Let me preface this story with saying what an amazingly strong and courageous woman my wife is. She amazes me everyday, but her strength in the face of a mountain of physical and emotional pain was overwhelming to witness. I’m proud to call her my wife and mother of my two daughters.

Kate’s due date was Friday, October 6th. Since we were determined not to have another week-late baby, we decided to walk as much as possible. Friday night we went to the second largest mall in the country and walked. Saturday we went to a local Fall Fest and walked some more. All this walking seemed to be doing the trick. Sunday morning, around 7am, Kate’s water broke.

Our friend Allison came over with her son Levi (Erin’s bestest friend in the whole world), as she would be watching Erin while we went to the hospital. Unfortunately, nothing more seemed to be happening on the baby front. So we resorted to what we knew best: walking. We went to our park and walked, we went to our Farmer’s Market and walked some more, then came home and walked around our neighborhood. With nothing happening still, we decided to go out to dinner and then go shopping at Target (more walking would be involved). On the way to dinner the contractions began. I recorded each one on a drink coaster and as they began getting longer and more frequent, we decided against Target and chose to go back home and prepare for the hospital visit.

AbbieThe contractions progressed at home, but slowly. Wanting to stay home as long as possible, we finally went up to bed at midnight. 45 minutes later, Kate woke me up and said it was time to go. We walked into the hospital at 1am Monday morning.

The nurses hooked up the fetal monitors up to Kate’s belly and immediately noticed something disturbing. During Kate’s contractions, the baby’s heartrate would drop lower than normal. They called the doctor into the hospital and he observed the same thing. Fetal Distress, and only dilated 2cm. He stimulated the baby (don’t ask) and for a few contractions it got better… but not by much.

AbbieWe were given two choices. Have a C-Section immediately and avoid any further problems or get some labor-progressing drugs – which would hopefully result in a natural birth… but being at only 2cm we had a LONG way to go. We opted for the drugs and, a few contractions later, the baby’s heartrate began hitting record lows. Major fetal distress. The call was made and we found ourselves rushing toward the OR for an emergency C-Section at 3am. I was asked to change into scrubs and sign a bunch of legal paperwork in order to even enter the OR room.

AbbieDuring the C-Section, the anesthesiologist leaned over Kate’s head to chit-chat with the surgeons about the North Korea’s nuclear weapon test. It had only just happened and he was wondering if the other doctor’s had heard the news. Examplary bedside manner in our opinions. Talking of impending war and politics over a conscious woman giving birth. Real nice. Despite the inappropriate chatter, the C was a success. Abigail Grace was born at 3:08am on Monday morning. Both Abigail and Kate came through with flying colors. Kate was amazing through this all. A C-section was pretty high up on our ‘worst case scenario’ list, and she handled it with poise and determination, thinking only of the welfare of our new baby. I later informed Kate on my theory that childbirth is, in fact, much harder for the father… my reason being that the mother is selflessly thinking ONLY of the baby, whereas the father is worried sick about BOTH the baby and his wife. It sounded better in my head than when I actually said it to her. Let’s just say she got a good laugh.

AbbieThe doctors were not sure what caused the fetal distress. It was most likely a pinch or snag in the cord that unwound itself as Abigail was being lifted out of the womb. Basically, we’ll never know what the real problem was. The doctor kept calling Abigail the “troublemaker” in the “I’m a doctor and I tend to tell the same joke to every patient since it will never get old” kind of way. Doctors are cute that way.

Kate was amazingly discharged from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, only 2 1/2 days after an emergency C-Section. Have I mentioned how amazing she is? Does TIME magazine do a woman-of-the-year issue?