May 2009

Last night after Max and Alexander went to sleep. I popped open an Amstel Light, sat in my chair and kicked back. It was the end of a tough week.

We moved apartments on Wednesday. I know, we all move at some point in our lives, but trust me, this move was different. Annemarie, was over nine months pregnant, 2 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. I was not sure what all that meant at the time, but nonetheless, I was sure in need of a beer.

I walked in the bedroom at around 11:30 P.M. to find her with her hands on her belly while pacing back in forth. She asked me to go onto the internet, and search the symptoms of “Braxton Hicks”.

She was feeling cramps, that she had never felt before. I told her mildly, that it could be time, and she could be going into labor. I said “I am no doctor, but considering your due date is May 18th, I don’t really need the internet to tell me that you are having a baby.”

She called her doctor around 11:40 P.M. and the doctor wanted her to come to the hospital immediately. We decided not to call my Dad who was on standby in New Jersey. We did not want to wake him, have him drive into the city, to find that it was a false alarm.

Annemarie took her time and packed ever so slowly, neatly and methodically. I watched. It reminded of Christmas when she decorates the Christmas Tree. She zipped her bags, and I walked her to the door. “Call me, I said- if you need me, I will call my Dad”. I kissed her on the lips, closed the door, checked on the boys, and went into bed.

I received a call from her less than an hour later that her water broke. I then called my Dad. He raced into the city. He walked into my apartment at 2:00 A.M. I ran out. I got to the hospital by 2:20 A.M. I walked off the elevator onto the 7th floor, gave my name and to my surprise I received congratulations from five different nurses.

A bit confused, I was lead around the corner where I was handed scrubs. I walked into the operating room only to find Annemarie holding Ella, my daughter.

“Sorry, I am late, but…. I said in a crackling and emotional voice. The female doctor who was involved in the stitching paused and looked up at me. She said, “don’t be, I was late as well.”

She told me that what, Annemarie did last night was never before seen by the hospital in all it’s years in existence.

Her water broke at three centimeters dilated. She asked for an epidural. She didn’t get it. She asked for a room. There were none available. She wanted to see her doctor. She was on her way. Annemarie said the baby was coming. They did not take her seriously. And so, in less than five minutes she did what she had to. She delivered Ella herself.

Happy Mother’s Day to all- you deserve a great day for all that you do. As of today, I will always take you seriously!

“This past Saturday night I felt as though I walked out of a time machine and found myself back at Harry’s Bar at Syracuse University somewhere between the years 1990-1994.

It was quite the reunion, a fun night and I have just finally recovered. My body just ain’t like it used to be. I must say that many of the ladies looked as though they have not skipped a beat. The men, well we can all afford to shed a few pounds.

Although nostalgic most of the night, with all smiles, there were moments when reality hit me dead square in the gut. Two years ago that night, Annemarie and I were trying to digest the news that we had just heard hours earlier. Two words that no parent should ever hear. “It’s malignant”. It is now two years later. I hear those words every day in my head. They appear much like an echo at the other end of the tunnel. So much has transpired in all of our lives since those good old days in college. But one thing is for certain, we have all had our trying times. We have all been faced with some type of obstacle in the past umpteen years that has made us rethink who we are, and where we are headed in life.

I am not quite sure where this path will lead me, but I am quite certain that Max and his courage has had a positive impact on those that have come to know him. He should be proud. I am.”