« "Dancers to the left. Elephants to the right." | Main | "Dialup users should brace themselves. It's going to be a long weekend." »

July 06, 2005

"I think it's time."

It was just over a year ago, as of right *now*, that we started our trip to the hospital. At the rate the contractions were coming when we left Fabulous Babe was convinced that she was going to have Junior in the car.

It’s funny to refer to Jack as Junior. I haven’t done that in a year despite it being his name for almost a year before he was born. Now, despite a given name, he saddled with nicknames like Stinkerbelle and Fineous Fog Bottom.

Fortunately for us, and the Tribute’s interior, we didn’t have Jack in the car. We made it to the hospital in no time and settled in for a long night of Nubane and contractions. While Fabulous Babe dozed I tried either reading a book or trying to catch a catnap. (We had been up really late the night of the 5th and up early the morning of the 6th so we were already beat.)

By early the morning of the 7th there was some dilation but our son’s gargantuan head was stuck in my wife’s pelvis. After the decision was made to go ahead with the C-section things moved pretty quickly. Jack came into the world shortly before 12:00.

When I first picked Jack up to show him to Fabulous Babe he was bundled and blanketed. I can remember how his weight surprised me: I treated him as the most fragile and precious thing I had ever held but then discovered that he weighed a lot more than I had expected he would. Fabulous Babe’s tears streamed past the oxygen mask she was wearing and the smile she had as I held Jack next to her was a million miles wide. After all the effort, the morning sickness, the life she bore for so long was now a little person in front of her.

I remember some things from that day very clearly: Jack’s crying when I started taking pictures of him, calling my father and grandparents, receiving a text message from El Jefe on my cell phone, etc. I can still remember my father’s voice cracking when I told him we named Jack after his father. (I'm sure it was static on my cell. Yeah right.)

My timeline from Jack’s birth: I carried him to the waiting room where Fabulous Babe’s parents were waiting. (They weren’t allowed in the surgical ward.) I then walked Jack to the nursery where I had to turn him over to the nurses, made a few phone calls and then typed up this update to let everyone else know what was going on.

In hindsight this website may be the smartest thing I’ve ever done. It’s kept everyone we know and love around the world in the loop as to what’s been going on before and since Jack arrived. At times, like Jack, it can be frustrating but I know the reward will be a thousand times greater than any of the grief.

There are very few pictures of me holding Jack from those first few days. (Or the last year for that matter.) As I’ve stated before I suffer from Armstrong syndrome and someone has to consciously remind me to hand off the camera. I’m going to try to do better. Honest.

Parenthood isn’t for everyone: It is hard work. Too often in our society people abandon their responsibilities as a parent for something selfish or material. I wouldn’t wish parenthood on anyone not prepared to accept the burden. You can try to explain the struggles and equal rewards but until you actually have a child it’s next to impossible to truly relate.

Jack has been showered with love and friendship since he arrived and I have to thank all of you for that. It has come in a thousand different forms: kind words, cards, presents, the neighborhood kids who all yell “Baby Jack!” when they see him, people I’ve never met dropping me an email to let me know they like the website, etc. I know he’s rich in friends and family and it’s your genuinely good nature that lets me know how loved he is.

It might take a village to raise a child but we’re blessed with the good fortune to have Jack’s village be one of seemingly limitless borders and wonderfully diverse cultures. There are times when I hope Jack will grow up to serve in the diplomatic corps simply so that he can travel and meet all of you who’ve been reading along. I always hope that the joyful experience of being a parent will cross beliefs, politics, etc.

Fabulous Babe’s parents referred to Jack as the miracle baby. To say my wife is career focused is like calling Australia an island. The decision to have Jack didn’t come easy and was one of the hardest she has ever made. That may be why she’s struggled this week with Jack’s birthday: That 1st year, while long on paper, is as fleeting and quick as lightning. It’s bright and wonderous but lasts for such a brief amount of time in comparison to the breadth of a storm.

Enough of the sappy stuff. It’s Jack’s first birthday so for everyone reading this: go have a beer, eat some cake, dance wildly with strangers, smooch the ones you love and live it up. Birthdays should be riotous celebrations of life, who we are and what we want to be, not lackluster affairs filled with bad food. Go live it up folks.



Posted by Jim at July 6, 2005 10:21 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?