I sit in a desolate waiting room, my father thumbing through some atrociously PG-13 magazine approved by the hospital administration. Law and Order quietly playing in the background and busy nurse chatter emanates from the nurses station. To complete the symphony of sound a coke machine stationed no more than ten feet from my person whirls in the background continuously. When the coke machine cycles off from time to time I feel alone as if the comforting sound was the only solace I’m finding in an incredibly boring situation.
The tedium is broken temporarily when we learn from Robert that they are going to let her go for 2 more hours (10:30) and then they will perform a cesarean section. My mom has her doubts and she appeared in the waiting room crying and sulking for a few minutes before returning, gathering a bit of support from myself and my father before heading back to the birthing suite. She is unsure about the procedure and whether or not it is valid and just to do it so quickly. Essentially the baby is not in a correct spatial configuration that the nurse so eloquently calls “not screwed in right.”
The clock on the wall winds forward slowly, and every minute becomes a bit duller.
Something with a lot of tension and emotion is brewing yet the excitement of such a thing is no where to be found. Nurses and assistants casually walk by, none of them really acknowledging us. My guess is the skeleton night crew here has been in this situation before. They converse over coffee and stare at monitors.
I’m wearing a visitor badge that simply has a number on it. What an appropriate idea as I walk around the hospital confused and bored…anonymously I walk amongst everyone.
I peer in the neonatal windows at the bright-blue baby warmers quietly comforting the newborns. People gather outside to watch the children, and I think of pets behind a glass at a pet store. The blue light is calming, and I for a moment wish I could bathe underneath its light, but I think somehow that would be considered inappropriate. Hell, I’d be happy to have one of those cool hats they have. It’s very new age…
The Coke machine switches gears and begins making loud noises and gyrations…
The doors open and shut in the distance. Dad silently sits reading his magazine and tapping his foot back and forth. Concerned grandpa he is, but losing his grip on the situation he is not. I have to admire that type of personality—ready with support and decisions if necessary he calmly continues reading. Being here has raised a lot of questions about my possible future child having. Will I cut the cord? Will my wife not want to have an epidural, will she at the last second decide the pain is too great and agree with the nurse that it is simply common practice? I bet so.
I think I would cut the cord, I’m new age, I can handle it. Perhaps I’d do it with my teeth, causing the nurses to pass out…who knows. I’m a wild man.
At any rate, I sit…I suspect I’ll be doing that for some time; I offer my support silently but swiftly…Its tough to be powerless in these types of situations.
All a recollection now, I sit and ponder the evenings excitement. At around 3:30 in the morning Maxwell James Freeman was born via cesarean section. My first thoughts “he’s kinda squirmy.” I pan around the room with the Panasonic video camera my dad purchased solely for this occasion. Everyone looks happy and excited. The baby gets his first rectal thermometer, shot, and anti-biotic goo in the eyes. Good to go, the mother comes back to the room, exhausted, and even though her eyes don’t show it, excited as well.
I recall a time about 12 hours prior where she turned to me and screamed, “STOP FUCKING WITH THE CORDS” this was clearly pre-epidural 🙂
I look forward to all that is Uncle-ism, except for diaper changes. Maybe I can babysit the kid when he’s 40… 🙂