Friday, April 07, 2006

Baby Boy Rabbit

You are a sturdy boy of three. But I will never stop loving you with the tenderness and surprise as when I first saw you.

The first time we met was in doctor’s clinic. It was the first month of your conception. You revealed yourself as a beating heart encased within a sac only 2 centimetres long. I deeply desired a child. My tears of joy on seeing you for the first time, confirmed this.

Over the next nine months, your father accompanied me to every doctor’s appointment. We were expectant first-time parents not knowing what to expect.

For starters, what temperature of room does a baby sleep in? The book on raising babies said 19 degrees. Any hotter and the baby risks heat suffocation. Your father and I had a debate on this. We argued over the centigrades. We angsted over whether we were ready. We attended pre-natal lessons and read more books and still felt unprepared.

The doctor blinked patiently at each of my questions. What temperature of room? What do I feed the baby? What does a newborn wear? He looked amused and gave me an answer which didn’t address my questions, yet it answered everything all at once.

"Babies have very few needs.
Babies needs WARMTH
Babies need a CLEAN SPACE
Most of all, babies need LOVE"

To this day, whenever I don’t know what to do as a mother, I fall back on the doctor’s answer.


Your delivery story? I wanted a natural delivery. I chose a doctor who was reputed for his low rate of C-sections. The doctor was so in favour of natural childbirth, that he allowed me to labour voluntarily for 48 hours before the decision was made to have you by emergency C section.

After 48 hours of labour, I was disappointed but grateful for the medical intervention. They increased the painkillers until I experienced no pain except the sensation of several pairs of hands squeezing you out of me like a big nub of toothpaste. Your first cry was a low growl. Like a magician bringing a rabbit out of a hat, the doctor produced you like magic, behind the surgery curtain.

This can’t be. It must be.

Your father was the first to hold you. He assured me “We have a cool one!” I was puzzled. How does one derive coolness at first sight? Then I saw you. My cone head son, a scrape on your forehead where they had nicked you in the delivery, deep dimples on one, two cheeks!

Yes, we had a cool one.


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