Monday, May 26, 2014

Parenthood: Week 52 - Birth Story: Part 3 - The Moment

Links to Part 1 & Part 2

Tears filled our eyes, as over the cries of our baby, the doctor told us Ollie was fine.

Waves of relief overcame feelings of worry that built up over the months of the pregnancy and the hours of labor.

But it wasn’t over.

When Veteran climbers talk about climbing Mount Everest they say that getting to the top isn’t the accomplishment, it’s making it back down to base camp after a summit that defines a successful expedition. We had gotten to the top, but we still had a ways to go.

“Do you want to cut the cord?”

I hesitated.

Yes, I wanted to see my boy, but Diana wasn’t done with the surgery. She told me it was ok by releasing my hand.  I walked towards the table that he was laying on glancing back at Diana wishing that I didn’t have to leave her side.

Ollie looked just as red and wrinkled as people said he would, but it didn’t matter. This was our baby and as I took the first pictures of him on my camera, all I wanted to do was share this moment with Diana.

I sat down next to Diana’s side and told her how her son had tons of hair, had all his fingers and toes and was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I managed to push the curtain back slightly to reveal Ollie to Diana as the nurses cleaned him and did various tests and treatments on him.

Then a nurse came over to me and placed Ollie in my arms. I brought his head close to Diana so that she could kiss him and then I sat back in the stool next to her. She smiled and said hello to him, but this relief and joy quickly diminished as the discomfort of the procedure continued.

Holding my son in my arms for the first time was difficult because at that moment I couldn’t hold Diana’s hand. I watched helplessly as Diana’s arms trembled uncontrollably as she closed her eyes tight, softly moaning through the pain.

Part of me wanted to have someone take the baby away so I could hold her hand, but I knew that she would want our son’s first moments in this world to be close to one of us

So I held Ollie tight and I whispered to my “Diana, you are going to get through this, because I can't do this without you."

In a swirl of activity, a nurse took Ollie away and whisked me into the recovery room where I had sat alone less than an hour ago. I was happy, relieved and exhausted. Instead of feeling alone in the silence, I felt peace.

The first time that I saw and held my son it didn’t mean that much to me. It was seeing Diana being wheeled into the recovery room in a cocoon of blankets holding our son that was the happiest moment of my life.

The birth of our son was not just about a baby being born. It was about Diana and I creating something amazing and sharing with each other this blessing of a beautiful soul that would bring meaning into our lives. It wasn’t until I saw them together that I felt the power of this blessing.

Ollie was born a week ago and I think back at his birth in awe of my wife and thankful for the health of my family. When my grandmother died the sky looked a slightly different color knowing that her soul had left us. Now that Ollie has entered the world, the sky is a more beautiful shade of blue than I could have ever imagined.

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