Yesterday I was posting on Twitter about what March 8th was like for me 3 years ago. At this time we went to the hospital, at this time I started pushing, at this time Gabe was born, etc.
Gabe was born with the chord wrapped around his throat twice. It took him a while to start crying. He was taken to the little crib exam table thing right away after being born to check his vitals. Kamel took photos. Gabe still had blood on him, he was that fresh. I laid back and delivered my placenta while nurses tended to Gabe. I didn’t know that was not the norm. As far as I was concerned, everything was just great. We knew about the chord thing later, when they called it by a different name that I can’t remember now. It wasn’t until even later that I read about the differences in how they treat babies with chords wrapped around their necks right after delivery. It was by happenstance, while researching something else about labor before we had Fae. What you don’t know the first time keeps you sane.
Gabe was slow to get good circulation. His arms and hands were white as sheets for a while. His fingernails were long and papery. His face was discolored from being bruised by my badass birth canal. His nose was flattened to his face. It had been quite the ordeal for him, being born.
Yesterday, as I looked through old posts about March 8th three years before, I came across this photo:
You can see his tiny arms and hands are kind of grey. It happens. His body figured it out. But, what struck me about this photo is that… it’s Gabe, but not Gabe. That’s the baby I delivered but he is not the Gabe I know. That is my son, the newborn. But today I have Gabriel. I have a kid who has a rich and ever developing personality. A kid who has opinions and humor and concerns. He is real. He is present. Newborn Gabriel is a miracle, but he barely existed. Three year old Gabriel says things like…
“No, Daddy… not right now. I need to dance.”
“I’m all out of pee. I need to go to the grocery store to get more.”
“I love you too much, mama.”
“Where Fae go? Oh… she sleeping?”
“I pooooooooooooooooooped!!! I get DOS chocolate!”
Three year old Gabriel doesn’t stop when I say stop and ignores me when I say, “No.” We’re working on listening.
Three year old Gabriel knows he is funny.
Three year old Gabriel can get scared, he can get hurt feelings, he can be surprised, and delighted, and proud.
Three year old Gabriel loves musicals, Taylor Swift, Pharrell, Sia, Queen, and the Pentatonix.
How he got here and where he’s going is the best trip you can take.