The Birth of Our Baby
“We’re having a baby,” my seven-year-old son, Reggie, announced to my father-in-law that summer of 1997 after we came from the doctor’s office. I was sort of embarrassed because I knew that Tatay would figure out that my baby was conceived while he was staying with us — while he slept in the next room. He was here in Winnipeg on a tourist visa for five months.
Both Ronald and I were happy, but at the same time anxious, to have a third child. This one was definitely planned. Ronald is one of three siblings, while I am one of two. I’ve always wondered, especially during those times when I wasn’t getting along with my sister, would it have been better if I had two siblings? (Sis and I get along pretty well now.) I thought that I could use another sibling to confide to.
At about 8 ½ months of pregnancy, my Ob-gyn suggested that I went for a fetal assessment to make sure that the baby was growing well inside my tummy. Ronald came with me. The nurse put gel on my bulging stomach and rolled the instrument around while we watched the monitor. I never had an ultrasound or a fetal assessment with my two older children. We saw what was inside my uterus. There was my baby, almost full-term. We saw the baby’s face, fully developed. The facial features were very vivid on the monitor and still is in my mind up to this day.
After taking a few statistics, the nurse wiped my stomach clean and asked us if we had any other questions. Ronald and I looked at each other. We talked about this before we went to the hospital. We asked if it was a boy or a girl. The nurse pulled up my maternity blouse and applied gel again. She repeated the procedure and pointed on the monitor where we could see the baby’s genitals.
Although I had a gut feeling that I was carrying a baby boy, I was all this time literally crossing my fingers for a girl. I already had two boys and I thought that it would be really nice to have a little girl around the house. But if we would have another boy, I would have been fine with that. I guess that was the reason why I wanted to know the gender of the baby that time because I didn’t want to be disappointed at the time of birth. If the baby was a boy, and of course I was ready to love another boy, I didn’t want to be disappointed when I first saw him.
We got an answer: IT’S A BOY. A lump rose in my throat. There we were, looking at our boy’s face before he was even born.
The next couple of weeks, I finished up buying my baby’s clothes. With my two older babies, I would always buy neutral colors — white, yellow, green — because I didn’t know the gender of the baby beforehand. This time, I went ahead and bought blue sleepers, blue socks and blue blankets.
The big day came. I was scheduled to deliver by C-Section on February 11, 1998. Donning a blue hospital gown with matching hospital cap and shoes, Ronald came with me to the operating room for the first time. That was something he didn’t do when I delivered our two older boys. I lay on the operating table — all frozen. A blue curtain covered my stomach. Ronald sat on a stool on my right. The doctor started to cut me and I saw blood flowing through the tubes.
“I have to push the baby out now,” I heard the doctor said. I held Ronald’s hand tightly. I didn’t feel the pain, but I sure did sense the doctor pushing the baby out of my body. At 10:37 a.m., I heard RYLAND KENNETH’S first cry. The nurse brought him to me. He was a tiny dark-skinned wrinkly baby. He was tiny and yet I wondered how all 6 lbs and 11 oz of him was able to fit inside my womb. I stared at that familiar face I saw two weeks ago on the monitor when I had my fetal assessment. And as they did when I first saw each of my first two babies, tears rolled down from my eyes.
Last updated on July 6, 2008