This is our son’s birthday. I’d like to say that I held him the first time 51 years ago today. But it didn’t work that way back then. I didn’t see him until I was out of recovery and back in my room. Then, I saw little feet poking out of a blue blanket. That was it. He was in the arms of a business-oriented, white uniformed, starched-hated nurse. I had orders to lay flat for twenty-four hours without lifting my head. Exhausted and threatened with a severe headache, I followed the doctor’s orders.
I did have a good view of Dan’s face when he was allowed to see me. I think the glow might compare with the way Moses looked when he came down from the mountain. Everyone who saw Dan recognized the proud new dad. I wish we had a picture of him that morning. A photo probably couldn’t do it justice, though.
They put Tim in my arms the next day. The joy was worth the wait but I shouldn’t have had to wait twenty-four hours after delivery! I was allowed to give him a bottle of water and instructed to put him on my shoulder to burp. They brought him to me every four hours, round the clock. During our five-day hospital stay, my milk came in and my baby learned to nurse and burp.
Tim spent most of his time in a plastic bed in the nursery. Every thing was done on schedule and I think they let him cry if it wasn’t his turn for attention. Didn’t want to spoil him, you know.
Dan wasn’t allowed in the room with the baby. So. father and son didn’t meet until we were released from the hospital.
The childbirth is handled so much better now. Mom, dad, and baby meet, face to face right away… and grandparents are on the scene. It’s better.
But today, I held my son in my arms and patted his back for a moment after breakfast… A happy birthday hug. He didn’t burp on my shoulder but his beard scratched my neck. It was good.