It is definitely colder today than it was last year this time. And I got into work a littler earlier this morning than I did a year ago today. I don't really remember the exact details of that morning commute to work. I do remember that something compelled me that Monday morning to drive instead of take the shuttle, thinking that it was getting close enough to time that I should have a car in Mt. View, just in case. But, we were still two weeks away from the big day, so I wasn't really thinking anything of it. We were coming off a wonderful weekend, and it was another Monday.
I remember exactly where I was when I got the first phone call... sitting in the auditorium in an all-hands team meeting. Krista's voice was excited, but relatively calm and collected. "My water broke", she said, "while I was talking to my mom on the phone." She insisted that I didn't need to come home right away, that it would be at least 8 hours or so, as she was feeling no signs of labor. We agreed that a noon arrival would make sense, so I went back into my meeting, now feeling very giddy! About thirty minutes later, the phone rang a second time, and I remember the rush of anticipation and fear that went through me as I answered it. It seems things were progressing a little faster than thought, and I should head toward home. Still no need to rush, just sooner rather than later. So I made my way to my office and started canceling all my meetings and sending out some emails announcing my departure. And then, the third call... "I'm going to the hospital, meet me there!" It seems we went from zero to sixty and on to 100+ in a short hour or so, and Krista was on her way to CPMC, because the (yet to be named) baby was on HER way!
This was any Porsche owners dream scenario. I was 38 miles from the hospital and my wife was in labor.
"Son, do you know how fast you were going?"
"Yes officer, just north of 100 mph because that guy in the Mustang wouldn't get out of my way... but my wife is in labor!"Off I went, peaking the digital speedometer into triple digits on numerous occasions. In record setting pace that any bay area commuter would be proud of, I was standing in the maternity admittance office in 37 minutes.
The contractions were faster and more furious than my 101 aerobatics, coming every 2 minutes or so. Krista's beautiful smile gave way to painful strain and then back again - this (yet to be named) baby was on her way, and she wasn't waiting for anyone. So we got Krista into the delivery room. Now remember, this is CPMC, the premier place to have a baby in San Francisco, so the delivery room was nicer than my first apartment.
The next 2 to 3 hours were filled with anticipation, encouragement, pain, and emotion. Were we ready? Was this really happening? Will my back ever recover? And then, there she was. Our beautiful baby daughter, Alexandra Eve. Born at 2:20pm on this day, 2004 - 7 pounds, 11 ounces, 19 inches. And our lives would forever be blessed.
On this day, Alexandra, I am so thankful. Thankful for you and the joy you bring us every day. Thankful for your wonderful smile, your adorable giggle, and your frightful Rrrrrhhrrrr! I love you so very much. Happy Birthday my precious gift from heaven!