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Johanna is here

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Special Note:

Please welcome the newest writer to join All The Cool Kids Mommy Blog!

As special treat for Father's Day I thought it would be fun for my husband Jonathan, to tell Johanna's birth story from his perspective. So I gave him a homework assignment. Whether you are a soon to be father, current father, mom or someone who is just curious, I hope you enjoy this informative tale through the eyes of a first time father.



Wednesday morning, 11/18/2020. T-minus 9 days until touchdown. Tiffany’s last day of work before her maternity leave.

The third trimester had been rough, gone were the days of the second trimester glow and bountiful mom to be energy. What was left was a belly requiring logistical planning and a return of the first trimester nausea. We were looking forward to her spending some time at home resting and relaxing and preparing for Johanna’s birth.

COVID lock-down was not a far-away fever dream. It was a regular part of life. Tiffany was in the bathroom getting ready for work while I was goofing off on my phone. Nerves were starting to grow as the reality of becoming a father was inching closer day by day, but I was taking things in stride.

I hear from the bathroom. “Ohhhhhhhhhhh I think my water just broke”


I distinctly remember talking to Tiffany about how your water breaking unexpectedly was a thing of the movies. Real pregnancies you feel the contractions grow in a gradual manner with plenty of time and warning to get to the hospital in time before any such Shenanigans. I sit up straight and ask her if she’s okay.

I hear a shaky voice “Yeah, Maybe I just peed”

I walk over and notice a large puddle in the bathroom floor. No, her water definitely broke.

The next hour was a blur, we call the hospital asking what we should do. They tell us to come in. We notify our respective workplaces, grab our go bags (make sure these are packed well ahead of any due dates) and I let my parents know we’re heading into the hospital. I’m the only guest that is allowed to accompany her and we’re still wearing masks as I help her get into the car. It’s a short drive, barely 5 minutes as our apartment was pretty much across the street.

Tiffany seems to be doing well, walking and handling things well. No crazy pains or Hollywood screams. We check in and not knowing what to expect are walked back into a room pretty quickly. A doctor comes shortly and checks to confirm that her water broke and to get a general investigation of what’s up down there. She gives us a few pamphlets of information of what to expect and we settle in and prepare for the coming march to Mordor that will be delivery.

COVID meant we did at home Lamaze classes instead of the more traditionally rigorous experiences we have seen. What follows ends up being nothing like we expected. In fact, things seem to be pretty chill. I’m able to lounge around and turn the couch into a day bed. After making sure Tiffany’s got everything she needs and the doctors got all her medical stuff hooked up and ready, I turn on my Switch and play some Animal Crossing, its 2020 after all.

It goes like this for a couple more hours with some back and forth from the doctors measuring Tiffany’s nether regions, talking to us and giving her some induction drugs and checking on the status of her contractions and vitals. Nothing really seems to be progressing. Finally, the decision was made to try some Pitocin. Some serious stuff.

During the next hour, contractions are going and Tiffany’s in pain. She had originally wanted to avoid an epidural and to use other pain medications to deal with the pain, but she seems to have a resistance to those painkillers. After taking them, she’s back in agony within 15 minutes. She relents and the Epidural goes in. While the whole day has been a constant state of nerves and shaky confidence. Her seeing and feeling the needle go in makes it that much more real.

It’s approaching early evening so I Order some delivery for dinner. Vietnamese food. Vermicelli and Banh Mi with some Spring Rolls. During this time I check the vitals for the baby and try to get an understanding of everything that’s going on. What ends up happening seems to be a back and forth game of tug of war. If Tiffany’s contractions increase towards delivery (good) the baby’s vitals seem to behave erratically. If the doctors dial back the Pitocin, the contractions reduce to near negligible levels and the baby’s vitals return to normal. The doctor lets us know to get some rest and we will need it.

The lights are dimmed and Tiffany closes her eyes to rest a bit trusting that the doctors have a plan. I munch on some of the Vermicelli and finish off a spring roll when I hear a beeping start from the mass of medical machines. I walk over to inspect the screens some more and a nurse walks in check it out. The beeping isn’t so loud and it’s similar to many previous warnings where adjustments were made, but this time something feels different.

Tiffany is awake now and the nurse walks out and returns with a doctor. They’re calm but they say that they’ve made the decision to deliver the baby now. I’m not sure what exactly that means and eventually understand that they’re going for a C-section.

Everything here happens fast. Tiffany’s pushed into an operation room. I’m walked into a room to get into scrubs. Directions are coming at me in a calm but quick manner. I’m in the OR and they walk me behind some screens. I am face to face with Tiffany with a cloth vertically separating our sight of her bottom. We’re nervous and I’m holding her hand. Beyond nervous, she’s squeezing hard. We don’t know what’s going on. Then, what seems like a few minutes and a lot of action out of our sight.

I hear crying. Johanna is here. 11/18/2020 7:37 pm

I vaguely remember the previous directions but I am again ushered but this time with a nurse holding my daughter. Jo seems healthy and crying and I follow the nurse who takes her to perform some initial cleaning and vitals measurements. I take some of my first pictures of Johanna and hold her for the first time. She’s both lighter and heavier than I thought. They take us back into the operation room and Tiffany’s recovery seems to be going well. They let her hold the baby and they give me a ceremonial Umbilical cord to cut. We’re able to spend a few short minutes together before the doctor says they need to do more to finish up the procedure for Tiffany.

I finally get a good look at Johanna. She’s so small. So delicate. So cute. This is my daughter and these are my first memories of her. Over time, she has grown into the amazing child that she is now, still really half a baby, but her personality has blossomed these last few months. They say some people immediately fall in love with their child and for others it will happen over time, but no matter what, you will find yourself obsessed with them eventually. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it hit for me but I know that I’ll always cherish my first memories of her.

Tiffany is wheel-chaired back over to our hospital room where all our things are packed up. The hospital staff direct us to our recovery room where our first days as a family will be spent. Many core memories and stories occur from there (Bathroom trips on painkillers with stitches holding in your guts, Diaper changes, Tiffany trying to sit up, Getting our milk monster to take her first sips). But those are stories for another time. For now, Johanna is here.

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