Epidurals & Dinosaurs


I can only imagine that we all have, or know someone that has, a unique childbirth story.

The first time around, my wife and I hadn’t even realized she had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Instead, we were too busy being reassured that things were going to be okay, despite the fact that she was having an emergency C-section performed on her. In the middle of all the chaos, a nurse yelled “It’s a boy!” and it took us both a few moments to realize what she was even talking about.

The second time around well, the second time was a little different…

It was around 9:00PM on a Sunday back in September when my wife walked into the bedroom. I was engrossed in a British mystery series on my tablet (hey, I’m a British TV nerd, what can I say), so it took a second for me to look up at her. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

Her: Soooo, I think my water just broke.

Me: What?

Her: Yeah. My water. It just broke.

Me: [Silence]

Me: [Expletive]

Me: What-what-what-oh-man-we-need-to-start-packing-what-bags-should-we-bring-what-do-you-need-are-you-sure-your-water-broke?!?!

Needless to say, I get up, and spring into action. I’m feeling really anxious, with a buzzing in my head, but I am on a mission. Running from closet to closet, grabbing what I think we’ll need, I catch a glimpse of my wife, who is calmly texting on her phone. TEXTING.

Me: Hun! What-are-you-doing-we-need-to-get-going-we’re-having-a-baby-and-it’s-45-minutes-to-a-hospital-we’ve-never-been-to-and-what-are-we-going-to-do-with-the-two-year-old?!!

Her: I know, but I wanted to let my family know. Besides, I’m only maybe just starting to have contractions.

Okay, so let’s explore a couple of things in the previous two sentences:

1. We had just moved to Vermont a few months prior. We had never been to the hospital in Burlington. Why? See #2.

2. She was still planning on delivering back in Boston, where we moved from. The plan was to have a scheduled C-section at the hospital where we had our first son.

3. The big problem with that plan is that her water broke a few WEEKS early. There was no way we were going make it down to Boston in time.

4. She was texting her family because they all live 3-1/2 hours away. We didn’t know anyone up here.

5. We had a two year old. We didn’t have any family here, or friends (as mentioned above). Guess who was taking a road trip with mommy and daddy?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, she is *definitely* having contractions at this point. Contractions that only proceeded to get stronger, and more painful.

We manage to get everyone into the car, and get to the hospital around 11PM. The two year old thinks we’re on a fun road trip, which is great because that means he was oblivious to the pouring rain that I was driving through, the speed at which I was driving, the cries of pain coming from his mommy due to the contractions, and the cries of pain coming from his daddy every time his mommy dug her nails into daddy’s thigh as a form of “pain management.

We get up to the room, the nurses and doctors come in to assess the situation, and my wife is told she is now at a point where an epidural would probably be ineffective. I promptly scoop our two year old so that she can have a calm, rational discussion with the anesthesiologist as they must be certainly mistaken with their diagnosis…

After a short walk around the floor, we come back into the room. My wife has received the epidural, and my son has discovered the multiple birthing balls in the en suite bathroom, which he is now trying to bounce and roll around the delivery room. It’s getting near the final countdown, and one of the nurses has (thankfully!) brought in some blank paper and markers for my son to use. Except he doesn’t want to use them. He wants daddy to draw for him. Like, really draw for him. As in, there’s-going-to-be-a-tantrum-in-here-that-is-going-to-overshadow-the-childbirth-about-to-take-place-if-you-don’t-start-drawing.

Let’s take a moment to visualize the scene here: My wife is starting to push, I am in a chair across from her bed, our son is in a chair next to me, and as my wife begins to start pushing, our son tells me he wants me to DRAW HIM DINOSAURS. Green dinosaurs that are “more big.” And then rocket ships, because, why not? I sit there, and draw “more big” dinosaurs that are green, and rocket ships that are sleek. And I cheered for my wife to keep pushing.  And when our second son came out, our first looked up and enthusiastically yelled, “Hi little brother!!”



It’s at that point when I realize just how truly absurd and wonderful my life is, and am forever grateful for it.


[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Written By:  Dave[/typography]

DaveHeadshotDave currently resides in Stowe, VT with his wife, Kate, their two sons G and F, and their dog, Apollo. He is the Director of Client Development at Union Street Media, a web design agency based in Burlington. Outside the office, he enjoys taking his family on National Lampoon-style road trips, cycling, snowshoeing, and practicing to be the next Iron Chef.




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