11 March 2008

silver moon

it sure was something being in that delivery room when caleb was born. my sister moaned and groaned, sounds that were beautiful and only could accompany a woman trying to bring forth her son into this fallen world.

part of me wanted to rush to her side. in this pain she deeply felt. but, there was nothing i nor her husband could do to alleviate such the pangs of birth.

she was so cool. so calm. back and forth she swayed her head as her knees and pregnant belly were submerged in the whirls of the jacuzzi. alternating, ryan and i, slowly poured warm water across the lows of her back. elbows on the edge of the tub, my sister, with two braids, back and forth, rocking her head.

every 45 seconds a contraction would come. for about 30 seconds, the pain was bearable, then the last 10 seconds or so, usually the last 3, she would let out a deep gallowing, full yelp of sorts. an utterance that only a woman in birth could echo out. it was indeed a bit fearsome. like i said earlier, i wanted to help, to leave, to escape that horrific scream...but, it's part of bringing forth a child. in this fallen world.

so she made it for one last contraction, submerged in the tub, before we saw fit to quickly and immediately wheel closer the surgical tools and ready the bed.

slowly, she rose out of the water. one knee at a time bends and she is dripping wet, finding her way to a large plastic blown up ball covered in a birthing cloth. she straddles it and has one last amazon contraction. the nurses called her amazon woman. two braids down her back, blood on the floor, a child soon to be born. she screams "he's here."

it was all we could do to somehow try to maneuver her to the bed. the child's head was ready to come out, but no one was present to do proper delivery. panic almost set in. and i, of all people, was sent to find barb. barb was the midwife who had left her phone in some other patients room, and wasn't anywhere to be found to deliver this coming child.

i rushed to the door, to exit and yell for barb, when just then, barb appeared. she didn't even have time to get gloves on. kara was spread out on the bed, in pain, her son ready to be born.

at first sight, my sisters son didn't even appear to be a child. he was a gray sliver of moon, cresting, crowning, coming forth from a pool of deep red. with another push, his head took form and soon the remainder of his body slipped out. a sweet, subtle cry followed.

still attached to my sister, the doctors weren't able to set him on my sister's breast. he had to stay down by her belly. the frantic midwife was still trying to get gloves on, when finally, she did and then allowed my sister's husband to cut the cord.

free from the womb, her son was finally placed on her breasts. crying, sucking, shivering and covered with all sorts of body fluid. out of his previous world and into the fallen one. he's arrived. he's here. and he cried to tell us so. so beautiful. so tiny.

when, at first, my sisters son was placed on the low of her belly, because he had a short cord, my sister wept. she cried out "i just want to see his face." she grieved over him, over not seeing his face, over the past five months of wondering what her son, with a cleft lip and palate, would look like. and now, at this crucial moment, his cord was keeping her from finally embracing her son.

her shoulders shook with each cry she let out. i cried too. i wept right along with her. i looked to her husband, he too had been crying. i rubbed her shoulders. i assured her he was beautiful. i told her he was precious. but she just wanted to see his face.

it was a conflicting moment. we all were emotional. a mother, just given birth, supposed to be full of joy and happiness. yet my sister was sad. she wept. this made me sad and like i said, i wept.

finally barb managed to get her dry gloves over her wet fingers and give my sister's husband a pair of metal sheers. finally, caleb was placed up on my sisters bloated breasts and finally she held him tight. she wrapped her long arms over and across the small of his tiny, seven pound, 10 ounce body- but still wanted to see his face. she finally picked up the tiny bundle of blankets and held him out, then everything was okay. she had seen him and she loved him. she just held him then. everything was alright.

one of the nurses, soon after, scooped the little baby away. she had to do some tests so she placed him on a little bed and put him under a spotlight of sorts. at least there was a heater overhead, to keep the small baby from shivering.

it was at this point that the nurse, who whisked him away, ran her gloved finger along the inside of the baby's palate and discovered that it was there, closed, and fully formed.

i think i saw this first. i saw the nurse swishing her gloved finger back and forth, back and forth. "it's there," cried the nurse. "it's there!" i continued to rub my sisters shoulders that were no longer shaking.

hearing these words from the nurse caused my sister to weep again. this time, there was no trace of grief. no moaning to her tears. they finished with the tests on the little bed under the spotlight and gave the baby back to my sister. she brought her breast to his mouth and he fed. he sucked. he did everything that everyone had told her he wouldn't be able to do. and she wept. he sucked, and she wept.

her shivering and cold little son, drinking in her warm and soothing milk. and we all just stood around that hospital bed, looking at my sister and her newborn son, and stood in the presence of an almighty God.


Beccalynn said...

Oh my gosh!I'm struggling not to weep aloud here in my classroom! That was so beautiful! Wow! I want a baby! Laura, what are you doing to me with your beautiful writing? If you were a poor writer maybe you wouldn't have captured the beauty so acutely and I wouldn't care to undergo the experience!!

Beccalynn said...

Laura, can I send my friend Jess to read your blog? She'd REALLY love this entry...well, she'd love all of it actually, but I know this one in particular would bring tears to her eyes.

Jessica said...

Wow, Laura. That was incredibly beautiful and - like Becca predicted - I have tears in my eyes. That was the most beautiful portrayal of birth I've ever read or seen. Thank you for that. Thank you so much.

<---That Girl said...

again, wow. I cried and I don't even know you. You have a gift.