A Baby

June 10, 2010

Eighteen years ago I gave birth to my fourth child, a boy. Born after a challenging pregnancy, where the  danger of pre-eclampsia put me on bedrest in the fifth month in the living room of an unfinished cape with three lively children running around. A pregnancy where an ultrasound detected a cleft lip. Where the necessity of traveling by ferry boat and then Red Cross shuttle from Martha’s Vineyard to Boston’s Brigham and Women’s hospital had me connected to Boston Children’s Hospital via skywalk, and to the best surgeon in the world for cleft lip repair. A high-risk pregnancy that brought my sister to stay with me for ten days in a friend’s apartment in Quincy to await the onset of  labor.

We waited and waited, until finally the doctors decided to induce labor, a procedure more invasive than I had anticipated. So, there I was in Boston, in a delivery room akin to the command center of a spaceship. The baby was delivered and whisked out of the room. Three months later, that baby underwent surgery to have that cleft lip repaired. It was terrifying to watch them wheel him away.

My clearest memory of our son’s  infancy took  place in the bedroom he shared with his big brother. My husband and I were lying on the floor with our baby boy between us. He had just mastered rolling, and so he rolled from one parent to the other, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth — the three of us laughing so hard that our other children came running to join in.

A nice thing… It takes effort to remember the hard stuff, but the recollection of the good stuff is nearly as clear as this present moment.

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2 Responses to “A Baby”

  1. Isn’t that the truth? Somehow, the hard stuff dissolves over time, as if it didn’t happen. But the good stuff stays with us, always.

    And sometimes, remembering the hard stuff is just not worth the effort. I think the idea that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a load of horseshit. Usually, the hard stuff that doesn’t kill you just makes you miserable.

  2. I find as much wisdom in Ken’s comment (usually do) as I find passion in yours. I find heartbreak and love in your words as well. They both hit hard when I’m struggling too with family stuff.

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