Kalamkari painting of the Tree of Life
Early yesterday, around 1:30 in the morning, our new baby made his entrance into the outer world.
And what an entrance it was.
Labor was not overly long; around three hours, but the end was dramatic. Michelle had been pushing hard when his head finally emerged. My first thought was “Whoa; that is a big baby.”
So big, in fact, that he was stuck; his shoulders could not get past my bride’s small pelvis.
Now, when I am present at delivery I am the picture of calm, the stoic anchor for my beloved’s ordeal.
Inside, of course, it is a different matter. I feel totally helpless and overwhelmed. However, when those who really know what they are doing begin to freak out it is beyond scary: the nurses and doctor were clearly fearful. One of them yelled into a cellphone “Code Pink in Room 204! Get a neonatal unit here!”
Michelle was working harder than I’d ever seen her. Nurses were yelling “Push! Push!” The doctor was trying to manipulate the baby, and one of the nurses was pushing on my bride’s belly.
And the baby was turning an ever darker purple color.
Finally, he broke through, and emerged. He was immediately grabbed and taken to a small table, where several nurses began doing mysterious things with suction hoses and I don’t know what.
And he wasn’t moving.
It seemed forever, but was probably only a moment, but he began to cry and I finally breathed.
And he is fine; his oxygen was good throughout the ordeal and he passed all his tests.
He weighed 10 pounds and 4 ounces, our biggest baby by over 2 pounds, a result, no doubt, of Michelle’s diabetes.
For the first time Michelle did not look radiant immediately after a child’s birth; she looked like she had been beaten up. She is going to need a long rest, and I have delivered serious lectures to the children on the need for them to be more helpful around the house. I am off work for two weeks, and if need be, can take more paid leave, thanks be to God and my union job.
He is cute as can be, this Big Baby, with lots of curly hair atop his round face.
His name, tentatively, is Samuel James.
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