The following is Shane's entire recollection of the night Tommy was born. I told him that I can't believe he didn't make fun of me more, but I love what he wrote. I hope you will, too.
After correctly predicting baby Luke coming out a boy--and “enduring” (happily) a 22 hour labor experience, I was ready for a baby girl (my prediction) and another longish labor. Little did I know…
In anticipation of Erin’s due date of July 16th, Erin, Luke, and I made a slew of enjoyable trips to Coffee Creek, where we walked a three-mile nature hike in order to get the baby ready and to avoid the 22 hour marathon labor--and of course, to enjoy a healthy birthing experience, which many don‘t have the fortune to experience. We walked the trail twice on Thursday, July 16th (Tommy’s due date), and Erin began having major signs later the next day. We were prepared to go to the hospital soon. I went to bed Friday evening in order to get some rest while Erin was taking a bath. She woke me up at 11:40 p.m. In order to get going to the hospital, I staggered around and quickly got dressed while Luke slept, and I made my way to the downstairs bathroom to put my contacts in. I had one contact in when Erin shouted to get upstairs. Next thing I knew, we were prepping for an unplanned homebirth. In addition, this lucky “veil” baby first appeared as a water balloon. We had no idea what that was at the time. Thus, Erin frantically mentioned how “I think we waited too long!” and I thought to myself “No shit!” We called 911; eventually, of course, Luke woke up as Erin made it to the landing of the staircase (at one point I shouted how we have to get Luke out of here, and Erin said, “There‘s no time!”), I was on the phone with 911, and the next thing we knew, Thomas John was born! Erin caught the baby, she announced the fact it was a boy, and I made an exhausted, excited attempt to tie the cord with my kitchen twine. The poor young saps from the Fire Department showed up, and it was a male-idiot fest while Erin held the baby on the stairs. Finally, the wonderful FEMALE EMTs showed up, I knew Erin and Tommy were fine, and I was the proud father (for the 2nd time) of a healthy baby. Although many called me “Doctor”, Erin really did most of the work. With regard to the grandparents, what really sticks out in my mind is Erin’s parents running up to the house (imagine pulling up and seeing an ambulance and fire trucks) and me announcing, “It’s a boy!” Neighbor Wally joined those of us on the lawn outside while the ambulance drove Mommy and Tommy off to the hospital. I called my parents shortly thereafter, and my mom kept asking me if Tommy’s birthday was 7/17 or 7/18, since he was born around midnight. I had no idea; one can understand I was not checking my watch through this…thanks to the 911 transcripts and me saying, “The baby’s out!”, we now know Tommy John’s birthday is officially 12:02 a.m., July 18th, 2009.
To end this unique and unpredictable experience, the “girl” ended up a boy, I witnessed a woman trying to keep the baby in as opposed to painfully push it out, and the anticipated 22 hour labor turned into 22 seconds. He had such a special entry into this world, he is destined--like his brother and his grandfathers (for whom Tommy John is named)--to be extra special.