The moment we’ve all been waiting for finally arrived on Friday March 22nd. Erin and I knew we were having a c-section at 7:30 am at the Fairview Cleveland Clinic Campus. We got to the hospital around 5 am that morning and the nurses proceeded to poke and prod my wife to prepare her for the procedure. Then the Physicians Assistant came in, real nice guy by the way, and told us that our appointment would not be until 9:30 am, well damn. We got that news about 6:45, so my parents were already in route from New Philadelphia, so they would be at the hospital shortly. I called my Dad and suggested they go to our house, it would be more comfortable, they could nap in a bed, get something to eat I thought I was being a good son offering my parents comforts rather than sitting in a hospital waiting room for two to three hours. Nope. My Dad responds with, “Why would I do that? We will just drive there and turn around, we’re coming to the hospital be there in 15 minutes.” Click. Mind you I live 15 minutes from the hospital not in Toledo, but I digress. I was able to get a hold of Erin’s parents and they were able to adjust and show up at 9:15.
As Erin and I sat in the room we were asked all sorts of questions from the most popular “What do you think you’re having?” After the realized that we did not know gender. To the obvious next question, “Do you have names picked out?” The same Physicians Assistant came in and was talking and in the middle after asking the first two most popular questions asked if I was going to call out gender when the time comes. I of course said yes which he responded to by telling me stories of guys calling it out wrong. At this I thought to myself, huh, I’m pretty good at multiple choice tests and there are only two possible answers so I got this. Also, I thought how do you miss that , there are two pretty distinct body parts you are deciphering between. Finally Dr. Goebel got to our room we did our safety huddle and they took Erin back to get her epidural and spinal shot. This was the longest fifteen minutes of my life. I was hoping and praying that everything was going smoothly, but the time seemed to crawl by. Finally a nurse came to get me to go to the operating room.
As I walk into the operating room I am greeted by the great sign that Erin is fine and the glorious vocals of the late great Tom Petty singing “Won’t Back Down.” The nurse pulls up a chair by Erin’s head and Erin tells me no pictures when they first come out. What felt like about 3 minutes past and they said, “Get ready Dad!” I look over the curtain and there she was! I told Erin, “It’s a Girl!” As I’m looking at our new daughter the Dr. and nurses are yelling at me, “Take a picture!” As I fumble with my phone to take the picture, I look down and see the second ones bubble of fluid coming and the doctor hands off baby A and 3 seconds later her comes baby B. The process of putting Erin back together is something else, I can’t even comprehend how they put that puzzle back together.
At 9:48 Elizabeth Marie was pulled from the womb followed closely by Ava Grace at 9:49. They are the most beautiful, perfect beings I’ve ever laid eyes on. Erin and I were in love from the first moment we saw them. Libby, that’s what we are calling Elizabeth, has been with us since the moment that they cleaned her up. Ava has had a bit more of an adventure. Being the second one out Ava was having trouble getting the fluid out of her lungs on her own so she had to spend some time in the NICU. The first time we went down to see her it was a little overwhelming with all of the tape and hoses all over her little body. I went down to the NICU about 100 times Friday and every time I did she got a little bit better. I was down there so much the lady at the desk told me I set a one day record. I went home Friday night as Ava spent the night in the NICU and Libby went to the nursery.
When I came back on Saturday, all three girls were doing awesome. Libby was in the room with Erin and Ava was in the NICU. Ava was breathing 100% on her own without the C Pap and they did not have to give her any additional oxygen. She ate like a champion on Friday night and all that was keeping her from her mother and sister was being able to regulate her body temperature. The second time I went down Ava was out of the covered box and in the open. I did the Tiger fist pump about three times when I saw this. The plan was for Erin to go down and see if Ava will latch at 4:45 pm, but the nurse came in and told us you aren’t going to the NICU they are bringing her up to you. Sure enough about 6:00 Ava Grace Peters came rolling through the door. Erin about lost her stuff and one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life was the first time Erin had the two of them on her chest at the same time.
This has been quite the journey that Erin and I embarked on starting in June. I will never forget the day we got the eggs planted and got home and just our luck our neighbor had two extra tickets to the “Zac Brown Band.” Everyone that was on the party bus that night claims that’s when the egg split. I will never forget the ten weeks of giving Erin shots to help the embryos grow. This is a fantastic journey with a wonderful end to a wonderful beginning. I would not want to be on this ride with anyone else in the world, Erin is the strongest, mentally toughest woman I’ve ever been around. This pregnancy she never complained even when she couldn’t put her shoes on by herself. If she did complain to me, she would immediately apologize. I love and admire this woman, she is my hero.
Erin and I would like to thank everyone who was on this journey with us. The love and support we have received from our family, and you guys are no longer friends you are all family, has been overwhelming. You’ll never know how much it meant to us to see pure joy and excitement on your faces talking about Ava and Libby. Sometimes when you think about bringing children into this world you worry about everything and keeping them safe, but it eases our minds to know that Libby and Ava will have awesome role models to follow their whole lives. From the bottom of our hearts we want to express our deepest gratitude to you all and tell you that we love you and truly appreciate everyone’s thoughts and kind words the last 9-10 months.
If you would like to keep up with adventures of Ava, Libby, and Hank, I will be updating the blog every so often. Have a great week and hope everyone’s bracket isn’t busted yet!