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Happy Birth Day!

With Survivor on hiatus it's time for some updates from the wonderfully puzzling world of first-time fatherhood. Let us begin with the day I went from being an expecting dad to a really confused dad.

So there I was. Asleep. It is Thursday, October 14, 2004, at the stroke of midnight. (Well, probably not the stroke, but it's more dramatic that way.) Lorisa feels an uncomfortable tightening in her uterine area.

2 AM
Lorisa realizes these are honest-to-goodness contractions. She wakes me up to share the news. She tells me to stay in bed while she starts to time them. What, are you kidding??

3 AM
We determine the contractions are too far apart, too short, or both to get ready yet. We decide to go back to bed.

3:03 AM
That's not working. We watch TV and wait. Good ol' VH1 and their late-night music videos.

4 AM
The contractions are more regular and we decide we're going to leave for the hospital at 5 if they stay consistent.

5 AM
I load up the car with the previously-organized stuff. Let's ride!

6 AM
We check in at the hospital. Before we finish a very pregnant woman comes in with her family, yells loudly and ends up lying on the floor before they get wheeled in. The receptionist tries to tell Lorisa that isn't normal but she doesn't seem to be buying it.

6:30 AM
We get put in a room and they take a look under the hood. Lorisa is dilated one centimeter. They send us into the hall to do some walking in hopes gravity helps the cause.

7 AM
More walking, with the contractions getting strong. Lorisa thankfully refrains from punching me.

8:30 AM
The morning shift of nurses has arrived and we're moved to triage, which is basically the holding area where you wait until you're officially admitted and you get a room for good, or they send you back home because things aren't progressing. We're obviously rooting for choice A.

9 AM
Lorisa is at 3 to 4 cm. The nurse is considering sending us packing but she calls our doctor first and is told to wait a bit.

9:30 AM
The pain is really kicking in so Lorisa says hello to her new friend, Mr. Morphine.

10 AM
We're do a lot more walking. I don't think the Daytona 500 has this many laps.

11 AM
We're officially admitted. Glory be! We get set up in our own room.

11:45 AM
The anesthesiologist arrives to set up the epidural. He asks Lorisa if she wants it to gradually take effect, or if she wants immediate relief. Just then a major contraction hits and it's not fun. "OK," he says, "I think we'll go with immediate relief." Smart man.

Our doctor arrives and checks everything out. She says Lorisa is at 5 cm and doing fine. The doctor breaks her water. She estimates Lorisa will dilate about a centimeter and hour, so we may have the baby around six.

12:30 PM
We take a nap. Seriously. We consider naming the child after the epidural guy.

3 PM
The nurse does a routine check and--holy cow--the baby's head is right there! She pages the doctor then we start to push. By we I mean Lorisa. I count though. Very well I might add.

3:30 PM
After a second round of pushing the nurse says we have to stop or else the baby will get here before the doctor does. The doctor rushes in, gets prepared, Lorisa does just a few more pushes and….

4:01 PM
Our baby is born! The doctor puts her on Lorisa's stomach. She's purple and slimy. We stare at her, partly in awe and partly because, well, what do you do now?

"You can touch her," the doctor says. Oh yes, right. Thank you. We begin to welcome our little purple precious into the world. I cut the umbilical cord. And I didn't even pass out.

The baby's tests were all fine. She had some trouble with the breast-feeding thing but we got help. Two days later we got to go home and the day after that our baby was baptized.

The point of sharing all this isn't to brag about how well everything went. We realize our experience was very short and we're very thankful for it. The point is that every pregnancy is different, and every delivery is different. So when you hear things like, "If you get an epidurals you won't be able to push," or, "If you use pain medication it slows everything down." Those things may happen, but not always. You have to work with your doctor to decide what is best for you.

Up next…the things that haven't gone so well since then.

Amazing Race thought of the week:
Hayden has become the female Jonathan. I was happy to them come in last but then they were saved by it being a non-elimination leg. Curse you, Wannabe Jeff!

Bachelorette thoughts of the week:
Sorry, Kim in Oregon, I can't bring myself to do full write-ups of a show that will just end up making my angry. Although Jen appears to have gotten rid of most of the psychos. The Stu-awker, the guy who wanted her autograph, and the guy who gave her his dead mother's jewelry, all gone.

My only regret is that Jen didn't pick the Drunk Texan Hairdresser from the first episode so he could room with the Horny French Guy. Y'all would like that, oui?

Disclaimer: Scott is a daddy! Look for the tale to continue in about a week.