We’re about 8 weeks from our new arrival, a girl. I couldn’t be happier, having witnessed the ribald male behavior of our first. But the newborn routine is 3 years past. Bottles, diapers, burping, monitoring every move represents a script I need to re-learn. I’m confident, though, relying on the bicycle-riding tenet–get back on and you’re good.
I find myself returning to what I’d written about Jack, our first, in order to reacquaint myself with the outrageous drama to come. The following is an excerpt from my recollection of the delivery room…
Contractions intensify. The staff closes in. A controlled tension comes over the room. Vaness and I manage to steal expectant smiles, knowing full well we’ll finally get to meet our boy—this is 9 months worth of anticipation, after all.
Witnessing Vaness, I realize why it’s unwise to mess with a woman in labor. Her strength seems freakish. I do everything I can to cheer her on as she crushes my hand. We both exclaim in pain, repeatedly. An unknown amount of time passes before a third, tiny voice joins our screaming chorus.
Actual image from the delivery room.
The boy wails like a banshee, an otherworldly force, writhing. An aspirator clears his passages, which only intensifies the room-filling sound, this newborn Phil Spector. The umbilical ritual complete, he quickly cools to a mere shiver. He’s calm, alert and placed in Mommy’s arms.
Surrounded by hushed electricity, the three of us share a few precious moments before reality hits and our emotions run wild. I’m sprawling all over the gurney, kissing Vaness, kissing Jack, nearly kissing a nurse in the way.
Like an adolescent facing a giant pimple on picture day, Vaness and I begin blubbering. Our crackling joy must be too much for the little guy–no longer calm, he goes to 11. What a soundtrack we must be! A nurse sees our weeping sideshow as a photo-op and asks me if I have a camera. I do, but I’m so frenzied that I scream at her, “Yeah, but it’s over there!” I point to our camera bag, as if miles away, as if I’ve lost the ability to walk, as if I’ve just spotted Sasquatch.
Life is about to get much more interesting. I look forward to meeting you, little one.