Long time, no blog... but wait, I have an explanation, and I'm going to make it up to you right here.
I've had my mind on something for the last 9 months or so that has had me occupied. I have never mentioned it on this blog.
Know why? You don't say "Shutout" in the third period, that's why.
I am the proud father of a brand new baby boy, Noah Kent Kanayuk-Driscoll. He was born in the early hours of October 28th, and weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces. The circumstances of his birth are what I want to explain here, because it is a story he will be hearing on his birthday for the rest of my life.
Contractions started early on October 28th, but didn't take long to take hold. They didn't have consistent timing, one would be short, then long... not at all like what television dramas have taught me.
After they started, my lovely partner woke me up and said "It's time." She didn't have to add "Get up" because the words "It's time" were the best alarm clock I ever needed.
Click here to see another blog entry featuring my lovely partner, she doesn't often let me include her in this thing, and this is a classic.
My Lovely Partner Does Not Like Bees [Photo courtesy of the many Inuit people who really don't like bugs from the South]
If it is the middle of the morning, and you are about to have a baby, what do you do? Call Inflatable Elvis. [That was supposed to be sarcastic, but take a look at the role he plays in the rest of this story, that isn't a bad idea at all. Put his phone number next to the phone].
Inflatable Elvis [File photo courtesy of The Springfield Shopper]
I.E. -- known as @FrozenGrapes on Twitter -- was our first choice, because the two boys love him. The way I described his duties to him was, "I don't care if you give them chocolate cake at 3:00 am. Let it be a party for them. Just keep them in one piece." We knew that if they woke up in the middle of the night, they wouldn't spaz out, they would demand to be lifted in the air , or a vicious Connect 4 rematch (The Boy once beat him 4-2 in a best of seven).
He arrived soon after, and things had changed in our connected kitchen/living room. Those contractions were not just timed weird, they were coming quickly. My lovely partner was facing our kitchen island which divides the kitchen from the living room, with both of her hands braced on the counter.
Her: "I don't think we have time."
Me: "Should we call the ambulance?"
I start to fumble with the phone, and call the first number that comes to my head, the RCMP emergency number, 979-1111 (get it, 9-1111). They tell me, "We don't take ambulance calls."
I asked for the ambulance number and got it. Just over 30,000 people in the territory, we could probably figure out 911, or at least call forward. I'm just sayin'.
For future reference, the magic number is 979-4422. Tell them I sent you.
A brief aside, twice in the last year we have had to have the Iqaluit paramedics come to our place. Twice I have been knocked out by their professionalism. Big ups to IQFD from these parts.
The phone starts ringing, and IE takes it, as he knows our address and I had more pressing issues. Soon, so did he.
Who comes strolling down the hall but The Boy. The Boy has been a character in many of these blog references, but for those who don't know him, he is 9 years-old with a very creative bent to him, and oddly mature in some ways.
He is his younger brother's hero and counts my beers at restaurants. He accidentally and without malice messes with Conservative Party photo ops, and greets everyone with warmth. He met Jack Layton and said, "I've seen you on TV." I grab his neck like Homer Simpson and he fakes all the choking and shaking himself... as I say "Why you little...."
We used to tease him and call him The Mayor because he knew everyone in town, until he told us, "I don't want to be the Mayor, I want to be a racecar driver."
Not The Mayor, The Boy [The Boy does not endorse any one political party, he just likes people he has seen on TV]
The entire time we were expecting, he kept asking to go to the hospital to see the baby born.
"Man, you'd get freaked out," says I.
"I would not get freaked out," he would retort, in a solemn way.
He was getting his chance, and he shone. With IE, they did all the things you would see in those dramatic television programs. They grabbed blankets and sheets... they would have even boiled water if they had time.
The phone safely in the hands of our team, I turn to my lovely partner. She says, "CATCH HIM."
I look over to see that she has removed her pants, and that a bump that looks suspiciously like a baby's head is emerging from the pelvic region.
I say, "LIE DOWN!"
She says, "I CAN'T!"
So, I get on my knees and reach up, placing the middle of my arm under Noah's head. As he came out, I gently slid my arm toward myself, supporting his body with my forearm and thigh, until he is lying on my thigh face down.
I scoop out the fluid from his nose and mouth.
About a minute later, my lovely partner is laughing out loud, standing over me but reaching down in a sort of hug, with me crouched next to the baby on the floor. She starts laughing and says, "We did it! We really did it!" We all laugh, in relief. "I love you"'s all around.
According to the nurses, the largest baby ever born at home by accident in Iqaluit [Photo Courtesy of Unofficial City Records]
First question people ask me about that moment is, "Were you scared?" I really wasn't. Neither was she. We both went into crisis mode, just get from one step to the next. The fear didn't hit us until we were safe in the hospital, about an hour after getting there. Then we got scared about what could have happened.
The paramedics arrive, and get to work. They turn to me and ask, "Would you like to cut the cord?"
I was glad to still not be scared, and I asked, "Can he?" Over comes The Boy, and he cuts the cord to his little brother. The Boy does not freak out in the face of childbirth.
When I brought him to school the next morning, we told his teacher about the adventure he had. She said he should tell the whole class. He answered, "Maybe it could be on the announcements?" That's The Boy.
Our 2 year-old -- I don't like to use their real names online. The Boy is 9, The Big Boy is 2, The Baby is 0 months old as The Boy likes to say -- slept through the entire thing. Everyone did their part, he did the best thing he could have possibly done.
The Big Boy Can Sleep Through Anything [Photo Courtesy of Middle Children Opposed to being left out of Anything, Despite Sleeping Through it]
That is the story. It spread around our tiny town very quickly, and people have been giving me congrats ever since. You know what hardly anyone does? Gives my lovely partner credit. As she puts it, "You know, I did do most of the work." Agreed. All I did was make a nice catch.
The next day, we all visited at the hospital, and of course there are pictures.
My Lovely Partner With The Baby [Photo Courtesy of Inflatable Elvis]
You only wish you looked that good 6 hours after giving birth.
The Boy and The Baby [Photo Courtesy of Brotherly Love]
When it is your family, you don't think sometimes, you just do. I'm just happy I made the catch. I am adding a title to my name, I am now a Reporter/Mid-wife. For my next medical procedure, I think I could move up try an emergency appendix removal...
2 weeks ago