Happy 15th, Jerry!

On May 1st, 2006, I got the call. Eriko said it was time, and so - it was time! I asked my brother to drive me home, a less than 10 minute jaunt up Queen Anne hill, and then Eriko and I were off to the hospital. She had selected a midwife who worked out of Evergreen in Kirkland, which left me with daily nightmares of being stuck in rush-hour traffic. Luckily, this was early afternoon and the 405 was free.

Upon arrival, it soon became clear that these were Braxton-Hicks, or more simply, just not the time. The doctor suggested Eriko get some spicy food to help make things more uncomfortable for the baby. That night we dined at the nearby Ken Zaburo’s, which I will forever fondly remember as the place to go when you want to feel uncomfortable - it didn’t work for me, but …

The following day I went to work, as usual. I got the call. Sure… maybe it’s the time. Having already practiced everything the day before, I felt less need to rush. I leisurely waited for the #2 bus, and I calmly strolled home. “My water broke,” a stoic yet urgent Eriko informed me as I opened the door. “Oh, we’d better go!”

Back to Kirkland, only this time the 405 was far less comfortable for Eriko, who was wincing at each bump our 1992 Jetta was encountering. When we arrived at this hospital, she was already at 9cm dilation and had to be immediately rushed into the room. She began laboring in the tub, but soon after a nurse noticed a head and she quickly had to move to the bed. As she struggled to get into position (on all fours), she called for my help.

I, up to this point a minor character and serving little purpose but to hold her hand and thank my creator I was born with a Y chromosome, sprang into action. I started to move the IV so Eriko could be more comfortable, briefly neglecting my strategic purpose: the “ready to catch” station. In that moment, before Eriko could even push, out fell my first born, my beloved son, Jerry.

Thankfully, he fell into the waiting arms of the midwife, who through all this chaos, accepted him gently and announced him to the room. In less than three hours after we arrived at the hospital, Jerry made sure we all knew we were going to have to step up our game if we were going to keep up.