Exactly nine days after we received the phone call that we were chosen by a birthmother, we received another phone call that she was in labor. My schedule was akin to Britney Spears’ (the bad years), so I was prone to sleep until whenever I wanted. That meant some days I would get up like a normal human being, and others I would just... sleep.
I was jolted out of bed by my spouse on the morning of June 18, 2009, because I hadn’t left a phone within ear’s reach. He was at work and had to race back home to retrieve me. The birthmother went into labor and was already at the hospital. They had been trying to reach me for over an hour while I got my beauty rest. He was so pissed. I was pissed at myself. There was no time to pack a cute little overnight bag. I scrambled to throw on some clothes and we filed into my car and drove like a drunk Justin Bieber the entire way to the hospital. I nearly took out a group of motorcyclists and didn’t feel the least bit bad about it. We arrived at the hospital in a state of panic for the second time, and made our way inside.
The whole day is a blur. I just remember a lot of waiting. A lot of starving. A lot of nothing. Awkward talks with the birthmother’s mother (the birthgrandmother? I’m so confused), paperwork with our social worker, nervous chats with other expectant families. It felt like what you always see on TV or in the movies, except it was happening to gay us. They eventually moved us into our suite. It was directly next to the birthmother, who we hadn’t seen at this point. Twelve hours later, we were told her contractions were shortening and the baby would soon arrive. Our social worker came to us and told us that the birthmother wanted us to be in the room to see the baby be born. Ummmm…yay, but also yikes! I hadn’t mentally prepared for that, so I was just like, “Let’s go see the miracle of birth that everyone says is disgusting!”
We entered the room, and there were only a couple people in there. She was pushing and screaming and barely acknowledged us, which was fine. We stood to the side and made small talk with the social worker, who then had to jump in and hold one of her legs. There was a TV in the room and Gossip Girl was on, so I thought “I’m just going to focus on Chace Crawford and when the baby comes out I will bring my A-game.” An hour or so later, a head started to appear. A few minutes later, we were parents.
Up to this point, we were about 95 percent positive that we were about to add a daughter to our family. Besides the birthmother’s instinct, I felt that, karma-wise, the universe was going to bestow us a precious little princess. We came up with our two names — Marion for a girl, named after my grandmother, and Brigham for a boy — with Briggs as the nickname. I didn’t bother to Google Brigham but if so, I would have discovered that the name belonged to the one of the founders of the Mormon Church. Whoops. So as Briggs was coming out, and the social worker and doctor turned to us and said, “It’s a boy,” my feelings became bittersweet. It’s horrible to admit that, but I was scared. I felt unprepared.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t trade our little man for the world, and would have him no other way. He came home with us a few days later and continues to be the best thing that has ever happened to us.
And it turned out, the miracle of birth is far from disgusting. It was beautiful and I'm thrilled we were able to witness it firsthand.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank @GayAtHomeDad