Saturday, August 23, 2008

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Today is a very special day. Travis was born 24 years ago, on his Grandfather and Great-Grandmother's birthday. It was 1984, and living in Los Angeles with us during the end of July and August were the Olympics.

I really dreaded the Olympics coming to LA. Didn't we have enough traffic? Didn't we have enough to do over the summer? Don't they know my Wife is having a baby and I just have to be there? In 1984, there were no cell phones. Beepers. I carried a beeper. Because I had this strange feeling––yeah, here we go again––that I MUST be at the delivery. And Teresa was late. Travis was having a good time staying right where he was. "I'll see ya guys when I'm ready."

Those Olympic Games were great . And I had tickets to all the best stuff––Basketball, Track & Field, Boxing––but I couldn't use them. I was afraid to get caught in the crowd at the Colesium or stuck in traffic. I didn't want to miss Travis. I really needed to be there.

Teresa was not doing well. She was about 10 months pregnant and it was hot as hell that year in Los Angeles. Poor thing. And to top it off, my old college roommate came down from NoCal with a friend and camped out in my living room. Using all my tickets. Be waited on by my overly-pregnant Wife. Be assholes, actually. So after the Games were over, after a pretty exhausting and hot day, Teresa and I went to bed. Watched "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" on TV. And then it started. Contractions. Closer and closer. Harder and harder. It was time to go. The last we went to the hospital for delivery, Ryan came out in about an hour. So we got to the hospital in a flash. And sure enough, 3 hours later Travis is born.

But there was something wrong. He wasn't crying. He wasn't breathing. He was blue. And he was a big baby––9 lbs., 7 ozs., 24" long––so Teresa needed the Doctor's attention. "He's not breathing", I said. The Doc says he's just getting used to being out. Now I know the Doctor has delivered many more babies than I ever had, but my kid is BLUE. Not crying. Not good. I tell the Doctor, without trying to freak Teresa out, "he's not breathing." The Nurse then tells me to grab Travis and bring him over here. "Here" was a table where I had to hold his arms down, while she stuck a tube down his throat. She said she was getting the fluid out. The cord had been wrapped around his shoulder and neck. He needed to get real air. 

Thankfully, the Nurse got the fluid out and Travis was crying. Not as loud as Ryan had, but crying nonetheless. He was breathing. I could finally breath. I don't know why I get those feelings, but I just knew I had to be there. I had to be there to make sure my Son and Wife were going to be alright. I will never forget that day as long as I live.

Crazy, yes.

No comments: