I guess I used the term a bit loosely, without really knowing much about it. I liked AnnaMarie and couldn't imagine anyone else with her. Besides, my Dad thought the world of her. I thought the whole mystique around 'love' was a bit overinflated to sell albums to pre-teen girls.
We had a lot of fun when we were first married. When she told me she was pregnant I accepted it as the next stage. I didn't really get it though. I still followed selfish pursuits (motorcycles mostly) and took it all as it came.
The day for the c-section arrived--AnnaMarie was all smiles. I was sick as a dog. We got to the hospital and they set up a cot for me...they took her away on a gurney and said they'd be back in 15 minutes to get me so I could cut the cord and stuff.
15 minutes went by in my feverish delirium...Then 30. Then 45. I heard all the overhead pages for any surgeon and anesthesiologist available to report to the 5th floor, but never made the connection. After an hour went by, this fat nurse in full scrubs, blood stained---only her eyes showing---crashed into the room and just said "You better come now"...
So I get into all the surgical gear and into the suite to see my wife restrained to a table, doctors all around. Her eyes are taped shut. She's intubated, the anesthesiologist breathing for her. A quick glance at the monitors let me know she was alive, at least.....They pulled McKenna from her, cut the cord, and said "You're a paramedic. You take care of her"
OK...I'd delivered enough babies to do the simple stimulating, APGAR, swaddling, warming....All I could think of, though, is---is AnnaMarie OK? What's going on here"
What was going on was the spinal sedation, Duramorph, was a bad batch. It didn't work and they had to get the baby out under emergency general anesthesia before it reached the baby.
So I just took McKenna back to our room and held her. About an hour later they wheeled AnnaMarie back in as she was just waking up.....She asked "What happened?" I tried to tell her, not sure what was comprehensible. She smiled and said, in a kind of sleepy voice, "I had a little girl?"
THAT's when I really fell in love. About time---we'd been a family for an hour already. That's when I started to get it.