Williston, Research and development engineer at IBM
Child: son, William, 4 months
The main thing I was thinking when I first saw the head coming out was, Wow! That kid's got a lot of hair. The next thing was, My God, how did that fit in there? That was my very first impression. The body all unravels, and I couldn't believe how big he was.
Then, in the span of a microsecond, I'm looking for the 10-10-1: 10 fingers, 10 toes and the extra digit. Then you hear him crying, and it's an amazing relief that he's healthy. It was a tremendous feeling. I was very proud of my wife; she did an amazing job. I have to say that I definitely looked at her differently after having gone through the whole labor process.
I knew what my wife was capable of, but this exceeded any experience I've ever had with her. It was just such a short time period from when she went into labor to when the baby came out, and it fostered a close sense of teamwork. She did most of the hard work, let's not kid ourselves here, but I was right there helping out wherever I could and making sure she was as comfortable as she could possibly be.
St. Albans, Assistant Director of Public Works for the city of Burlington
Children: daughter, Taylor, 8; son, Sean, 6
For our first child we tried to have a natural birth, and it just wasn't working out. The doctors had to do a C-section. When Taylor was born, it was scary to think that we couldn't deliver in a natural form, because we had our hearts set on it. For our second child, Sean, we decided in advance that medically it would be more prudent to go with having a C-section scheduled.
I had the easy job — I just had to be there. My wife did all the work. It's incredible to see what kind of strength women can have in delivering babies. I think if men had to do it, I don't know, we'd be challenged.
It's incredible to see life present itself. We bring life into this world, and it's a gift. The heartbeat, seeing it, it's a promise: You want to see a better future, and that is our future. You see a child, and it's a bond between you and your wife. It's an experience you can't really explain. It represents the evolution of the relationship between my wife and myself.
Burlington, Intern Architect with truexcullins
Children: daughter, Elena, 2; son, Jasper, 3 months
It was a little different for the two kids. Elena's birth had been somewhat complicated and prolonged. Her heart rate was dropping off quite severely; my wife Jenny had been in labor for a long time and was exhausted. It was something like 4 in the morning, and everyone else was feeling pretty worn, as well.
The doctor decided to intervene and use the vacuum to make sure Jenny's last couple of pushes delivered the baby, and boom, the baby was out — but there was no time to really think. The baby's heart rate was low; she was nonresponsive, not breathing. I was told that if I wanted to cut the cord to "do it now and do it fast." I took the scissors, cut the cord, and the baby was whisked off. In those moments all I remember is worry for my child. All I knew was that the medical staff seemed to be in action, and it wasn't the smooth delivery we expected.
I guess I felt helpless at that point, as I did for most of the pregnancy. I went closer to the table where they were working, and soon we heard Ellie's first cry. That was such a relief. The next four months of crying would be loaded with fatigue, emotion and frustration, but that first one was a cry of relief — a sign that everything was going to be fine. Finally, I remember feeling gratitude and appreciation to the medical staff. They did their job, did it well and probably saved a life.
Georgia, Senior Associate with Hiscock & Barclay
Child: son, Michael, 4 months
My wife Chasity went a lot sooner than we thought she was going to, and so it was 12:30 at night and she says, "Mike! My water broke!" And we haven't packed a bag, we just ordered a bunch of stuff three hours ago that we need, and we don't have a nursery done yet, and we're going to have a baby. It was somewhat surreal.
Her labor was like clockwork. It was exactly the way classes were. I was just happy that everyone got through it OK. Because Chasity was a little bit older, I was worried. Three weeks before Michael was born, she started to show some signs of health issues. I didn't want anything to happen to her. I kind of knew the kid was OK; we'd been to the doctor periodically for so long, and they had assured us that everything was fine. He was just ready to come out.
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