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Gabe / on Mon, Sep 13 2004 at 8:32 pm

My son

I don’t think that Penny Arcade is a webcomic. I’m honestly not sure it’s ever been one. For me PA is a diary, and so I hope you’ll all forgive me if I spend this morning recounting a particularly incredible day I had recently.

We arrived at the Hospital at six in the morning on September the ninth, having been instructed by our doctor to do so. We were told that they would “induce” Kara which means they juice her up on drugs that piss the baby off so much he decides to just come out. At 8:00 in the morning my friend Brad showed up and by noon the waiting room was packed. Tycho, Pork and Brad got the Xbox hooked up and Played Burnout 3. Robert spent equal amounts of time sleeping and typing up emails on his laptop. Pork’s wife Stephanie and Brad’s wife Trish would feed me horror stories about babies who crap out of their faces and pee from the tips of their fingers like some kind of sprinkler toy. During the twelve hours Kara was in Labor I would occasionally stumble out into the waiting room to provide updates on her condition. It was an incredible comfort to have my friends just a few feet away playing games and joking with each other. Just hearing them out there was enough to calm my nerves.

Back in the hospital room I sat with Kara and her mom and waited. We burned through nurses as they exhausted their shifts tending to my wife. Our doctor would stop by and check on Kara every few hours but things didn’t seem to be progressing. She was having contractions but they weren’t escalating to the point they needed to get to in order to have the baby. So around 7:00 pm our doctor decided to go ahead with a c section.

They wheeled Kara into the operating room and I followed behind scared to death. I knew what a c section was, or at least I thought I did. I imagined the doctor cutting a little hole in my wife’s belly and then gently removing the baby as though she was taking a quarter out of a coin purse. What I did not expect to see was a doctor pulling with all his might on what looked like a crow bar in an effort to widen the incision enough for a second doctor to wrestle the baby out. It was like some kind of WWE event with doctors up on chairs and blood everywhere. I looked up at one point to see a doctor up to his elbows in my wife’s stomach and I just about lost it. Kara was still cool though and I figured if she could handle I sure as hell better.

After what seemed like years I heard Gabe cry for the first time and then I watched them pass him off to a team of nurses on the other side of the room. These guys worked like one of those pit crews you see at a NASCAR event. No less than four nurses weighed, cleaned, checked, measured, and wrapped my son in the space of about five seconds. Then they handed him off to me and that’s when I finally lost it. I sat down with him next to Kara as they sewed her back up and we both just bawled.

Probably the best part of the night for me was the trip back to the room. I held Gabe and walked next to Kara as they wheeled her back to our room. We came out through a set of double doors and I saw all my friends and my parents lined up along the hallway snapping pictures and smiling. It was the first time that I got to introduce my new family to my friends. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that good or that proud before.

It’s been four days now and we’re back home. Mom and baby are both happy and healthy. Kara and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to send us a mail or post in a forum to congratulate us. It feels like Gabe has about a million happy aunts and uncles out there. I appreciate everyone who mentioned that he was born on the five year anniversary of the US Dreamcast launch. I’m not sure if that’s some kind of sign but it seems positive to me. I’m not sure if he’ll even like video games as he grows up, maybe he’ll be into sports. All I know is that I’m enjoying every single second I spend with him right now and I cannot wait to see what sort of person he becomes.

-Gabe out

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