April 17, 2023
It’s Max Gabriel!
It’s Max Gabriel! New to the world, and his entry was much less traumatic and unexpected than his brother’s. It’s just after 15:00, and Autumn, Max, and I are dozing in the hospital after a long and eventful day. Yet, this day was fully planned, and I’m happy to report there were no surprises. Max came into the world at 10:22 weighing exactly 8 pounds. He made a bit of a fuss at first, but has since become very chill, uttering a little noise every now and then. His mother and I are sure happy to meet him.
We have spent the last few weeks getting the house ready for Max. We’ve had a lot to do. We demoed the gross shed and carport that were in the back yard when we bought the house in 2017, and purchased a new shed. Robert and I built a ramp last night for easy access. That was the last big project. We also replaced the dead oven with a new induction one—and we had it’s trial run on Saturday by making pizza. We haven’t been able to do that in months. Replacing the oven was an ordeal: the counter and cabinets could not accommodate it, so they need to be shifted and cut. We also needed a 220-volt outlet which was done last Friday, for around $1K. Fortunately, we now have a working oven and new stainless steel cookware.
At the same time as the oven install was being completed, we also had the broken countertop in the bathroom replaced. Man, what an upgrade. We went from some cracked beige plastic thing to a lovely white quartz and a cool rectangular sink. At this point, we have replaced every appliance, the water heater, part of the deck, and the whole HVAC system. This was not all in preparation for Max, but it deserves to be mentioned.
We dropped Henry off at school a bit early and were at the Medical Center by 08:00. Autumn went through pre-op and was in the operating room by 10:00. While they took her in, I put on the plastic gown, shower cap, and booties they gave me, and I waited patiently in the hall. I recalled the last time I sat in that very place, about seven-and-a-half years earlier scared out of my mind. This time I was pensive and knew a little of what to expect. Still, I couldn’t help thinking about my life with Autumn, then Henry, and now with Max. I want to be a good father, but I know that I’m not always. I’m almost 54 with a newborn, and I’m not sure I’m any smarter or more capable than I was at 24. The world certainly seems shittier, but maybe that’s subjective. Still, I want to do my part to make Max’s life as wonderful as I can. At least I know my wife is there even when I cannot be.
Shortly after 10:00, they called me in to the operating room. I’m still not sure what good I can do, other than to talk to Autumn. Like last time, she was just a head poking out of a curtain of sheets while the surgeons were already working on her. She looked a bit pale, but responded to me right away. The nurse told me I could take photos, but I thought that was weird. Fortunately, she took my phone and snapped a couple of dozen for me. Right on. I also remember the surgeons working and tugging on Autumn and she occasionally winced from the pressure. She’s a trooper.
In just a few minutes I heard some crying that sounded like a wounded duck, then Dr. Slocumb was dangling this big boy in front of us. They rushed him out for cleanup, then called me after. I took a few photos as they wrapped him up, so I could take Max to meet his mom. It was lovely.
I accompanied Max for his first examination. He was trying to chill, and this nurse kept poking and prodding him—even giving him two injections, one in each thigh. He was not happy about that nonsense. Soon, however, he was swaddled and snoozing in this big circular window, and I watched him go from crying a bit to snoozing a bit until Autumn was in recovery. The nurse and I took him to really meet his mom. He immediately began rooting around for his first meal. The first picture above is him being content after some quality mommy/baby time.
So we finally got to our room where Autumn can begin her convalescence. We’ll likely be here a couple of days. Cheryl is going to bring Henry by soon, so that will be fun seeing him meet his little brother. It’s been a pretty fabulous day so far.
Welcome, little Max. I hope you enjoy your time here. If you want to send your greetings to Max, he has a new email account: itsmaxgabrielgmail.com.