Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Blinking Away Would-be Tears
By Brian Russell
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My wife squeezes my hand, crying out sort of to me, but more out of pain. Tears stream down her reddened face. I mouth, I love you, and squeeze her hand back three times.
I feel like I'm underwater, and muted, I hear the doctor talking to a nurse, and yelling, "Push!"
Where's that joy the books talked about? All the jokes about how funny and exciting having a child was? My feet aren't cold, but I'm not sure this is what I want.
What about me? What about vacations? Trips? My job? Our bills?
Will I be a good father?
Moisture wells up in my eyes, but I blink it away before it can become anything more. We've talked about this for a long time, and it's been nine months. Everything will be great, I tell myself, but I'm not sure I believe it.
Will the baby be okay? Will she be okay?
We wanted to name her Aurora, but didn't want to get all the Disney gifts. And there were too many "R's", and that wouldn't have been good.
A cry, not my wife, peeks into my ear, and I have to blink away some more would-be tears. Deep breath, here we go.
She's covered in disgusting nastiness, dripping all over. Poor little girl. The doctors haphazardly wipe her with a white towel (something my wife would yell at me for at home), and hand her, screaming, to me.
Her eyes are blue, just like mine, and she's screaming her face red, but she's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, held, or touched. I cradle her in my arms for what seems like eternity, never really wanting the moment to pass. Even though she was crying, everything felt silent and peaceful, and it was as if God was there, patting me on the shoulder saying, "This one's special to me, I'll help you out with her."
And in that moment, as I realized that I needed to let my wife see her, I knew that all of my fears were for nothing. God's with me, every step of the way, and if I let Him, He'll make me a good father.
I hover our baby girl over my wife, and she reaches up wearily, smiling, happiness exuding from her being, and I know we named her the right name.
Elizabeth, the promise of God.
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