4 years ago (to the day) I experienced terror: not for the first time.
4 years ago, after a grueling, long, and dangerous labor, my beautiful wife gave birth to our second son, completing our family. He was big.
Over 10 pounds big.
He was such a monstrous little thing that he got stuck in the birth canal. The labor caught the hospital by surprise, despite being a planned birth, and my poor wife delivered him mostly without an epidural (they got it in for the end)…. And then he got stuck. We spent almost an hour hearing “this push should do it!”
But it didn’t.
And when he came out, he was pale, like ash, and he wasn’t breathing.
The doctor and nurses did their best to hide this fact from us. They showed Julie her beautiful son, set him in her arms for less than a second, and then whisked him away to clean him up, and try to get his lungs to work.
I was watching the doctor’s eyes.
He was scared. He’d never lost a child in childbirth. His record was amazing (one of the reason we picked him.)
And he was scared.
So was I.
The doctor had more work to do, as there always is after a baby is born: there’s still more to come. I won’t detail this, for the blissfully ignorant and the faint of heart. Julie was in rough shape, to put it mildly, after a 10 lb baby with a late epidural, and she was exhausted.
The doctor told us what was happening as soon as he could: the baby wasn’t breathing well on his own, so they were going to put him into the critical care unit.
When Julie was well enough (an hour maybe? Time started playing games with me) we got to see him… But not hold him. He was in a lung plastic box.
We spent the better part of the next week taking turns being at his side. He got to move from the box into a head sized bubble after a day or two. We didn’t get to hold him until then.
But he was strong, not just big, and he was a fighter. (That hasn’t changed)
And he got well.
4 years ago, today, my second son was born. 4 years ago I felt terror that few can understand without experiencing it themselves.
4 years ago, today, God gave use a little terrorist. (I can say that, right?)
And I’m happy he did.
Happy birthday, Nathaniel. Please stop breaking things. 😅