hospital later in the day. As I was stepping into the shower she yelled from the other room, with an urgency and tone that was completely uncharacteristic of her demeanor up until that point, "We NEED to go NOW!"
It usually takes a little bit of time to rev this guy's diesel engine up to the redline, but I understood that things seemed to be progressing at a faster click than our projected timeline. I quickly rinsed, hopped out of the shower, frantically grabbed everything that we needed. Running past Bre, who at this point was on all fours in the living room and displaying her artful use of a new found four letter vernacular, I threw everything in the car. She was in a lot of pain, but managed somehow to get into the car and we were off.
We arrived to a team of nurses who indicated that it was "go time" and Bre was in Active Labor. She had gone from a relaxing morning, with completely manageable contractions, to eight on the Richter scale of pain in the manner of minutes. Totally unexpected. Instead of that stereotypical 18+ hour labor that we were expecting, we were being wheeled off the deliver room in under 7 hours from her water breaking.
Bre committed to the task of pushing with admirable persistence and tenacity. I couldn't be more proud and in awe of her strength and beauty.
All her effort culminated in our little newborn slipping out into the doctor's hands. The doc immediately exclaimed "It's a boy!" and placed him on Bre's chest. I locked eyes with Bre, time stopped - a moment I will never forget. Enter the waterworks. We found ourselves immediately and completely drunk in love with Thomas Michael.
No stolen words or cliche can adequately describe my emotion. However, I will never forget that moment when the hand of my life's compass spun around to rest on a truer north. All things I had previously thought to be important faded.
At 1:43 PM on April 2, 2017 we welcomed our first born, Thomas Michael Crawley.