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December 8, 2010

“And Baby Makes Three” – Part 3

Tom McLaughlin

They pushed my wife into the operating room minus the cats, mosquitoes and the Iban boys. I was delegated to a small room outside the theater to wait. A young Chinese lady waited with me and I tried to strike up a conversation. She wanted nothing to do with me, preferring the critters in the corridor instead.


I could only assume there were two or three operating theaters beyond a common room. The swinging doors had two windows and I hoped I would get my first glimpse of my son through one of them.


It was about 2 A.M. and things were getting very blurry. Suddenly, a face the size of an eight-year-old Chinese girl with jet black hair, obviously still in the throes of anesthesia, appeared over the shoulder of a masked individual. My adrenalin sprung into over drive as I said to myself “THAT came out of my wife?”


I settled down realizing she must be connected to the lady outside. Then the green-clad masked man came out and handed the girl to the lady who had returned to the receiving area. The doctor (I guess it was the doctor) stripped off his scrubs revealing surfer shorts and a t-shirt. The three of them then went out the door with the girls arm bandaged.


Shortly, another lady came in and received my son. I asked who she was and where she was going and she said he had trouble breathing and she was off to observe him for six hours. I could visit in room five. I waited for my wife. She was wheeled out into the maternity ward where I kissed her goodbye so she could get some sleep.


On the way out, I visited my son who was under warming lights seemingly having a good snooze. The nurse said he was doing fine as I gazed at this tiny scrunched being.


I had made a promise to my wife that I would whisper the prayer of the Azan, the call to prayer from the mosque, into each ear after he was born. My problem was, he was a month early, and I had not as yet put the prayer to memory. I asked the nurse standing next to me to help me as I whispered “Allah Akbar” into the facing ear. She then turned his head and I whispered the same into the other ear. I asked her if that was okay, she said it was fine.


I walked to the parking lot, but it was so quiet. Nobody was around. I figured I would walk to the gate guard and have him call me a taxi. He did not have the number of a taxi company. Call information, I suggested, but he didn’t have a phone, just a two-way radio.


We began stopping the few cars asking them to call a taxi for me, or to leave us the number but nobody had the number of a taxi company. Why should they? They had a car. The gate guard and I chatted for about an hour and half jumping up only to stop traffic and beg for a number.


Then it dawned on me about dawn that I should call the hotel. I telephoned and they arranged for the taxi to come and pick me up. By now it was 5 A.M. I got into the car, placenta under my arm and returned to the hotel. be continued next week…


…life is good…


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