Your Aunt L, a very close friend of mine, had a baby yesterday. Unlike me, she and her husband waited until their baby was born to find out whether it was going to be a boy or a girl. Well I’m happy to report that she now has her own Little Man - it’s a boy! And you know what? They really like the name Liam.
I’m stopping by later today to visit her and her brand ” new and blue” bundle of joy. I’ve only been to the maternity ward in the hospital where you born once since I had you, when another one of my friends had a baby girl (we’ve already arranged your marriage to her FYI). It bring back a lot of memories, being there. And though occasionally tainted with the sadness of my separation from you, at least 98% of my hospital memories are good ones.
I was in labor with you for 11 hours. When I got to the hospital, they strapped a couple of monitors to me – one to monitor the contractions and another to monitor your heartbeat. I had them turn up the sound of your heartbeats and listening to them helped me breathe through my contractions.
I remember when you finally…um…came out, I listened for your cry because I knew it would mean you were alive and okay. When they lifted you up and I got to see you for the first time, my very first thought was actually about your chin. I thought to myself, “He has a cleft chin!” I know…it was definitely not what I imagined my first thought would be when I saw you. Luckily, it makes for a good story ;)
However, while marvelling over your cute cleft chin, I was overcome with this unbelievable awe. Obviously, I had know you were real. I had know you were going to be born and that when you were, you would be a baby. But other than your hair and eye color, I hadn’t really thought too much about what the rest of you would look like. And suddenly…there you were. This little being, smaller than any baby I had ever been around before. A little person that I had helped to create. Nothing has ever been more real to me than that moment. That was the moment I changed forever. I had always loved you – since the day I discovered you – but in seeing you, how much I loved you overwhelmed me. I never believed in love at first sight, but that moment couldn’t have been anything but.
The immediately gave you to me and I got to hold you for a little while, so the doctors could finish up. Looking back at the pictures, you were covered in some pretty weird stuff but I honestly don’t remember any of that. I just remember getting to hold you, feeling so relieved – partly because the labor was finally over and partly because you were finally here. They cleaned you up and weighed you (7lbs, 6oz, by the way) and then they gave you to me for skin-to-skin time. You were so warm and tiny! Those few minutes were the most peaceful ones of my life.
Over the next day and half we got visitors and flowers and your grandparents stole all the time they could with you. I think the only time we ever sat you down was to change your diaper. Other than that, you were in someone’s arms 24/7. I would have held your forever if I could have. Eventually I suppose I would have had to let you learn how to walk, but that was a ways off anyhow.
My favorite times were when you opened your eyes. You were a fantastic baby – you didn’t cry at all really. If you got upset or hungry or cold, you would make disgruntled noises but that was it. Otherwise, you slept most of the time. But on occasion you would wake up, open your eyes and look around a little. But mostly, you focused on me. I know babies can’t see much more than outlines when they’re first born – it’s most just shapes and fuzzy features – but you certainly stared at me. And even though I know you weren’t seeing me, I liked to pretend that you did. I liked to think that you were making mental imprint of me that you would never forget no matter where or how far away you went. Like maybe that was your way of telling me you loved me, too.
But today, I will revisit the hospital maternity ward. I will relive the wonderful few days I got to spend with you there. I will get to say hello to a new mother who will now know, without a doubt, what I’m talking about when I mention that instantaneous love I felt the first time I saw you. I don’t know what name they officially settled on yet, and in the end, new life is new life and it doesn’t truly matter – but it’s quite possible that the world has just gained another Liam :)