Matthew entered our lives on a Friday, a day that began pretty normal. I dropped Ben off at daycare and then Andrea and I grabbed a healthy breakfast of bagels and donuts. Andrea was already scheduled for a C-section the following Tuesday even before we headed over to the doctors office for routine a appointment. It wasn’t long before the doctor told us that we had to go home, get our stuff together, call who we needed to call and get Andrea into the hospital because Matthew was going to join us that day.
Of course, we didn’t know it was going to be Matthew Robert. At that point the baby might have been Marisol Rose. Regardless, in an excited frenzy, we got home and started making calls. I had to call my boss to let him know my paternity leave had already started and we both had to call our parents. We then headed to the hospital, where, over and over, Andrea had to tell the nurses that she had bagels and donuts for breakfast as the tried to gauge when she would be ready for surgery.
Instead of the traditional cigars, I had put a bunch of blue and pink Peeps into plastic eggs since it was just a week until Easter. Of course, I thought I had a few more days and found myself packing the eggs in the hospital room, which led to a nurse panicking thinking Andrea was eating them. It became obvious that we had some time, so I decided to go pick up Ben from daycare instead of asking our parents to do it. When I told him that the baby was on its way, he was so excited.
With Benjamin causing mayhem in the hospital hallways and our parents nervously keeping watch of him, Matthew Robert Keenan was born in the early evening of March 30, 2007. We had another beautiful healthy boy. I honestly don’t remember much of the rest of the hospital stay. Unlike with Ben, Matthew had no trouble feeding and did not have the same jaundice problems. Not to mention, we were practically experts by then, instead of scared rookies. Benjamin’s excitement, of course, was a new variable, but, we all handled it in stride. Regardless, that day is on of the three happiest days of my life, and it makes me so happy just thinking about it.
I can’t believe that Matthew is five now. I look at him and I see so much of that little baby in him, more so than I do with Ben. The days of diapers and bottles and midnight changes all seem so foreign and far away now. Now, we have these little men, who still dominate the centers of our lives.
While I remember Matthews birth, it’s hard not to think of our bulldog Edgar who died just five days later. Before the boys, he was a huge part of our lives, dominating rolls of film and then flash drives. We truly loved that dog and his death was sudden and painful. It’s unlikely that he’d still be with us today if he didn’t die then. English Bulldogs, on average, live only to seven. At five, Edgar was already showing signs of getting old. We sometimes wonder if him going that day was God’s way of sparing him and us a longer, drawn out illness. Either way, in the perspective of our two little boys, I sometimes feel embarrassed to admit the strong emotions I had for a dog, but there is no denying that I did, and it took me a long time to get over him. Of course, Matthew and Benjamin did help me with that.