It was around 4:30pm when the doc's office called and asked if we would like to move our induction up from 6:00 pm to 6:30 am. Of Course we should, I said, because I wanted to meet our baby so badly. Melissa told them yes and our brains sort of teemed with worry, excitement and holyshitness. We both went around the house to tidy up. It seemed to take forever. We wanted the house to be absolutely ready for Josephine's arrival. We got in bed around 11:30 or so. Maybe earlier.
We lay there in the dark thinking. I could not sleep at all. I asked Melissa if she was still awake. Yes. We talked a little while about what the next day would bring. I said we need to get some rest. She got up to go to the bathroom then we where going to get some Z's. I lay there and wondered. When I heard her coming back I kinda knew. I am not sure if it was the pace of her footfalls or some psychic connection or whatever. She came in the room and said, "Cayetano, I think my water just broke'. I got up and we decided we should call the doc. It is an answering service so we had to wait for the midwife to call back. While we did that we called Melissa's mom and by the time the midwife called back we were dressed and headed out the door. Melissa was having some pretty intense contractions by the time we got in the van at around 12:05. By 12:35 we arrived at the Hospital. (Usually an Hour drive. I drove 90 MPH the whole time)
When we got into the room a nurse who seemed a little surly got us prepped and put melissa on monitors. A mid wife came in that we didn't know and I worried for only a moment because she turned out to be the sweetest lady ever. She had a soothing voice and was not afraid to touch us in a caring way. A hand on the shoulder or a head pet is kind of amazing when being administered by a caring midwife. She seemed genuinely happy to be there even though she said she had been at the hospital for three days with out sleeping in her own bed. Her name was Mary and she was awesome. She told us that we would be able to push soon. My heart pounded. Holy crap! I did stay calm though. I knew I had to, for Melissa. I would not show her that I was feeling at all worried. Her contractions where coming really fast now and she was in alot of pain. She did not shout. She did not curse me. She merely whimpered and strained and said it hurt. I found it really hard to not be able to help her even though she insisted that I was helping by talking to her and holding her. I tried to put on some music but I could not get the ipod to work. I was so pissed at my self for not checking it the day before. I ended up calling my sister at like 2:30 in the morning asking her to bring me a boom box and some music. Carrie showed up with SIgur Ros which was f'n perfect. (later I realized the problem was that I hadn't switched the external speakers on.) Melissa's mom was in the room till about 3:30 or so. She left in tears of pride I think. I had been a little worried that she would kinda freak out but she was fine and we where glad she was there for the time she was. Melissa was still having insane contractions when she decided to hop in the shower that was attached to the room. We had heard how soothing it was and brought down the pain. It ended up being really awkward for her. I tried to help but to no avail. So we go out and a little while after that she started to push.
Melissa started pushing at about 3:45. That was CRAZY! That part is a little bit of a blur. I remember holding her arms and feeling her muscles surge under my hands and thinking how strong she was. She didn't use any medicine. All natural. Mary said she could feel a lot of hair on the baby's head and I started getting excited. Our baby was going to be Born!! Oh man! After a while of pushing they told us they would have to call the doc that could do the vacuum thing. I felt a little trepidation but we had do what we had do. So the guy finally shows up and he has this ridiculous looking mustache and big teeth. I already didn't like this guy. He started poking around and being really rough. A few more contractions and he got out the suction thing. It really isn't as crazy as it sounds. I had a chance to feel how strong one of these things was in one of our prenatal classes and it was surprisingly weak. Anyway Melissa pushed for a contraction with the sucction thing and she asked the midwife how long it should take with this thing. Mary told us that they could only try three times with it then we had to go to a c-section. Shit. So needless to say on the next push Josephine's little head emerged into the world. 'I can see her head' I yelled. It seemed like every one was saying to push and yelling. Then I could see her arm and the doc pulled her out all the way. I was screaming "Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!" and Melissa was just hollering all the while a joyful "AAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"
I tell ya, that right there was the best moment of my life thus far. Seeing my little girl for the first time was just .... Fuck, it was just stellar! I can't even describe how amazing it was. Josie sort of whimpered a little as they got the gunk out of her nose and mouth then they laid her on Melissa's chest. We see her face and Josie sort of yawns and looks at us. we are both crying and looking at her and hugging and feeling like eagles. I mean my heart was soaring and as big as Texas. I have always wanted to be a father and now I have my chance. I fell in love right then and there with my sweet daughter, Josephine Amelia Ann Valenzuela. She was born at 6:30 am on August 18th. (That was the approximate time that she would have been induced.
She was born 15 years to the day that Melissa and I met at the Carnival. I think back to that day. We where kids smoking cigarettes and trying to look cool beneath the lights of the tilt-o-whirl. How could we have know the great love we would find in each other and how that love would create such a beautiful child.
Over the next few days Melissa and I got pretty much no sleep at all but we have been on a cloud since then. Now we are a real family. I am so happy to teach Josie all sorts of things. I have been playing music for her and telling her this story:
"I met your mother at a carnival 15 yrs ago. She was so beautiful. I stopped to ask her if she would help me search for you. She looked at me with the lights reflecting in her eyes and said yes. The very next day a slipped a silver wedding ring on her finger and together we roamed the earth. We wondered in the wilderness looking for a perfect little girl. We searched under every stone and behind every door. Then one evening just after the sun went down we came to an orchard. We were hungry so we ate some fruit and walked along the long dark rows. Then we heard a sound, a little whimper, a little laughter. We followed that sound to the very end of the orchard where the pine tress rose up. There you were, just sitting under an apple tree, eating apples. You had leaves in your dark hair and seeds in your hands. We could hear the wolves howling very close so we ran to you and bundled you up real close to our hearts. We took you home to love you forever and ever. You are that perfect little girl we had been searching for for 15 years."