I’ve decided to share my latest book (The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man) with my followers here, free of charge, one chapter at a time. So… Where were we on this read-along… Oh, yes…
Chapter 26: The Precious Cargo Within That Hospital Room
Pamela, the grumpy, old, fat, perma-scowling nurse was staring me down as I entered the room where my son had just been born without me. She had a bit of an evil sneer forcing the corners of her lips to tighten. Her look was just enough to tell me she had won and there was nothing I could do about it now.
Exactly nine minutes earlier, I had been in that room and Noah was still safely crammed up inside his womb. My wife, the birth mother (whom I shall call Jess), and Pamela had all been arguing about whether or not I should be allowed to watch the birth of my own child.
Pamela felt strongly that it was completely inappropriate. The birth mother was only 17 years old, after all, and she wouldn’t stand by and let such innocence be destroyed.
Jess was turning 18 the next day. She didn’t care if I was in the room, in fact, she invited me to watch the birth and never acted like it was weird or that she was uncomfortable with it.
My wife really wanted me in there as well.
It had gotten a little tense as I stood against the far wall of the delivery room, waiting for a winner to emerge. I couldn’t really say anything. It wasn’t my vagina I’d be watching be torn to shreds, after all.
At that point, Jess was dilated to 3 cm. There was plenty of time for them to discuss it, and eventually the perma-scowling nurse asked if I’d leave so that the women could discuss it without me hovering. I was a little annoyed. Meh. Who am I kidding. I wanted to give her a good swift steel-toed kick to her dangerously large caboose. I mean, did she really think I’d get my jollies off of that?
I had seen that crap in Health class. It traumatized me for years. There is nothing sexy I can think of in watching a woman’s downstairs stretch, rip, and bleed as it forces a tiny gunky purple person through it. And no, the fact that she was still illegal by one day didn’t make it more exciting to my apparently perverted mind.
What was exciting was that the tiny gunky purple person was going to be my son. My son! Our gift from his birth mom. I was going to be a daddy. And if a man has the chance, every dad should get to witness the moment his child enters the world, takes his first breath, and screams his first scream.
Damn that Pamela. I’m not still bitter or anything, but fuck her.
I bit my tongue and left the room. A Snickers bar sounded good right then.
In the five minutes I was gone, apparently Jess went from 3 cm to 10 cm and she delivered the baby. I was not in the room. And I am not exaggerating on the amount of time.
I watched as nurses and doctors rushed past me as I started downing my candy bar. I saw the door slam behind them. I went and listened at the door as pandemonium ensued and eventually my new baby boy began crying on the other side. I would learn later that Jess only had to push twice or so, and Noah came sloshing out with very little effort. I don’t know if he was sick of listening to the women bicker or if he had inherited my claustrophobia, but he had had enough, and he wanted out.
I stood at the door more annoyed than a Girl Scout whose wagon full of cookies just got pushed over by a big mean perma-scowling bully. I had missed the birth of my son because some old lady who was not tied to our situation at all had thrown a little tizzy fit.
I paced outside, thinking of everything I wanted to say to this woman, but which I knew I probably wouldn’t. I worried about my son. The crying hadn’t lasted long at all. I worried about his birth mom. I hadn’t heard her scream during the birth or cry since. I worried about the nurses, already wondering if they had sanitized properly. I worried about…
Suddenly the door cracked open and my wife poked her head out. “He’s here. And he’s perfect. You can come in now.”
If journaling and blogging were my greatest route toward healing from the pain in my past, in the following moments when I became a father, my route toward real happiness and a successful future unfolded itself to me…