Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Introducing Emlyn

Born July 28, 6 pound 7 onces and a full head of hair.

When last we left our intrepid blogger he was waiting for his wife to start having real contractions. Waiting in a wilderness of anticipation and anxiety. Unfortunately my anxiety turned out to be warranted. The baby was breach and Claire's waters broke long before she started having contractions. There was no way to turn the baby and the hospital wouldn't even consider trying to deliver breach. We ended up having to have a Caesarean delivery. And for the record, I will hunt down and put the boots to anyone who citizens that decision. It was hard enough to go through without being second guessed.

It was 20 minutes from the time they took Claire into the operating room until they let me come in. Those were some pretty long minutes. I've never consciously tried so hard to not think as I did at that time. I counted the holes on the edge of the mask I'd been given. I wondered how many fathers-to-be had sat in that seat and took a picture of the sign that said "No photography." I did everything I could to not let what was about to happen enter my mind. They were about to cut open the first person in the world for which I'd gladly sacrifice myself to stop such a thing from happening. Cut her open in order to retrieve the second person for which I felt that way.

No matter how hard it was for me, it was harder still for Claire.

Enough about that. In the end the method her birth is one tiny detail compared to the rest of her life. One she won't even remember.

As you can see, she's pretty much the most beautiful baby ever. What? You think I'm biased? Well, 5 out of her 6 grandparents agree and you can't get a more significant sample than that.

Learning how to be a father has been a challenge. My previous experience with children consisted primarily of avoidance. But I'm getting the hang of diapers and the lack of sleep.

There's been so much that's happened since last I wrote, it's hard to find a place to start.

The summer job helping people fix their bikes was the best job I've ever had. It was almost a daily occurrence where someone would thank me sincerely for my help; such is the nature of empowering people.

Right now we're in Sydney Australia. We spent almost a month in Colorado Springs in the USA while I attended Barnett's Bicycle Institute. It was a great experience, I learned a great deal including just how little I actually knew. Unfortunately I got sick in the last few days of the course, a minor cold with a sore throat. After we were done in Colorado we went to Sechelt BC (just up the coast from Vancouver) to introduce the little one to her Canadian Grandma. It was nice to be there but I spent the whole time being miserable with the cold.

We had a bunch of fun with my Australian visa and my passport. I had to send it off to Ottawa in order to get the visa. Twice. It literally came within 10 minutes of not being returned in time. The one-day service courier we'd chosen to get it back to us in Sechelt actually takes two days to get there because of the ferry connection. I called the Australian High Commission 10 minutes before it's scheduled courier pick up and changed the service. We stopped on the way to the airport in Vancouver to pick up my passport. We also stopped so I could go to the doctor. My cold had turned into a lung infection. The doctor took a look at me and said "You're not doing anything this weekend, right." It wasn't a question. I had to admit that I was actually getting on a 16-hour flight as soon as I was done there. The doctor paused, sighed and reached for his prescription pad.

But now we're in Sydney and I can sit on our balcony looking out over a banana tree and scary the parrots with my hacking cough. Ya, life's not so bad. We're here for a couple of more days then off for a drive to Wilby (good luck finding that on a map of Australia) to stay with the mother-in-law.

So much for the reportage, hopefully soon I'll have the time and energy to think about what any of all this means.