Dear Baby, This is Your Story {Told by Daddy}

Hey guys, Shannon here.  I am so excited to share with you what has been a long time coming, Behr's birth story told by a first hand eye witness, Mark, my much hyped about guest blogger!  I am officially turning over the reigns of my blog.  Hope you all enjoy!

A Father’s account…

This is an account of Behr’s birth story through his dad’s (my) eyes. God has blessed us with such an incredible son and it is absolutely amazing how quickly/instantly a father loves his son. For me there was no warming up point, trying to find a connection, my love for Behr is indescribable as it flooded in directly to this new father’s heart. Since Behr’s birth I have learned so much more about my love for my wife and family as well as my own parent’s love for me and Christ’s love for us all.

To my wife Shannon, thank you for this incredible gift of a son. I love you.
To my son Behr, I praise God for your safe delivery, your smiles and attentive look. I pray for God’s blessings on you as you grow into a strong, brave young man pursuing God’s heart.
To my parents and brother, thank you for your endless love and support.

Before the birth story starts it is best to set the stage and put into context the dates leading up to Behr’s birth:

01.03.2011 - Behr's due date. Given that this pregnancy was my wife’s first we did not know what to expect. Would our son arrive early/on time/late? 
01.09.2011 - Once we passed Behr’s due date, the doctors wanted to schedule an induction out of concern for the safety of mom and baby. 
01.15.2011 - I depart on a flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil for a mandatory trip for my international residency for my graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University. 

How would this all play our?  Well, Behr, this is your story…

Sunday January 9th:

As we sat at home watching Sunday football and eating a freshly delivered pizza, it was hard to imagine that in a few hours we would be checking into the hospital to begin an induced labor process. Wasn’t the story supposed to go as follows – husband is in a meeting at the office and gets a phone call from wife “water broke; hurry it is time for the hospital”? 

After reading the book “The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Father” (Thanks Dague family for the gift), I practiced to make sure I knew how to “Be Cool Fool” BCF as the author humorously preps us new dads.  However with all my planning on what to expect – i.e. how to (hopefully) calmly navigate “the panic stricken – water broken/rush to the hospital scenario” this was not to be our birth story at least for our first born.

So as the story goes, our bags were packed, the Eagles playoff game was on, and with only a couple of slices of pizza consumed, half time arrived for the game, said a prayer (no not for the Eagles but for Shannon and Behr) and it was time to drive to the hospital – going the speed limit.

As we left the apartment we could hardly imagine that the next time we walked through these doors would be with our boy. The drive was as relaxing as it could be as we shared our excitement on how incredible it will be to hold our son for the first time.

As I recall I even boldly predicted that we would meet our son in a day...
...definitely two days max.

We were full of wonder and curiosity as well as held each other’s hand in the car ride. Pulling up to the hospital we knew where to park – I did my practice runs, but in our case there was no need to race up to the hospital entrance and grab a wheelchair. We simply grabbed our bags from the trunk, checked in at the main entrance and preceded up to labor and delivery. Once we arrived in delivery I quickly scoped out the room and located the tv, knowing that Shannon really wanted an update for the Eagles’ game. As nurses began to introduce themselves and take Shannon’s vitals they became concerned with Shannon’s higher than normal heart rate – little did they know it was because the Eagles were in a tight game down in the 4th quarter.
due to her iv, shannon was constrained to her bed, far away from the tiny old school tv

We assured the hospital staff that Shannon was a big fan and that her heart rate would return to resting levels once the game was over. Unfortunately the Eagles lost, ending their season early, but Shannon’s vitals returned to normal levels.

As the evening progressed we were briefed on the possible timeline of what to expect starting in the morning and the staff encouraged us to get as much rest as possible tonight.

Monday January 10th:

Incredibly, we were able to get some sleep.  With the morning came the excitement and busyness to continue along the induction process.  At this point Shannon is having regular contractions about 6 minutes apart.

Side note: it is obvious to say that us dads have the easiest part of the child birth experience. One of the ironic challenges for us dads is attempting to sleep on those oddly designed pull out chairs. Does the designer of these chairs actually think these are comfortable? Or perhaps uncomfortable is the point of the design of the chair since the husband has the easier part of the delivery? Possibly the designer thought, “why not make something uncomfortable for them”? Not complaining here, but just thought I’d share this observation which will make more sense later in the story.

Back to the story, the day consisted of wonder and awe in trying to anticipate what to expect as doctors and nurses monitored Shannon’s and the baby’s status. It was a lot of fun to hear our son’s heart beat. Shannon was resilient in tolerating the initial pain associated with the drugs, first cervidil and now pitocin, to induce the labor process. With trips back and forth to get ice, water, and juice the day involved stories, laughter and disbelief that the Eagles lost the night before. Even one of the nurses was an Eagles fan and could relate. All the while, Shannon's contractions continued to be regular at 6 minute intervals.

Towards the end of the day, it was confirmed that the induction progress was not advancing as quickly as the nurses and doctors hoped for.  Since Shannon had gone nearly 24 hours of contractions and no food, the doctors decided to give her a break to regain her energy.  I helped her shower up, get a bite to eat, and rest before the doctors continued the induction process.
Another side note: my meals consisted of visiting the hospital’s cafeteria, which believe it or not is pretty good. Well – it has to be as it is also used by some of the Georgetown students, etc. Can you believe there is a pub as well as a hibachi grill and sushi place attached to the cafeteria? Folks, this is Georgetown after all…only the finest.
After picking up our gourmet dinner from the cafeteria, we played a couple cards game and watch the movie The Blind Side. As the doctors and nursing staff rotated through we began to see the same staff from the night before. The responses we would get is, “Wait – you guys are still here?” and “Impressive Shannon you are tough!” We’d chuckle and respond with “Did you miss us?”, but at the same time, we longed for the labor process to pick up.  We wanted to meet our son.

With the evening winding down we prayed for the safety of Shannon and the baby and for things to pick up tomorrow.


  1. shannon, i am new here, but was excited to see you lived in the dc area (where i grew up), and lo and behold i was also born at georgetown! looking forward to the next part.

  2. I love that Mark is sharing Behr's birth story. Really great so far! excited for part 2!

  3. loving it so far!! bring on part 2!!!
    and mark, those pull out chairs suck! you poor dads.



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