Thursday, June 01, 2006

Birth day memories

Tomorrow Brian is twelve.

When I think back to that day he was born so much has become hazy. However, there are some moments that are so clear they might have been yesterday.

I remember the nurse’s oh-so-apologetic face as she turned to me and said, “All the anesthesiologists are busy.” I remember staring at her, trying to make those words make sense.

Some other memories have an odd distortion to them – I remember them, but it is as though they are someone else’s memories. I can hear the voice of an insane woman saying to her husband, “Promise me you will kill the anesthesiologist.”

I can hear her husband, who has been through labor with this woman before. He remembers another labor room in which he tried to explain if they could they would like her take a break and come back tomorrow. This time he knows better. He tells her, “I promise.”

“Don’t leave now!”

“I won’t.”

“But as soon as the baby’s born.”

“I know. As soon as the baby’s born I will kill the anesthesiologist.”

“Wait! There’s more than one!”

“I will kill them all.”

“But don’t go now!”

“No. I will wait until after the baby is born.”

Eventually of course the madness passed and the pushing phase began. It was not an easy birth. I remember the doctor saying, “The shoulders are stuck. Push her legs back!” The nurse leaned on my right leg, pushing my knee into my armpit while my husband held my left ankle in the air saying, “What do you want me to do with it?”

It is difficult to sift through twelve years of memories to the first time I saw Brian. I remember the nurse telling us that he weighed 9lb. 8oz., but what exactly did he look like in those first minutes? I remember not being able to disagree with Andrew when days later he said that the baby looked like a tomato. I remember that weeks later my husband looked at the newborn baby photo and said, “I think he looked more like Jabba the Hut than a tomato.”

I confess that I do not really remember what he looked like immediately after he was born. I do remember waking up after a nap and going to the nursery to get him. There were half a dozen tiny babies in cute little white t-shirts and diapers, and Brian in a green full-body stretchy suite. I asked why he was dressed differently. The nurse on duty said, “He is too big for the newborn clothes. We had to borrow something from pediatrics.”

I do have one clear memory of the first time I held him. I realized that this was not just the beginning of a new life. It was the end of a difficult pregnancy, the end of gestational diabetes and the restricted diet it imposed. As I held my new son I remembered that my best friend was waiting to be called, waiting to bring to the hospital the rest of what was precious to me. I turned to my husband, “Call P. Tell her to bring Andrew and the Girl Scout cookies.”

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday to Brian. He was one big baby.


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