4th of May 8:15 am
On Tuesday, 4th of March, 2021, I woke up at around 8am and did my normal routine: ignored my alarm for 30 minutes, my dog Tamal jumped into the bed to wake me up because he wanted to go for a walk, I opened Facebook and Twitter to see what I missed while I was sleeping.
When I was checking the news, I saw that something occurred in the metro in Mexico City, a fatal accident that took the lives of 20 people. I was quite worried because there was a chance that someone I knew could have been using the metro at that time, my head started to imagine a lot of things. (From this place, I send a big hug to all those people who lost a relative or friend in this fatal accident).
I sent the link to this news to Karolina (my wife), and 30 seconds after that she called me. At first, I thought that she was calling me to ask if all my Mexican family was fine. I picked up the phone and Karolina said: “David, don’t freak out, but my water broke…”. At that moment thousand of thoughts started to run through my head…. I imagined this situation in my mind a lot of times, but when it finally happened I was clueless.
After a few seconds, I just said: “OMG, ok, what do we do? OMG are you ok? does it hurt?…”. The problem that we had at that moment, or rather: the problems that we had at that moment were the following:
- We were not expecting our baby on May 4th, the planned date was June 9th – so it was a huge surprise.
- Karolina was not in Warsaw, she was in Łódź at her family home – you might be wondering: Why the hell was your wife in a different city being 8 months pregnant? And that’s a fair question, but Karolina’s mom was on holidays and someone had to stay there to take care of her dog, and Karolina just wanted some time for herself before becoming a mom.
- I was in a full-time course from Monday to Friday – the reason? In March I lost my job due to a restructuring, and I decided to enroll in a course to become a programmer… changing careers in the middle of a pandemic… yeah probably bad-timing, but I love challenges! However, as this is basically changing careers, I needed 100% of my brain on this.
Coming back to my call with Karolina, when I calmed down I asked her what she was planning to do, if she called an ambulance or if I could help from a different city. Karolina told me that her aunt (who is a doctor) was on her way to pick her up and take her to a hospital. When they finally arrived at the hospital, after the first checkup they told her that it was nothing that serious, and most probably the baby would not come on that day, but in a few days instead. So our plan was that on that evening I would go to Łódź to be prepared for our baby.
When I heard this, I felt a little calmer, and I was ready for my classes that were about to start. Each hour, I was asking Karolina about her status and everything seemed fine for 3 hours.
4th of May 12:25pm
I was at my lunch break and Karolina called me. She told me that she started to get contractions, but again the doctors told her that she didn’t necessarily need to worry because those contractions could last long hours. We have a friend that recently had her baby, and she was in labor for 33 hours! So we thought we would experience something similar here.
My lunch break was over, and I returned to my classes.
4th of May 1:30 pm
Karolina called me again one hour later, and she told me: “David, get your ass here now, the baby will born today!…”. When I heard this I thought: “Omg, I’m going to be a dad…”. My mind went blank for a few seconds and I felt so damn happy! Karolina was kind of shouting to me like move your ass now! I came to my senses, I asked her to send me by message the address of the hospital because if she had told me I would have forgotten it within seconds… I’m still far from mastering the Polish language, and even worst with this kind of stressful situation.
I interrupted my class and I told my teacher and classmates: “Sorry guys, I need to leave I’m becoming a dad!”. Probably my classmates thought I was joking at first.
I hang up the phone, and I was like: “Oh shit! What do I need to take?”. I called my parents in Mexico, and I think I woke them up because it would be around 6:30 or 6:40 am in Mexico City. At first, my parents thought that something bad happened, well – it was not bad but certainly it was an emergency. I told to my parents that the baby would be born today, and I needed help to know which things I needed to take to the hospital… I have to admit that I was not ready!
My mom was reading me like a checklist: IDs, credit card, clothes, pampers, clothes for the baby, clothes for Karolina, chargers, etc. I hang up, and 3 minutes later she called me again and said: “David one more thing, don’t forget to take your dog with you”. I was like: “Oh yeah! thanks for reminding me!”. The stress I had at that moment was the highest I had ever had. I finally managed to pack everything and my dog Tamal and myself were on our way to Łódź.
4th of May 3:30 pm
Tamal and I arrived at Łódź at the house of my parents-in-law. I unpacked everything, I left Tamal at the house and I was on my way to the hospital. I was driving quite crazy, just like I used to in Mexico City, but of course with all precautions.
I’ve always said that when Polish people complain about traffic jams, they have no idea what they are saying. In Mexico City, you can experience serious traffic jams and get trapped in your car for hours! When I was on my way to the hospital, I swear that on that day Łódź became Mexico City for half an hour, the traffic jam was insane!
4th of May 4:05 pm
After the longest 35 minutes of my life, I finally arrived at the hospital with the easiest name ever: Wojewódzki Specjalistyczny Szpital im. M. Pirogowa, Oddział Ginekologiczny. I parked my car and I was running towards the entrance.
My thought at first was to experience something like in the movies: run to the entrance, push the doors and shout: “Where is my wife?” then run to her room and see the birth of my first child… This was my thought, but because of the global pandemic we are living with, this was not the case at all.
I arrived at the entrance, and a nurse stopped me (I’m not sure if she was a nurse or a doctor but I think she was a nurse). She asked me what I wanted and I told her that my wife was about to deliver my child. She gave me a questionnaire in Polish to fill, and I don’t know how but I understood 100% of that document, there were a lot of medical questions, but somehow the part of my brain in charge of the Polish language was working like a perfect machine.
I delivered the document to the nurse, and she let me go inside, but not so fast, of course, I needed to take a coronavirus test and wait for the results! Inside my head I was like: “Come on people!!! I swear to god if I miss the birth of my child I will rip your heart out!”. I took the test, and I was waiting for the results at the entrance of the hospital.
The clock was ticking, then I got a message from Karolina saying: “David, are you at the hospital? I’m going into labor now”. I replied to her something like: “No no no, wait for me! I’m downstairs waiting for the coronavirus test. If the baby comes out, please put him back in!”. Apparently, my baby said: I want to go out now! Ready or not here I go!
After 10 long minutes, the results came back and I was tested negative, so this meant that I could enter the hospital and finally go with Karolina. The hospital gave me full clothes including mask, gloves, cap, etc. I looked like a doctor on my way to perform a surgery.
This hospital was really old, I think this is typical for most of the public Polish hospitals, it reminded me when I broke my knee playing football and I had to go to emergencies to fix it.
Anyway, coming back to the important topic here. Karolina was on the 4th floor, so I would need to take the elevator, but this elevator was one of the oldest I’ve ever been, to be completely honest it was quite scary to go inside because in my mind I was thinking that this thing would break down any second! Anyway, I arrived on the 4th floor but now I needed authorization from a doctor to let me in! I was just planning to go with my wife and baby, I was not planning to enter the Pentagon!
4th of May 4:50 pm
The doctor finally arrived on the floor and he let me in, I ran to the room and Karolina was standing doing some movements, it seemed like she was dancing. There were a few people there: Karolina, doctors, nurses. I ran and took Karolina’s hand. I was extremely nervous, I never felt something like this.
I was talking to Karolina, trying to help her or comfort her. Three minutes later, the doctors said: “Karolina, lay down it’s time!”. I was scared, nervous, happy… all the things that I read about this moment were not even close of what I was feeling. The doctors said to Karolina: “Push, push, push….!”
4th of May 4:58 pm
Karolina was making a lot of effort, for a few seconds I thought it is good that men can’t get pregnant, and at exactly 4:58 pm the baby was born! I was in shock! I couldn’t believe that I became a dad! I mean, 12 hours before, this situation never crossed my mind to be happening 12 hours later! – “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
When the baby was out, I got really scared! The baby was not moving and not making any sound, then I heard that the nurses were saying something in Polish, I was turning my head from one side to the other asking what was happening! After 20 seconds the baby started crying for the first time! My eyes covered in tears! The most amazing moment of my entire life was happening! The doctors said that everything was perfect, they put the baby on Karolina’s chest and I was there scared of touching him because I didn’t want to break him.
We decided that his name would be: Nicolas. He was 51 cm and his weight was 2.52 kg.
The doctor gave me medial scissors and told me to cut the umbilical cord, I was like: “What, now?..”. I was so damn nervous and I almost cut a different thing, but I managed to do it. It was scary as hell.
Karolina and I were there, just hugging and staring at our baby for two magical minutes. After that time, the nurse took him to run some tests. The doctors and nurses left and I just stayed with Karolina just talking and laughing about how crazy that 4th of May had been.
I stayed with my baby for only two minutes, those minutes passed extremely fast, I just wanted to stop the time to be with him. Fortunately, one of the doctors took pictures of the baby so we have a nice memory of that moment!
I was allowed to stay at the hospital for two hours only, all because of this pandemic. The worst part was that I was not allowed to go back in any other day! I couldn’t believe it! But I understand the risk of letting a lot of people in with all these new babies.
The Longest Two Weeks
After they kicked me out of the hospital I came back home and started calling my parents, relatives, and friends to give them the good news.
For the next two weeks I was talking with Karolina everyday, she sent me daily pictures of my little Nicolas, and I was just staring at my phone watching his little face.
The reason of why Nicolas had to stay at the hospital is because he was born one moth before his due date, so this would mean that he was a premature baby, and he needed to spend a few days at an incubator.
Karolina needed to stay there as well because first, she needed to recover, and then because she had the chance to stay at the hospital with Nicolas as long as she wanted. Karolina told me that some moms would prefer to leave the hospital and come back every two days to visit their babies, but we both agree that she needed to stay there so that our little Nicolas wouldn’t feel alone.
17 of May 6:00 pm
13 days after receiving the best present ever, Karolina called me and said that it was time for them to go home! I was jumping and dancing! Finally I would be able to spend time with Karolina and my baby!
I arrived at the hospital and I was really anxious, I came to the entrance, and of course they didn’t let me in, but I as able to see Karolina through the glass, I was really happy! It was almost two weeks since I saw her in person. We were so close but so far away at the same time. One of the hospital’s staff gave me all of the bags and luggage that Karolina had. I ran to the car and I left everything there. I came back to the entrance and they were there, Karolina was carrying my baby Nicolas! Karolina gave me Nicolas and I was so excited! I started to talk to him in Spanish, it was amazing!
I was driving us back home, and it was the first time in my life that I was driving that calm, and I was being extremely alert with each car that was close. I was quite nervous to drive badly and wake Nicolas up. At one point I said to Karolina: “How I am driving now reminds me of when I had to drive back in Mexico carrying a big pot of pozole. If I drove too fast my mom would kick my ass for spilling the pozole”.
Today, 17th of May, is my first day with Nicolas, I finally had the chance to spend more than two minutes with him. The next upcoming weeks will be probably the most intense with this course I’m doing, with my new baby, and with basically everything I need to learn for being the best possible dad.
And this amigos, was the story of how Nicolas came to this world! I will keep you up to date with all of our adventures!