Monday, April 13, 2009
Happy Birthday, Dear Liam
We celebrated the moment of Liam's birth in the nude, walking from the showers to the locker room at the YMCA. I looked at the clock, knowing that the moment was near, and as the minute hand crept towards the 11:12 position, I grabbed him around the middle and started to sing to him. He beamed, looked himself up and down, seated himself on the bench and said, "I'm five years old!" (He had been resisting the title of "five" all morning, knowing that while it was his birth date, since his birth time had not actually passed, he felt it was improper to consider himself five up until that point).
Several of the moms in the room wished me a happy birthday, too, which made me beam: of course this was also my day, and little could they know of what was packed into the moment of that child's birth. I still hang in suspended disbelief at the image of his little, pink body being lifted from my middle, hearing the cry, seeing the fat, white cord hanging from his middle as the doctor whisked him across the room to be suctioned. I could see parts of him, but not the whole boy, and I knew he was a boy. I could hear Greg tell the doctor his name was Liam, and could hear the noises he made, and my head was whirling and twirling-- it had happpened.
They had saved the baby.
This was it, of course, he had been born in the precise manner that I had fantasized about-- there was no allowance in my vision for a peaceful, copascetic birth of this child. Hehad to be saved, clearly, seeing as I was working with a failure rate of 100% this seemed the only way to get him out alive. And there he was, fat and flailing, and I was nailed to the cross with an oxygen mask over my face, crying like I would never stop.
They couldn't hear what I was saying when they brought him over to me, my face was covered and I was wet and snotty and wailing along with the baby. But finally someone slid the mask aside and they discerned that I wanted to kiss the baby, so they lowered him to my face and I kissed his damp little cheek, and I spoke softly into his ear and he quieted then, of course, because he knew his mother was there with him.
The rest of the day flew by in a blur of a dream come true, and really, has never stopped. This is all, really, truly, still a dream come true. This little boy, his eyes so big and wide and blue every day, his beauty and curiosity and wisdom just seeping from his pores as he floats his way through this world, just brings me more joy than I could have ever forseen. I am so grateful for him. (and here are a few peeks of him at 4 months, 9 months, and 2 years)