- Created: 30 May 2011
May 31, 2005. Mrs. Doctor Vapenstein and myself check into the hospital to have labor induced because Mrs. Doctor is full term. I also receive a promotion at my day job this day, but that's not even in my mind because I am about to become a father to a new son.
My child isn't here yet, but we already know his name, Valor James. James was my father's first name. I loved my dad very much and lost him when I was still too young to be without a father. My dad was my hero, and he taught me everything I know about what it means to be a man without ever saying a word on the subject.
At midnight they put the stuff inside Mrs. Doctor that is supposed to make her cervix dilate. I finally get to bed around 1am. I wake up to voices in the room around 7am. As I was trying to wake up I hear the doctor tell my wife that the stuff didn't work as well as they would like, and they were giving her a drug that would do the trick and we would be having a baby soon.
The doctor left. I'm a little freaked out because this stuff is a big deal. I tell Mrs. Doctor that I am going to take a quick shower, go get some Diet Coke, chain smoke about 7-8 cigarettes and get something to eat, because we might be in for a long day. She says absolutely, good idea because there won't be time later.
I go get some caffeine, chain smoke, and buy a box of doughnuts. I am coming back to the maternity ward at the hospital when I think I see my in-laws and my oldest son walking down the hall in front of me.
I say "hey, c'mon guys I'll take you to see Ellie" as we're walking down the hall. We're walking past the nursery or whatever they call it when my mother in law asks me if I know which baby is my son. I stop, and I'm like, no it's going to be a while yet, let's go see Ellie. She tells me they got a phone call that they had to do an emergency c-section and rushed over. I had been off the maternity floor for approximately 35 minutes while I ran my errands. I don't remember too much after that because I think I was a little shocked.
It turns out that immediately after I left, a very on the ball nurse noted that the baby's vitals nosedived all of a sudden. Within about two minutes they had Mrs. Doctor in the operating room, and five minutes later at 9:08am 1June2005 I had a new son, Valor James. I was at Olson's Bake Shop buying doughnuts, which may have been a blessing because I don't know if I could have bore the worry for my wife and child had I been there.
Val had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck right at the end there, and he was pretty blue that first day. Ellie did great and they released us less than 48 hours later. Getting home and relaxing, I looked at the medical notes from Val's first hour of life, and it scared the hell out of me. I think I may have teared up reading it. We owe that nameless nurse more than we could ever pay. Thank you so much, and God bless you.
Fortunately Val was none the worse for wear after the first few days. He is an extraordinarily bright and funny child. He loves his family fiercely and is the source of the greatest joy for all of us here at Castle Vapenstein.
I am older and wiser than I used to be. I've always had a big personality, and on occasion I get sucked into it's gravity field, usually to my disadvantage. Less so now than when I was young. More than anything, my son Valor has taught me that I am not the center of the universe.
So Vapenstein will be back next week. The next couple of days are for Little Igor.
Son, I know you know this but I want to say it anyway. Your mother and I love you beyond measure. You have taught me more about love than all that I learned in the 39 years before you came. I will always be proud of you. No matter what you achieve or what disappointments you suffer, I will love you unconditionally with all of my heart. Happy 6th birthday son.