Monday, June 8, 2009

Can't Wait To Be Born

Ryan was 26 on Saturday. Ryan is my second oldest Son, and 26 years ago he had quite a journey before he was born.

I was an instant Dad when I got married, so having a Son was not entirely new to me. But watching my Wife go through her pregnancy was whole different experience for me. I was fascinated, amazed, proud and scared to death. What is my kid going to look like? Boy or Girl? (We didn't want to know before this child was born, just wanted to know that he/she was healthy along the way.) Am I ready for this? I was only 25 years-old. Talk about life changing.

As Teresa was in her 7th month––3rd trimester––of pregnancy, she started to get really sick to her stomach. She didn't feel well for a week. I had not idea if this was normal or not, and remember asking her if I should worry. She said "I didn't feel this way with Adam." OK, now what, I thought. She didn't get better as the week progressed. She went to her Doctor, who said there was nothing wrong. OK, this guy should know, right? Wrong. She was getting worse. So bad, that she was paralyzed with pain one late night. I didn't know what to do. (This was before cell phones and the Internet. So I was at the mercy of her Doctor). So I called the Dr's on call number. No response. I was panicking. What next? 

I couldn't take Teresa to the hospital myself. Because our only car had broken down and I couldn't fix it until pay day and the weekend. Crap! So I called 911. They sent an ambulance. And when they came, they couldn't fit the gurney into my bedroom. So four firemen and EMT's carried Teresa, almost 7 months pregnant, to the gurney and away she went. I can't remember for the life of me how I got to the hospital, but I think it was my Brother-in-law, John, who lived down the street with Teresa's Sister, Connie, while Connie came down and watched Adam.

It turned out Teresa needed to have an emergency appendectomy. While pregnant. With Doctors who were somewhat guessing, as they said they only perform 2-3 of these a year. And we were in LA, so that was pretty rare. Teresa was in no shape to make a decision. I had to choose: we could wait and see what it was and risk losing Teresa and Ryan or we could operate (the Docs, not me) and take a chance. Take a chance? Thanks for the alternative. So they went in. Got the appendix out. They both lived through. Me, barely. The Doctor said, "and your Boy is healthy." We were having a Boy? Awesome.

I went home from the hospital. (Still don't know how I got home, because I had been up for about 30 hours at that time). And my neighbor greeted me at the gate––we lived in a front & back duplex––and told me be careful when I go in my place. WTF? We had been robbed. He and us. So in the span of 48 hours, I had my car break down, almost lost my Wife & unborn Son and now my house was robbed. And it was a mess. I had to call the LA Sheriff when I got home.

So when Ryan was born on June 6, I was extremely calm. Even told Teresa when she told me it was time to go to the hospital, "just let take a shower." LET'S GO NOW! 45 minutes later, Ryan was born. It was that fast. He wanted out. He wanted to get moving. And he hasn't stopped since, 26 years later. I don't know what I would've done without Ryan's concern, yet rational thinking and actions while I was going through cancer treatment. He was there when I needed him. He knew I would beat it. He said he couldn't wait until I was better so we could go to a game again. That's my Ryan. Can't wait for the next thing to happen.

And that's why I love him so much.