Surgery was set for 7:00, which meant prep was set for 5:30, which meant we had to start driving by 4:30, which meant we had to get up and throw our clothes on by 4:00. Getting up at weird hours to have a baby is good practice for when you actually get one.
I don't know whether it's hospitals in general, or Goshen in particular, but we ran into a wide variety of nationalities during our stay. Our Anesthesiologist was Polish; the baby doctor was English, and a whole host of other nationalities drifted in and out of our days there. It was a bit like being back in L.A. — the variety and accents were wonderful. I sometimes forget how plain and white the midwest can be, and wonder what Goshen did to get so many nationalities under one roof.
I wish I could have gone in during the prep. Deborah needed some moral support right about then, and I was doing my best when they came and whisked her away to the operating room. Fortunately, the doctor and the midwife helped comfort her while she was there.
It wasn't hard to peek over the drapes and see what was going on with the surgery. I've always been fascinated. But Deborah was rather scandalized at my peeking at her insides, so I didn't do it again, even though I really wanted to when the baby was being born. Deborah later reported a sensation of the baby being squeezed out of her like a tube of toothpaste, and I wish I could have confirmed or denied that impression.
The clock in the operating room was huge, and mounted about twelve feet up on the wall. Anyone in the room could see it, no matter what side of the drapes you were on. Risanna was actually born at 8:05:59. They wrote down 8:06 on the birth certificate.
Once the sound of stapling and vacuuming was done, the drapes came down and the masks came off, and everyone was very congratulatory. They transferred Deborah back to her own hospital bed using a small conveyor belt, and we all walked out of the operating room together.
A few hours later, Deborah's mother arrived with Fiona and Aiden.
A great number of people have asked us what Fiona and Aiden think of the new baby. If the first meeting was any indication, Fiona thinks everything about the baby is adorable, and was loudly cooing every time Risanna did anything interesting, like blink. She proclaimed the baby very soft, "like a little chickie!" ...and I concur. Aiden, on the other hand, was just happy to see us, and ran over to show me the little car he'd gotten in his Happy Meal. Baby? Huh, OK. Hey, look at my new car!
Mere minutes after Deborah's mother left to take the kids home, my parents arrived, and spent a large portion of the rest of the day with us.