In July of 1997, we had our first child that actually made it the whole nine months to birth. Our other children are already in heaven. Our first was quite the early experience. He was the first child that I ever held. I had never held anyone else's baby. This is just a personal choice.
My experience at the birth is probably pretty similar to most Dads. I tried to help. I got yelled at for helping the wrong way. When it was time to push, I kept watching the heart rate monitor to make sure the baby was okay. When he crowned, he had a full head of hair. My wife wanted to see but the mirror was defective. Actually, I could not hold it at the right angle for a good view. I checked the heart rate monitor and it was at zero. Then, I realized that the baby was out. It was a glorious night.
One thing I noticed about our first, now that we have three, is that we recorded everything. We have a ton of pictures and tapes for JW. My wife even has a scrapbook of his first year. Nothing was missed. We also received visits from our parents and relatives. We were in Colorado and they were in California. You knew we were first time parents on the Vegas trip.
We decided to drive to Las Vegas just to relax a little. We were revisiting our honeymoon trip with child. The drive is a little over three hours. So, it is not too bad. I was driving and everyone else was asleep. We stopped at Baker to get something to eat. Baker is the place with the giant thermostat. Right as we pulled into the parking lot, JW started crying. His eyes looked like they were glued shut but he was crying up a storm. My wife started to panic. She shouted his eyes won't open. We called 911. I tried to be cool. I did not have any parent experience to help through the situation.
JW was crying out of control with his eyes wide shut. My wife could not comfort him. She tried hard. The paramedics came. He looked at the baby and came up to me and asked "Is this your first child". Of course, the answer was yes. He then said the baby is fine. He is just tired. A few minutes later JW opened his eyes. We picked up some snacks and got back in the car. My wife looked at me and said " You acted cool but you know you were scared". Not scared, I just did not know what to do. Normally, food or sleep keeps him calm.
There were no personal injuries or accidents on that day. Vegas, here we come. We are not big gamblers. We are more like tourists. We just walk around and enjoy the sites. Most people that spoke to us just asked why we brought a baby to Vegas. It is entertaining trying to get a stroller through a crowd of people at one of the casino outdoor shows. We brought the baby because he is our family. Did I say that we don't gamble much.