Sunday, July 20, 2008

July 20, 2008 6:05 AM

It's hot and steamy in Brooklyn. 93 degrees yesterday. Susanna and I had been holed up in our tiny basement apartment for over 48 hours blasting the air conditioner and living on popsicles. But it wasn't because of the heat. She was suffering a latent contraction every five minutes and had been in that uncomfortable state since Thursday morning. We whittled the hours away with music and backrubs waiting for something to change. Finally, at about 9am her body seemed to give her some reprieve.

I made the dangerous mile and an half drive to Costco to stock up on the last few provisions needed before we get holed up again for a few weeks with an infant. The heat was sticky and sweat was running down my forehead and off my nose as I stuffed the last of the groceries into the back of the car and held them still with my hip so that I could reach up and close the hatch__ and then I saw myself from a distance: young guy, desperately in need of a shave, disheveled hair, thin, tired, in ill fitting and mismatched shorts and T-shirt forcing a box of 234 diapers into the back of a trying-not-to-look-like-a-station-wagon. And that was the first time it really hit me; I'm a Dad!! __ Almost.

The more I turned it over in my head the more excited I got and the faster I drove home so that I could make Susanna take a picture of me unloading the car. I was honestly having the most exciting time of my life.

Nerd


We ate a small dinner and decided that I should take advantage of the moment of peace to walk the dog, who also hadn't been outside for three days. So I harnesed him up and out we went into the heat as the sun was setting while Susanna rested.

It was almost 9 o'clock at night on a Saturday in July. People were lined up around the block at Bartlet Pritchard Square waiting to see The Dark Knight at the Pavillion Theater. There was a crowd gathered at The Bandshell in Prospect Park watching a Bruce Lee movie and laughing together at the racial stereotypes and bad dubbing. Reggie (our dog) chased the fire flies. People were playing in the shower of a fire hydrant that had been opened for a block party on 12th street and I dipped my head into the water to escape the heat.

That was when Susanna called.

I ran down 7th Avenue with the dog under my arm, through the shoppers and the resturant patrons, the water in my hair dripping onto my shirt. Running across the bridge over The Prospect Expressway I could see summer fireworks bursting above the harbor between New York and New Jersey. When I turned the corner onto 21st Street there were red and blue showers of sparks popping over the Statue of Liberty on the water down the hill from our front door.

The rest happened like clock-work. From the first, the contractions were about ten minutes apart. I gave Suzi a blessing and they soon jumped to five minutes apart. I packed a bag for the hospital and they were three minutes apart. We drove the 14 short blocks down 7th Avenue to New York Methodist and they admitted Susanna at 11pm.



An Epidural is an amazing thing. One minute my sweet wife is screaming that my breathe stinks like Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and I better stop blowing in her face, the next she is my best friend, smiling and joking. We should maybe think harder about solving more of the world's problems chemically. After three days of labor, no sleep, and little food we were both grateful she could get this bit of intervention.

Post Refreshment

I, on the other hand, was starving, despite my tortilla chips. It was about 4am and all signs showed that we still had an hour or two to go. I let Susanna get some sleep and walked across the street to the only all-night spot in our neighborhood; The Grecian Diner. It was in this little resturant that Susanna had shot a scene in a film five months earlier. And now I was the only customer, just before the sun was to come up on Sunday morning, trying to flip through the Post and eat my spinach omlette, itching to leave. I couldn't stop smiling.

I ran back to the hospital and within 15 minutes we were pushing, or at least Suzi was. She pushed for about an hour, then suddenly, there was a gulp for air, and a cry, and a new little man stepped through the door and into the Earth. Our little man. I cut the cord. His Mother said he is beautiful.

Family and Friends, without any further ramblings, allow me to present to you our son:




Van Giles Risser


6 lbs. 14 oz. 20 Inches July 20, 2008 6:05am Sunday Morning

44 comments:

Brooke said...

So CUTE! Congrats! I am also having a boy, due Dec. 20.

Emily S. said...

a beautiful baby--- and written so compellingly I felt like i was watching the whole thing unfold.

I'm thrilled beyond words for you two. Your "real life" is just beginning... You'll see.

Congratulations.

Teri said...

That was so precious. I love the pictoral diary of the event. You guys are going to love this new phase of your life and I know you are going to be so good at it. He is absolutely beautiful. Enjoy.

Misty said...

He is BEAUTIFUL!!! Congratulations, we can't wait to meet him.

Amberly said...

oh you guys! so many new little ones take a while before they're pretty... little van is beautiful! I loved the story, you'll be so glad to have that later. I hope everyone is doing well and getting a little sleep occasionally. congrats a million times!

Dad Risser said...

Everyone beat me to the comments I wanted to make while reading your entry. He is beautiful and the story will be something you and he will cherish forever.

McKelle said...

Wow! Great story, and so beautifully written. Congratulations! He is so cute! Can't deny, I got a little emotional as I read about the delivery...but that's how I've been lately...being pregnant and all. :D Can't wait to see your little boy!!!

Sydney said...

Aunts Sydney and Toni and Gr Grandma Van say congradulations and he is beautiful! We too loved the pictorial. We will write more when we're not in a car writing on a phone.

Emily Widdison said...

adorable! Great name, LOVE it! Congratulations!

Sufoot said...

I sit here, holed up in my little cubicle in Houston, Texas, tears streaming down my face...and I can say is...happy day. Happy Happy New Risser Day. Oh, Sus...I'm so proud of you. He is truly a beaitful boy.

MARTHA said...

I've been waiting so long to hear your baby report. Your pictures and words made the good news a great experience. Congratulations from all the BLAIR'S!

Eddie said...

Pfft, having a baby is overrated. Mine just poops and pees all the time.

J/K ;)

Genevieve said...

He is amazing! Congratulations. This is so exciting.

Aimee said...

i love it. screenplay? Susanna can play the mom and you the dad. wait...Mozeltoff he is adorable

Wade said...

Well Done! Proud to know you, all three.

Derek Bitter, M.A. said...

amazing, both the writing and the baby. Can I be the first one to play video games with him?

Jamie said...

I just saw your post and cried. He is so beautiful. I love you two - I mean you three. I can't wait until you move back to CA. By then we will probably move to Oregon.

Welcome to the sweet world Van Giles. Can't wait to meet you.

Sydney said...

Finally home and at a real keyboard (Toni now knows my iphone better than me).
Just reread your entry GK and it is so wonderful! What a treasure to keep such a record of the days events and your feelings. I see a bit of your baby face in VGR!
While in Utah, little Sydney was playing in the park and talking to Leigh. Syd did something and Leigh commented to her that she was strong. Sydney's reply: "Girls have to be strong... we push babies out". I admire Susanna's strength ;-)
Can't wait to meet him. Hoping to make Utah in September if at all possible. Hugs and kisses to all 3 of you.
Big Sydney (no babies but still strong)

Webster said...

Greetings and best wishes and congratuations from your friends (what's left of them!) at The Bloomsbury Review. Don't forget to pay a little attention to Reggie--sibling rivalry is a terrible thing to witness!

David & Marilyn et al

Steve said...

Congrats GK!! And Susana, although I've never met you! Your storytelling was perfect GK. It sounds like quite the adventure, but I guess it always is when we're talking about having a baby! I'm glad everyone is doing well and is healthy. He's a cute boy! BTW, I got your blog address off of Facebook, I was wondering if your wife had had the baby yet! Meg

seven smiles said...

He's so beautiful--good job! :)

I did the three days of painful labor w/out much else happening with my third; amen to your epidural observations!

(Can't wait to see him in person. We have to plan a day trip into the city!)

Congratulations--love you guys!

{PS- hi Ann. I sent you an invite to your e-mail.}

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Fillmore Family said...

Beautiful!! Like Grandpa Risser said: Everything else has already been said. Love, Aunt Joanne

Kristy said...

He is so beautiful!!! Congratulations!!!
(& yes epidurals are wonderful!)

-Kristy

Kristy said...

He's such a cute kid, and it's nice that you were able to capture your experience in words, so that you'll never forget the moment (not that you ever could). That being said...I seem to remember answering the phone when you called me after Nyah and Sade were born. :) Get some rest, but next time I try calling you, please answer. Love you brother! Tell Suzanna we love her an we're so happy for both of you!!! Our kids are so excited to have another cousin. - Stinky Binky

Jennifer said...

Congratulations, We have been waiting for this post. You both will be amazing parents, you can tell by the way write about your experiance.

AJsGirls said...

So many good wishes to your little family! Great job Mommy & Daddy (especially Mommy!) We hope everyone is getting the rest they need. These first few days are beyond precious. Document them!

Love, The A & E Jones Family

Eddie said...

WOW! What a great story GK. Congratulations on your beautiful family! We love you guys & can't wait to see little Van soon. I love the big lips!

BonnieAnnKing said...

He is simply adorable! Congratulations! I am so excited for you and your cute little family. You are going to be an amazing mother!

Hannah S said...

You're both great stroytellers! Congratulations on the birth of your son! I hope you may get some sleep in these next few weeks and can figure out the nursing thing, if you're doing that route. Good luck and Congrats!

julie said...

COULD HE BE ANY CUTER???? Congrats!! Susanna...I had no idea you had a blog. I love it. You are so beautiful pregnant. WOW! You little boy is so precious! Our blog is jjfinchfamily.blogspot.com Love ya..(this is Julie)

Thompson said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes! There is something incredible about the experience when a child is about to come into this world. What a beautiful story! You have no idea how happy we are for the both of you. What a handsome devil! I have never seen such beautfiful full lips. He's an angel! You are truely blessed. It's over, and now the fun begins!! Know that we love you guys and are thinking of you often!!!

diane said...

Yay!!! I'm so excited for you guys! He is beautiful.

Danielle said...

Congrats to the Rissers. Mommy did a great job, what a beautiful boy you have. Definitely looks like a Risser! Have so much fun together. We miss you GK!

Kris, Andrea, Lacey, Mia, and Kannon said...

Congratulations you guys! he is beautiful! How precious and a great journal entry of the experience! I love his name! you can't go wrong keeping with family names!

Heidi said...

Karen & I are here right now and LOVE your story! That is so cute and memorable! We think he is adorable too!!!! Yeah Congrats!

PS: Our anesthesiologist looked like he was the water boy for the Galaxy soccer team (he had the jersey on and everything) but after my epidural I told him I loved him and I know Ned was thinking the same thing! :)

Love, Ned and Heidi
& Karen and Scott

Woolley Family said...

congrats cuz! Your baby boy is so cute. We missed you guys at Yosemite. I'm going to add you guys to our blog. You guys are so cute... Amy

Sondra Shannon said...

Hey GK, This is your cuz Sondra. Congrats. You have a beautiful baby. I wish you all well. Lots of Love!

Heather Bankhead said...

sus and gk--congratulations! i love the post. i love the pictures. i love you. xoxo

Ned Broberg said...

Congratulations cousin! Welcome to parenthood. You two will love it.

Dad Risser said...

I don't think I've ever seen a blog entry with so many comments. Mom and I are really looking forward to the trip to Utah in September to see our new grandson.

Perplexa said...

Wahooo! What a beautiful family. Sus- you look amazing! I just want to hug you and hold that handsome little man. Congratulations x 52!

Lark said...

Congratulations! He is so beautiful and I love the name. Hope all continues to go well with your little family.

annie said...

Congratulations GK and Susanna!! He is one adorable little guy and I can't wait to meet him.