Did that just happen?
Twenty five years ago, I stood there and watched my beautiful son, Logan, come into the world. Lisa had been in labor for 36 hours but no baby. Everything was where it should have been. Dilation. Baby position. Everything. There was just one problem. The baby was too big. It wasn’t going to happen no matter what. And his vital signs were crashing.
Later, in the dark of the night when the insomnia was perched on my forehead hammering away, I realized that this is how easy it is to die in childbirth. Without medical attention…
The doctor (a tall French man who was filling in for our actual doctor who was in the Caribbean at the time) had poked and pried and pushed and pulled. The baby was just too big. Things were beeping. Someone threw me some scrubs, beanie, gloves, mask, booties. I pulled them on as they rolled Lisa out of the birthing suite with its soothing wallpaper and illusion of normalcy. The doors opened and, suddenly, we were in a hospital. Antiseptic and businesslike. The nurses who were acting as if they were just attendants a moment ago were suddenly all efficiency and speed. No wasted movement or conversation. As if the antiseptic and businesslike nature of the new surroundings had creeped into them.
The machine was still screeching that the baby was in distress. Or something. No one took the time to tell me what was happening. It just was.
Into the OR and what appeared to be a tent was erected over Lisa. Ropes, guidewires and grappling hooks were tossed about.
A door in the wall opened up. A small woman emerged. Her surgical mask covered her face. Someone pulled a stool up to the table and she stepped onto it. In the mirror, I could see her cut into Lisa’s abdomen. The grappling hooks were brought out and fastened onto the edges of the incision. Ropes were tossed over the barrier and staff pulled as if they were raising the Big Top.
More deft cutting. And out comes the baby. And he’s big. Huge.
Why quiet? I need to hear something. Now. A bit of rough handling. Sucking. Rubbing. More rough handling and….
Blessed noise. The noise of a life entering the world. The small woman stepped down from the stool and exited through the door she came in. Without one word. No introduction. No congratulations. The most business like interaction I’ve ever had with someone without every talking to them.
That life has done much in 25 years. That life has much more to do over the next 75 years. That life has brought nothing but pride to his mother and I since that day. In his worst moments, he showed he had been listening all of these years. At a young age, he faced one of the worst things that could happen to a kid. His older brother, Brandon, finally succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis. His reaction was to put his feelings aside and care for his brother and sister. He was 7.
My boy has been a man for many years.
I love you, Babe!