Over the last eleven weeks, in the midst of one round of finals, a new set of classes, a hundreds-of-miles-move (with wife and dog and cat and baby all in one car together), and your daily dose of grad school homework, I’ve put off writing my daughter’s birth story. Some of the reason for this is procrastination, but a bigger reason is that I believed that the experience would defy description until some of the memory had faded and I could apply words to it justly. My father says that women often forget the gory details of birth as an evolutionary mechanism–if they remembered, he says, they’d never in a million years want to have another one. I’ve done my part to help prepare for child number two by forgetting a little bit of the birth story, but I think I’ve remembered enough to give an account that Kristine can be proud of and Maia will someday be excited to read. I hope that it’s accessible enough for each of you to enjoy reading it, too. Skip ahead where necessary; the headings I’ve added should help you find the parts that you’ll find most interesting. For the truncated version, head straight down to “Delivery,” but know as you go that a start-to-finish read isn’t reserved only for grandma(s).
I just glanced at the blog and realized that I haven’t posted a new entry in over thirteen months. That’s a long time to be away, but you can trust that I haven’t been wasting my time on frivolous pursuits, nor did I treat Infinite Jest as the pinnacle of writing and thereby resign myself to never write another word.
In January, I applied to a handful of graduate programs for education policy, and was admitted in March to Stanford University, among others. I began a nine-month Master’s program in September 2012.
Just before leaving for admitted student events at Harvard and Stanford, Kristine told me that she was pregnant: if everything went well, we’d be expecting in early December.
On July 27, we two were married, with our little Bean in utero. We celebrated with a rooftop wedding under a Portland sunset, a live guitarist, handmade napkins, and wonderfully supportive and energetic friends and family. And a few shots of whiskey (for me, not for her).
In December, our daughter Maia Bean Fisher was born. While 2012 was a big year, nothing could touch this experience for me and Kristine. I am now a father–something I seem to have been preparing for since I was a nine year-old kid who would rather stay home with my dad and hand out the candy than go out trick-or-treating on Halloween.
My next step is to write Maia’s birth story, which I will post here. It will be hard to pen a description of something that was, quite literally, indescribable. But, I make lofty goals and will aim at it nonetheless.