Sometimes people think I’m crazy for having a fourth child. Sometimes I think they’re right. As I sit on the sterile operating table, this cold November night, I know full well that not one person in the OR approves of the decision to proceed with a 37-week C section. They think I should go home and put myself on bed rest to keep the contractions at bay until week 39, past the danger of respiratory problems. To them, the three children who make that impossible, the two-hour drive to the hospital, are irrelevant. In the moment I feel the big adhesive patch tamp down on my back, I know with improbable certainty that they are right. Three babies, and not one delivery without drama. I flash back to the post-term induction and 10-pound child that led to my first C section. To the little gymnast whose 37-week flip into breech was a harbinger of her chromosomal abnormality, if only we’d realized it. To my husband’s one a.m. trip to the hospital by ambulance the morning we delivered #3.
No way this baby is coming out of my womb without problems.
But it’s too late. They’re sliding me into position, raising a blue drape, and soon the doctors are in place, poking me to test the spinal before starting the cut. I’m committed.
I wait it out, praying without words, until the cries begin. They’re not enough. “Boy,” someone–my husband?–says. I focus on the crowd around the warmer, heedless of the work taking place beyond the blue drape. I can’t see my baby’s face.
“Special care,” they decide at last, and scoop him up, wrapping him tightly in blankets. They bring him to me for a fleeting moment, lay him on my collarbone beneath the bright lights, so close that as I whisper his name, the flutter of his eyelids brushes my cheek. I turn my head, my lips grazing silky skin, fresh from Heaven. And I know I will never again wonder if I’m crazy to have four children.
Today’s Write On Edge prompt is about new beginnings…the excitement, the heart-catching novelty.
I post this in honor of Michael’s first birthday, coming up in a couple of weeks.