Today, at 242p, my “itty bitty boy,” 3B, will be 17 years old. I remember getting up at 4am 17 years ago and getting his mother and myself ready to relieve her discomfort and welcome our child into this world. He didn’t want to come out, either.
We were there by 530a and got settled in. The doctor came in and they started the “induction” process. When he did that, her “water” burst and we went through all the towels, sheets and pillowcases in the birthing room. Seriously, it was like someone turned on a water hose and left it laying in the yard. It wouldn’t stop coming.
The baby, however, did stop coming. He didn’t want to leave the comfort of the womb. In fact, he went backward. Instead of coming down toward the birth canal (yeah, I hate that term, too), he went further up in the womb. On top of that, as they had started inducing the birth, contractions had already started. But, the baby’s heart rate started going down each time a contraction happened. We started to get worried. The doctor, Doctor V as we called him, seemed only moderately concerned. He waited around for a bit and then went and did some “rounds.” It was like we had cut off the baby’s jacuzzi and he was mad!
We stared at the heart monitor and sure enough, every time a contraction happened, the heart rate diminished. The nurses came in and checked. My mother and her mother kept us company, but it really didn’t help much. Dr. V called a few times and around noon — remember we had been in this holding pattern since around 6a — he told us that he thinks it would be best to have a Caesarean Section since this heart rate issue was starting to concern him, too. We spent around two minutes weighing the pros and very few cons. We told Dr. V that the C-Section was a go.
We rolled into the operating room around 230p and they had her split open and the doctor and nurse were tugging hard and pulling her apart. I sat down by her head and she was numb but mostly lucid. She was being jostled and wanted to know what was going on. I sat up straight and realized that I was over the curtain divider. I could see everything that was going on. I told her I was going to watch. I have a hard time with blood and entrails and things but this was different. I watched as they pulled my child into the world. I had a camera and was taking pictures of this happening. The first thing I took a picture of? His scrotum. I had a son and dang it! I was excited!
We named him after my father (which is who I’m named after) and set on watching him grow. And grow he has.
He’s a very intelligent kid, almost a genius, but he won’t use that power for good, it seems. Like many his age, he’s content with putting his nose in a phone or computer and whiling away his life. Well, he finally found something that he’s into and luckily is very good at, cooking. He’s in the culinary program in the local trade school and we have a few plans for him once he’s out of school. He’s driving and with a “speed bump” (he says tongue-in-cheek) a few months back, he does well with that.
He has a job. It’s not often that our first job is actually in the field we want to pursue, right? He is working in a restaurant and as far as I can tell, he’s doing great there. I know the owner, the GM and the chef and they’re happy with what he’s doing.
He’s growing into a fine young man and I love this “boy” with all my heart. 17, 5’11”-6′ and into weightlifting, food and video games. He’s smart, asks a lot of questions, loves football and is all around a great kid. I got lucky, really.
So, happy birthday, son. I love you and cannot wait to see the impact you make on the world.
Until tomorrow, I’m wiping the tear from my eyes…
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay