Thursday, April 21, 2005

Where were you 3 years ago?

I was at Swedish Medical Center with Marci and a bunch of doctors.

The night before, I was at the venerable Central Saloon with Johnny and Rob celebrating our band Ethyl's CD release. About 200 or so people showed up and we were ready to have a good time. Before we went on, a bartender came up and asked for me. She said, "Your wife's on the phone. She's going into labor!"

Uh oh.

I went in the back and talked to Marci for a sec. This baby wasn't due for another 5 weeks so, needless to say, this was a big surprise. Turns out Marci's water broke and she had her friend coming down to take her to the hospital. So I was stuck at a crossroads. Do I skip out on the gig and run home? Or do I play the gig? Well, being the well-informed individual I am, I knew that water breaking didn't mean instant baby, so I had a few hours to burn. (Luckily, Marci was on my side, too, so I had her blessing) But that didn't mean I wasn't a bit nervous.

So we get on stage and we're playing through our set. I have my cell on the floor, watching for it to light up, indicating a call. Between songs, I did try to listen for messages, but couldn't hear anything. I had 200 people really excited for me, too. That was pretty cool. We made it through the gig great and then I jetted out of there. I had some people help out with my gear and sped on up to Swedish.

When I got to Swedish, I was relieved, but also feeling quite guilty for not "being there" when the water broke. Then again, what could I have done? Marci made it there just fine without me, so we concentrated on the impending birth. At the time, the baby (at this point, nicknamed Marvy) was breech. Ultimately we hoped Marvy would spin around on it's (didn't know the sex either) own, but nothing happened that night. We ended up sleeping on the floor of the room because for some reason, the bed was too uncomfortable for Marci.

On the morning of the 21st, the doctors came in and said that since Marvy hadn't moved, it was time for a C-section. This was big news to us. For the previous couple weeks, we'd been taking classes on the Bradley Method, a natural (as in no drugs) way to give birth. I, of course, slept through all my classes. Or I doodled. Or goofed off. It was terrible. But, because of the C, I lucked out. I wouldn't have to do anything but take pictures.

So, at about 11:00 that morning, we went in for surgery. I put on my little mask and hairnet. The doctors began surgery and it was amazing. Like a machine. They're doing their thing and just chit-chatting. A few minutes later, they pulled a baby out. I took a look and saw what I thought was a penis, but then realized that we had a baby girl. And then I cried.

The doctors cleaned her up and took her and I upstairs to the NICU where they did all sorts of measuring and weighing and tests on her. I was just in awe of everything. Just a feeling of, "Holy cow. That's mine." And then I kind of got it. "It" being the whole dad-thing. As in, "Now I'm a dad." Before that moment, I had an idea, but after that moment, I realized I had no idea.

I ended up spending time up there with the baby (still unnamed at this point) and wondering about when Marci would be able to see the baby. Marci was still coming down off the drugs from the surgery, so they wouldn't let her come up just yet. A few hours later, when the drugs wore off, Marci finally got to see her baby. They spent a few minutes cuddling and introducing themselves to each other. It was kind of cool.

After that, we figured we should name the baby. We kicked around a couple names, most of which I can't remember. But we came around to Kaley, and then I suggested Haley, and then we realized that that was it. Haley. Not bad. My parents already had a Chinese name chosen for her, Tien Shing, which means heavenly fragrance. We were going to name her Haley Tien Shing, but then my brother, Knight, had a brilliant idea. He said, "Why don't you translate Tien into Sky?"

Perfect.

So we did the translation, but to be cool, added an "e" to the end. Haley Skye. So nice.

That's where I was 3 years ago. Haley ended up spending 10 days in the hospital NICU growing up and getting better. We brought her home after that and, well, it's been a lot of fun.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Halo. You're the best!