The moment is so long in coming, that you think you’re going to be prepared.
But you never really are. Nine months of waiting, hoping, expecting, counting down to the big due date, all the plans, all the circumstances you have contingencies for … and it’s still kind of a miracle when a brand-new human being is brought into this world.
At 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, my beautiful and amazing wife and I still only had one son, the incredible 3-year-0ld we call Nate.
Then, two minutes later, I had a tennis doubles team, a starting backcourt, and at least two chances of someone putting me in a good senior citizens home when I’m old and dotty.
Introducing young mister Theo Henry Lewis, who arrived bluish and bloody and but 100 percent lovable, born on Halloween and so far as sweet as can be.
It’s been a whirlwind week, as any parent of a newborn can relate to, but in many ways it’s been different from the first time I got to experience the thrill of being in a delivery room and watching my child be born.
Some scattered, joyous thoughts from my over-tired brain as I once again feel like the luckiest man in the world.
— For one thing, I was once again stunned when our son arrived, but for a different reason. In September, 2014, I was gobsmacked because we didn’t find out the gender of our child until 15 seconds after the birth, and I had been sure for months that we were having a girl.
This time, my poor wife’s labor again took a long, long time (21 hours from when we checked into the hospital on Monday for induction until Theo’s birth). and due to a variety of reasons I didn’t think she was anywhere near close to giving birth when he came out.
Between the exhortations of her OBGYN, Dr. Sahani, and the fairly concerned looks on the faces of the four other medical pros in the room, it seemed like we were quite a ways away from the big moment. But damn if one final big push didn’t result in a shocking whoosh of our son being brought up to my wife’s arms, and me being like “Wow, really, it happened already???”
— Also different was this time I pre-cried (not sure if that’s a word). Seeing how hard my wife was working, and the frustration and pain she was enduring, made me realize, again, how much I love and appreciate her. So I cried a little.
— Maybe this is cliche but I’ve heard some hospital birth horror stories, and we once again had a wonderful experience. I can’t say enough about the staff at NYU Langone Medical Center. So many caring nurses, doctors and support team members there. Honestly, even at 3:30 a.m. there were a ton of people on the 8th-floor labor and delivery team to answer each and every question I had (hey, I couldn’t sleep, so I thought of stuff to worry about.)
Can’t say enough good things about the hospital. They were fantastic.
— With a second child there is, of course the concern that the original model may not take to having competition for Mommy and Daddy’s attention all that well. But so far, three days in, Nate seems to be loving his little buddy. Oh, he’s acting out a little, throwing things here and there and not listening to instructions. But he’s 3, so graded on that curve, he’s doing great.
— Cannot imagine men having to give birth. It looks absolutely excruciating. No question which is the stronger gender.
— Funniest thing I heard during the two days was from Dr. Sahani, a 30-something female OB who was fabulous. During one break in the contractions, I asked her if she had kids.
“No, never,” she said. “I see too much.”
— Kind of hard to tell in these pictures, but Theo already has more hair than I do. That makes me a little sad 🙂
— Finally, as I stare at my sleeping son while I type this, I’m thinking about a lot of things, but mostly: May his life be filled with more joy than sadness, more pleasure than pain, glorious experiences (and painful ones so he appreciates the wonderful ones), and a football team to root for other than the New York Jets.
Even in a week that brought such sadness to my fellow New Yorkers, one unshakable truth remains: The world is a wonderful place.