That’s a weak title, I know. But funny for those who get the reference! I needed something to continue with the theme of numbering the kids. And since Jared is my #2, there aren’t many that are, um, clean?
Anyways, my son turns NINE today. Nine years old. My son. Wow.
His story is somewhat different than Katria’s that we told a couple days ago. You can read it here if you didn’t get a chance to. Michelle and I were living in our first house, a “slightly” rundown duplex in Calgary. We had put a lot of work into the upstairs, but not so much into the basement. The basement smelled pretty bad of rotting carpet and general oldness.
It was spring 2003 and in Calgary that means you can have any kind of weather. This year, we got a bunch of snow. Heavy, wet snow. Michelle was eight and a half months pregnant and was definitely not shovelling any snow. But neither was I really, since I knew that it was all melting (mostly) so what’s the point!
Except that it was all piling up against our old, leaky house. And melting. And finding it’s way into our basement. Hence the rotting carpet and smells down there.
I can’t remember how we discovered the water leaking in, but I know it was later in the evening. I’m sure Michelle and I had just finished watching a show on TV and were getting ready to go to bed and I had to go downstairs for something. And then I stepped into the water. (Michelle just read this and corrected me. We had just come home late from someplace and had gotten Chelsey to bed late. We were all exhausted and looking forward to getting to bed as well. Then the water…)
“Michelle! The basement is flooding! We need to get this water out NOW!”
And so we did. My poor 8.5 month pregnant wife was on her hands and knees under the stairs sponging, mopping, scooping and whatever else she could do to get the water into buckets. I was running the loaded buckets up the stairs and dumping them outside. (Note: dumping the water away from the house. I understood where the water was coming from and was not going to make this an episode of “I Love Lucy”)
I was shoveling all the snow I could away from the edge of the house to try and stop any more water from coming in. Michelle also created a water diversion and collection system that pulled the water from the hole in the foundation it was coming in and put it directly into a bucket. To this day she still brags about her genius. Rightfully so.
After a few hours of fighting the water like this (and surprisingly very little fighting between the two of us!) we had stopped the flood and headed to bed. Chelsey was a year and a half old and had been sleeping the whole time.
We fell asleep quickly.
Early in the morning, about 6:30, Michelle woke me up saying “Ryan, I think the baby is coming.”
“Huh?” I answered rather manly like.
“I just realized my back has been hurting every two minutes, I think it’s labour.” Michelle explained nice and clearly for me, her still sleepy husband.
“OK” I answered. “I guess we have a little time. Let’s let Chelsey sleep and call Rosie to come and watch her.”
“Um, Ryan, the contractions are only a couple minutes apart and getting stronger. We need to wake up Chelsey and take her to the hospital. Have Rosie meet us there.”
(the following sequence of events happened in about a 45 minute period after that)
Me calling Rosie: “Hello?” “Rosie, get to the hospital. We’re on our way.” “Huh?” “JUST GET TO THE HOSPITAL TO PICK UP CHELSEY. WE’RE HAVING THE BABY NOW!!!!!!!”
Grabbing Chelsey. Getting the overnight bag that thankfully was ready. Jumping in the car. Realizing that it was the right call since the contractions were getting much quicker and stronger.
We walked into the labour and delivery area at the hospital and they were pretty clear that we really shouldn’t be worrying. We were still two weeks away from the due date and labour had just started a little while ago. But they humoured us. Then they came to the same realization as us that THIS BABY IS COMING NOW and they did two things:
- Took Michelle to a delivery room
- Sent me to get her registered
So I ran down stairs and got her registered. It didn’t take terribly long but as I got back upstairs and stepped off the elevator and a nurse came running out of a room:
“ARE YOU RYAN?”
“WE’VE BEEN PAGING YOU FOREVER. GET IN HERE NOW! YOUR WIFE IS GIVING BIRTH NOW!”
(I never heard the paging. I swear.)
So I ran into the room. Michelle was definitely having the baby. (I’ll spare the details). I got there for one push and Jared “slid” out. It was 8:08 AM.
They cleaned my son up. The first thing I noticed was that he had my father’s hairline and I guiltily laughed. But he was my son!
Michelle’s side of the hospital time essentially sounds like this (my interpretation of what she told me):
“OK. The baby is coming now. I’m going to the delivery room. Ryan is going to get me registered. Oh man this baby is coming hard! WHERE’S MY HUSBAND???? SOMEONE GET MY HUSBAND!!! OWWWWWWWWWWW! (approximation) WHERE’S MY HUSBAND???? RYAN!!!! You made it! OWWWWWWW! WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE ISN’T a DOCTOR HERE YET???? OWWWWWW! Awww, we have a son!”
(seriously, things happened so fast there was no way for our doctor to get there. We went from an experienced nurse with some students prepared to deliver Jared, to an intern doctor and finally to another “real” doctor with a resident in tow. Yes, the room was quite full.)
And that is the story of Jared.
(Do you see how much hair I had in this picture? Frightening.)