Behind the scenes, while my priority was to get to the airport, my crew did everything to make that happen within minutes, hassle free, even checking me in before I arrived. My arrival in New York was the same experience. Our close friends, Marty and Steve, were waiting just outside the gate when I arrived. They had me from LGA to NYU Medical Center in 15 minutes flat! Upon arrival I walked into a crowd of 8 or so people. My sister and brother in law, and other close friends had been there through the whole ordeal. I dropped my bag and went to hold Mary as if I hadn’t seen her in ten years.
It was about midnight when I arrived and Mary was just coming to, Remy was not even 5 hours into the outside world. The nurses at Tisch were so attentive and immediately got me in touch with a doctor that was in the operating room with Mary. She asked if I wanted to come up and meet my daughter. I told her to give me some time with Mary, and that once I was sure she was okay I would be up. Still with every emotion racing through my head, I couldn’t wait to see Remy and didn’t want to leave Mary. What would she be like? How hard would it be to meet my child and see her completely dependent on machines to keep her alive? Was it safe for me to go there? I didn’t want to get her sick! Don’t get me wrong, all I wanted to do was see her, hold, and look at her.
Mary was moved to ICU and I wanted to make sure she got settled in before leaving her. She was pretty out of it, going from general anesthesia straight to a morphine drip, so she would go from spurts of comedic inebriated moments to tearful moments of concern for our child, into screeches of pain. Once she got settled in she was still pretty out of it from the drugs, so I went downstairs to meet Remy.
As a skier, who loves to challenge myself to my limits and feed off of an intense adrenaline rush, I can say that I was filled with adrenaline like never before. The elevator could not have been any slower and I could feel my heart beating so fast. It was an intense rush. I walked into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and heard some babies crying and in each section there were 4 incubator cubes. Our Remy was in the last section. I walked up proud, smiling standing tall, with a constant stream of tears running down my face that could have filled a bucket. “Hello….. (followed by absolute silence). Hello Sweetheart!” There she was. All 2 lbs.! She was covered in gauze around her head. She had a ventilator down into her throat, and I.V. attached to her arm, tubes going into her belly, and band aids around her feet. Her skin was as red as a chili pepper, literally.
This time, I won’t try to describe what I felt, except that I felt more than I can ever remember feeling, period! The nurses explained to me what all of these tubes did, her condition, her color etc. It may as well have been Charlie Brown’s teacher talking, because all I could focus on was looking at Remy until I heard the words “would you like to touch her?” This is when I really knew I was a Father.