And just like that, I’m a dad.

The last few weeks have been hectic, to say the least.

After nine months of preparing, planning, adjusting, and extreme anxiety on my part, the big due date came…. and went. So we scheduled an induction* for September 3rd, and I prepared myself to be a dad on September 3rd.

And then my daughter decided she wanted to be born on September 1st. I’ll spare the gory details, but my wife’s water broke at 5am on Thursday, September 1st. Huh… I guess that was the gory detail. Anywho, my first thought, in all honesty, was “But she’s not supposed to be born until Saturday!” We called in to the hospital, grabbed our bags, and headed in.

And we waited. Then waited. And waited some more. All told, my wife was in labor for nearly 21 hours; thankfully she had an epidural for the vast majority of that time, so mainly we hung out and watched TV and read. The doctor decided that enough was enough at midnight, and we got ready for the c-section.

I got changed into scrubs, and after they got my wife ready for surgery, I was brought in to the operating room and given a chair. And suddenly there was a cry, and I was a dad. It was an amazing moment.

We got transferred to a couple of different rooms while my wife and daughter were checked over and monitored, and I finally collapsed at 6:00, having been up for 25 hours. I was actually scared to go to sleep, because I didn’t want to stop staring at my beautiful baby girl.

The following day was kind of a blur; my mom stopped in to visit, and I hung out with my girls, and I went home after dinner to get some sleep. It was a great day.

At 2:00 am, I got a call from my wife; they were transferring my daughter to the NICU for observation because she hadn’t pooped yet. Apparently this wasn’t uncommon, but she wasn’t eating, and was starting to throw up this vicious green goo. My wife reassured me that everything was fine, and I fell back into a fitful sleep. I woke up the next morning, and headed down to visit my baby girl in the NICU, where her my mother and father in law were with her. I wasn’t prepared to see my girl hooked up to an IV and various wires, but I was told it was all just standard procedure. The rest of the weekend was also a blur, as my sisters came to visit, and my mom again, and we all just waited for my baby girl to poop. On one of the weekend days (I can’t remember which) we met with a surgeon and a pediatrician who talked to us about what might be going on, and went over her x-rays. There was a big plug of meconium, the babies first poop, stopped in her large intestine. They mentioned a couple of different reasons, but I wasn’t really paying attention, because it was all too scary, really.

On Monday, they made the decision to transfer my daughter to UMM Children’s Hospital, and mentioned some VERY scary things. My wife and I took turns falling apart, but pulled ourselves together with each others help, and spent the next couple of days just waiting. On Tuesday, they did a minor surgical biopsy, and on Friday, they performed a much more in depth surgical biopsy to confirm the results we received on Wednesday – my daughter had Hirschsprung’s Disease.

Basically, part of her lower intestine lacked nerve cells, and didn’t move stool properly. Therefore, it jams up. Since she can’t move stool properly, she was horribly constipated, and didn’t want to eat.

As much as we didn’t want to hear the results, the relief of knowing and having a plan was amazing. A week ago, my baby girl underwent the first part of the corrective surgery, having a stoma put in so she can get stuff moving on her own. As difficult as the day was for us, it was the first step in bringing her home.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. I’ve had to close the shop for the most part, and up until last week was driving my wife back and forth to the hospital. We just have been hanging out at the hospital, waiting for my baby girl to be stable enough to bring home.

And yesterday, they gave her the go ahead, and she came home. It was awesome, and SCARY. I mean… up until now, she’s had 24/7 expert care. And now I have to be responsible for her? I have no idea what I’m doing! My wife has been awesome, and I’m doing my best to learn.

So… I’m a dad.

* To the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME! (that joke doesn’t get old.)

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