Well let’s talk about how Parker was born and how it was one of the craziest things of my life. But to fully understand the insanity of it, you have to realize that when we had Simon it was one of the easiest, longest and most laid back events of my life. Simon took a whopping 22 hours to be born and during the waiting time for that, Tia got all dooped up before the pain came and I read an entire book. Simon was so set on never coming out that they almost had to do a c-section to get him out. So when we began planning for Parker we had that entire event in mind.
I was just as focused on finding a good book to read as I was on, oh I don’t know, getting the phone number to a cab or the address to the hospital. Why because, I would have time for that. Surely we were going to be induced and I could look up a cab or get the hospital’s address then. There was no need to rush.
Well our date of inducing got pushed back to after the weekend but that wasn’t a big deal. Simon was a week and half late when he was induced and even then it took forever to come out, so again, we’d be fine.
On Saturday, Tia started having contractions throughout the day. We both admitted that this was new but we still both doubted that we were going to have a baby anytime soon. By Saturday night though, the contractions were coming about every ten minutes and so we realized this might be real. So we started getting our stuff together and I put a taxi’s number into my phone to call incase we had to call one that night.
Around 1:45 am, Tia woke me up to ask me a question, “Trav, would you get up and rub my back every five minutes for the rest of the night? We could put on a show?” While I appreciated the offer to watch a TV show or movie during these back rubs, I didn’t feel like giving a six hour back rub so I asked her if we should just call the doctor instead.
A call was put into the doctor but Tia was still in a place of denial. She was worried that we’d go in and be turned away for not being ready so she was very generous with the time’s of contractions she told her doctor, “Oh they’re coming every five to seven minutes.” The doctor told us to wait until they were consistently five minutes and then come in.
So we began timing them. The second one came three minutes after the first one. The next one came three minutes after that. The following one was about three and half minutes and then the next one was three minutes. I looked at Tia, “these are coming like every three minutes. Why did you tell the doctor five to seven minutes?”
Tia told me that when she was resting they could be as far apart as nine minutes but that isn’t what I was seeing. I told her we’d better call the taxi now. We were going to have this baby soon. A call was placed to the taxi and they told me due to the snow storm, we should expect a bit of delay. I thought that was like ten minutes but around the thirty minute mark, I began to panic.
Tia was getting really (how do I put this delicately?) grumpy. She shouted at me, “Call another company!” Which I had already done but had received the same results. I shouted back at her, “I already did that!” I felt like we were some bickering couple from a TV sitcom at this point. It would only get worse.
About forty minutes after I called the cab, it finally arrived. We hurried out into the cab with Tia having to stop halfway in the snow to have contractions. We got in the cab and our driver looked at us and said, “Where to?” Time froze. This was the moment every man dreamed off. The moment where you could say something so tough and so manly that you would never be the same. “My wife is having a baby. Get me to Northwestern Hospital. Drive dammit.” The cab driver looked at me with a level of respect, I had never felt before. He replied, “Where is that exactly?” “It’s uh…, it’s uh…”
Two minutes later, I had googled the exact address and we were on our way.
As we drove in the cab, Tia’s contractions were still about three minutes apart but they were becoming significantly painful. I saw her struggling and offered her my hand in comfort. She immediately squeezed it so hard that my fingers turned purple. This is what it felt like having your hand crushed by a steamroller.
Once the contraction had stopped, I asked the driver his name. He told me it was Aziz. Parker Aziz Meidell, had a real ring to it. I told him that if this baby comes in his cab, I would name my child after him. He looked at me in his rear view mirror and with no change in tone whatsoever replied, “Do not have the baby in my cab.” Hmph. Well you can forget having Parker named after you buddy! You should be so lucky to have a Meidell baby in your cab!
We pulled into the hospital, got checked in and next thing I knew we were in the first level room. Now in the birthing process at Northwestern, there are three levels: First level was where the mom was placed until she was ready to go in labor. So when contractions weren’t that far apart or painful you were placed here. We should not have been placed here. Second level is where we should have been. This is the level you are at when you’re having the baby. Third level is post baby where you stay for several days.
So there we were in the first level and Tia was having another contraction. She requested my hand again which I cautiously gave her. Suddenly she squeezed it so hard one of my fingers basically popped like a zit. Okay, that didn’t happen but it may as well have. Tia had been gifted with the strength of a god at this point. She could have lifted a car but instead she channeled that strength into squeezing my hand.
At this point they still haven’t given Tia her epidural to take away the pain so she is still pretty miserable. As we sat in the tiny, level one room, I happened to glance up to the TV and I saw the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. It was this game show on a Spanish station that featured couple’s in pregnancy competition. There was several beds with women in them with balloons tied to them and their husbands had to get them through commonplace obstacles.
As I sat there watching these people lovingly laugh together at pregnancy games, my wife was grabbing my hand and telling me that she was going to murder a bunch of nurses if she didn’t get medicine soon. What you have to realize is that if you know Tia at all, she is the kindest, most caring, loving woman I have ever met. That woman was gone. Replaced by this new, angry woman.
Tia had become a woman filled with every rage imaginable. It’s like she took every time she was ever mad at me and released it into her super human grip on my hand. I could fill my fingers breaking against my wedding ring.
As she squeezed, I practiced breathing exercises in my head. It was to help me manage the pain. Just then the nurse came in and Tia turned to her and asked when she gets her epidural. I joked, “I could probably use one too with how tight she’s squeezing my hand!” The nurse and I laughed and then I looked to my wife because she was quiet. This was unusual, typically Tia laughed at all my jokes. That’s why she married me… I mean it wasn’t for my looks.
So I cracked my joke and turned to Tia and she gave me a look. Oh the look! I shudder when I think of this look. This will be a look that will haunt me for many years to come. That’s when I realized how much pain Tia must be in. If she couldn’t find my simpleton humor funny then she must be really hurting. I got serious.
I told the nurse that we really needed to get Tia upstairs to get her epidural. The nurse checked Tia and she was dilated to a five so sure enough, they would move her. We got upstairs and Tia’s contractions were happening really frequently now. She was still gripping my hand like a vice but now I knew that she needed it, so I help tight (though I had taken off my wedding ring because it was breaking bone).
After a couple minutes the nurse told me that they were finally going to give Tia the epidural and I needed to step out. As I left the room I heard Tia shouting at nurses and basically screaming in pain like you see in the movies. I sat outside for twenty minutes in the waiting room listening to a family debate how long their daughter was going to take. They said she was dilated to a three so it would probably be only another thirty minutes. Yeah. Good luck with that.
After twenty minutes I was called back in. As I walked into the room I heard not screaming but a pleasant Tia chatting about Simon to the nurses. Tia saw me walk in and gave me her usual smile. “I feel better”, she said. Clearly her medicine had already kicked in. After that it was smooth sailing. Really quick, smooth sailing.
Once Tia had her medicine in her the nurse checked to see where she was at and it turns out she was dilated to a nine. So basically there was the head hanging out. The nurse quickly called the doctor and he came in and put his booties on. There was a couple minutes of light chatter (during which I cracked a joke and Tia laughed, hazzah!). The doctor put Tia’s feet up and told her to push. One push. Two push. Three push. Four push. Baby.
No joke. Four pushes and the baby was out. It was insane how quickly he was here. The next thing I knew we were over there weighing him and measuring him. It was 4:45. That meant it was two hours from when we left our apartment. Two hours and we were holding him in our arms.
As I stood there holding the little guy I knew he was meant for our family. I have much more to say about Parker but that will come later. For today, I just wanted to tell you the story and tell you how excited we are to welcome Parker Sean Meidell into our world.