First, a correction. Last week I erroneously reported that Dottie Jenson had died; in fact, it was Dottie’s daughter Karen who passed away. My sincere apologies to the Jenson family, and my deepest sympathy in your loss of Karen.

Despite some pandemic angst, the Freedom Field Day was a complete success. Dozens of people attended and enjoyed the nice weather, parade (boat and otherwise), and the several vendors present

Girl Scouts march in the Freedom Field Day parade Aug. 21.


Boy Scouts carry flags in the Freedom Field Day parade Aug. 21. Photo by Fran Gonzalez

around Freedom Field. Having had to forego one last year, it was nice to attend and get a somewhat regained sense of “normal.”

And “normal” is what I had hoped to write about  for this column, but life sometimes comes at you fast. Last week, Catherine was admitted to the hospital because of a minor pregnancy complication. A couple of days of tense waiting and tests failed to alleviate the issue. A cesarean section was ordered, and Catherine and I were left wide-eyed at the realization that our child would be coming — whether we were “ready” or not — in the next 24 hours, not the next 24 days.

At 12:40 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, our daughter, Sophia Eileen, was born — a “late-term preemie” weighing only 5 pounds and 17.5 inches long. I was able to be in the operating room and watch the C-section as it happened. I reassuringly held Catherine’s shoulder while I stood on my tiptoes watching over the drape, my other hand clear to wipe away tears.

Catherine and Tyler Hadyniak welcome daughter Sophia Eileen, born Aug. 20.

I was struck speechless when I watched the doctor pull Sophia’s feet first out of the womb — and a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders when she started crying profusely. I helped clean and measure her and carried her over to Catherine so we could gaze together at the life we created.

A huge thanks of appreciation for the team at Maine General in Augusta. We felt we, and Sophia, were in good hands from admission to discharge.

Catherine and I are overjoyed! Sophia passed with flying colors all the tests the nurses wanted to run on her, such that she was discharged in three days instead of the typical four. She is perfectly healthy so far and full of life — even if sometimes not so obvious given her penchant for getting “milk-drunk.”

As I write this she is sleeping soundly next to me — lulling her parents into a false sense that this is going to be easier than we thought it would. But that’s OK, because we are in love and so thrilled to be her parents.

Have any advice for new parents? Let me know!