Ezra James Stoffer was born on on Saturday night at around 7:30pm. He weighed 9lbs 5oz. Mom and baby are doing fine but the birth was a kind of a traumatic experience for me.
This was our third time around so we pretty much knew what to expect. We got to the hospital early because both Stella and Violet came very quick and we ended up having them both about an hour after getting there. This time we wanted to experience childbirth at a slower, relaxed pace. Marci went into labor with Ezra around 10am and we got to the hospital around 2pm. After 2 hours, the contractions hadn’t gotten more intense and she wasn’t progressing towards delivery. We tried walking around the hospital to jumpstart the process. Nothing happened. Marci knew that if she took a bath the baby would come, but the hospital only had showers. After four hours at the hospital we finally faced the fact that this baby is not going to come unless it is a rush job. So we decided to go home. We left the hospital at 6:00pm and Marci took a bath while I picked up the kids and put them to bed. Less than an hour after we got home I heard Marci yell from the living room that her water had broken. All over the couch. So at around 6:50 we were back in the minivan, darting around traffic at 85 miles an hour while Marci screamed in the passenger seat. We got to the the Hospital a little after 7:00 and Marci gave birth at 7:28.
Now, I have seen two other births in my life. Stella came out kicking and screaming. Violet came out inside her fully-intact fluid sack and once they ripped her out of there she was kicking and screaming. So I thought I had seen it all. When Ezra’s head popped out I could tell something was wrong. The chord was wrapped around his neck and the doctor quickly reached for the scissors to cut the chord before Ezra was even out. I could sense tension enter the room. When Ezra came out he was not kicking and screaming. He was silent. His whole body was as limp as a wet rag and he was a deep shade of purple from head to toe. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew what I was seeing was not good. Instead of handing the baby to Marci like they usually do, they rushed Ezra to a table at my left where they put some sort of respirator on him.
Now, I am not a super emotional person and I don’t get worked up by things. I think I maybe shed a tear or two at my girls’ births. But seeing my son’s limp body placed there with two nurses working on him was really upsetting. I looked back at my wife who was still recovering and oblivious to what was going on in the room. I didn’t know what to say to her. And so I cried. I tried to keep it together but my legs went weak and just cried for what felt like a long time. This whole ordeal probably took less than two minutes but it felt like forever. Ezra did start breathing. He started crying and they handed him to Marci. Apparently this kind of thing happens all the time and the nurses reassured me that they were not worried at all. But for me I really had a moment there where I though that my son had died in childbirth.
I don’t remember the last time I felt an emotion that deeply. I may never have. So in a way I am actually grateful for that terrible experience.
Anyway. The baby is perfectly happy now and is nursing well. Here are some pictures.