We found out we were pregnant in March of 1989. Yes, we, as I have always believed that creating a family isn’t just, ‘you’re pregnant and I’m along for the ride.’ We were growing our family together and we couldn’t have been happier about it.
We had graduated out of the diapers and formula stages and now realized that once again we would become customers of Pampers and Gerber. To be honest, we couldn’t wait. My wife and I were having a wonderful time as parents. Every aspect of it was wonderful to us. Every day was a new challenge followed by a new memory followed by a new smile.
I had remembered putting Sarah down for a nap in her playpen, then I would sit and watch her sleep. She was so calm, so quiet, and so innocent. Now we would get to do this all over again. Our excitement grew every day and then came the ultrasound appointment; we were going to have a boy! We couldn’t wait to share the news and, of course accept the well wishes and smart comments, ‘You’re in for it now, boys are so much harder’ was a common one. We smiled, we didn’t care. We had wanted a boy and a girl and through whatever divine providence this was going to be our family. God had two very happy people on his hands.
They were right about one thing though; this little guy could really kick. My wife still refers to her sore rib as belonging to this yet unborn boy. But it didn’t matter really. It was all part of the experience. And as we celebrated Sarah’s second birthday that July, she became more involved with the knowledge that her new baby brother was on the way. As our excitement grew, so did Sarah’s.
As the time grew near, we had trips with false labor. It seemed that this little boy didn’t want to come out and face the world. Each time we would scurry about with a genuine sense of urgency only to return home a few hours later with the hopes that next time would be the one. Sarah would run up to us, look around quickly and ask, “Where’s my baby brother?” “He wasn’t ready,” we would tell her, “Maybe next time.” I think Sarah thought this was more like a shopping trip and couldn’t believe we didn’t come back with the goods. At two years old, it was still a little early for her to grasp what was going on, but she was genuinely upset each time we came home without her brother.
I think part of Sarah’s anticipation was that everything was ready. We were pros at this now. The new nursery was all set up. Sarah had been moved into her new room with her new bed and furniture. Now the nursery was set up for the new boy. The furniture was there, the supplies were in, and there were new clothes for him already, now all we needed was the boy.
Finally, we had an induce date. We went in and knew just what to do; we were pros at this. The room was the same but still as special as ever. These are moments that stay with you forever; the images, the people, the conversations. This time there would be no turning back, this little boy was going to be born on this day. And when the nurse handed this little boy to me, I melted into him as the father of this new little angel. And with reluctance, I gave this angel over to his mother and on this day, the 25th of October, 1989 we welcomed Patrick into the world.
But he was just 5 pounds 1 ounce and would have to spend some time in the incubator. That was fine with us, he was a beautiful healthy boy and we couldn’t have been happier. But then we would have to explain once again to Sarah why her baby brother didn’t come home. So, we took her to the hospital and showed him to her so she knew that he was fine.
On one of those trips, the incubator nurse had told us that she was changing him and had just turned her back for a moment to get a diaper. During that moment this new little angel had peed all over the incubator. She just laughed while she told us how surprised she was when it happened. And that was end of the beginning. A few days later, we had Patrick at home and our wonderful family of four began.