Nostalgia–playground of the emotionally distant

I checked myself in at 6 a.m. I was alone, wearing a fluid dress that hugged the contours of my round belly, overnight case in hand. I sensed that the woman behind the desk felt concern for me. She looked at me and showed visible relief that my left hand bore a diamond ring.

“When will your husband arrive?”

“Pardon me? Oh, I’m not sure. Soon, I imagine,” was my bright reply.

At 4 p.m., having walked the halls alone for hours, pushing my IV cart, I was finally ready to deliver. Dave showed up in the nick of time to witness the birth of his namesake, and promptly fell asleep in the father-to-be chair. The baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his neck. I watched my doctor’s face as he strained to move the restrictive cord, to allow my little David James to fill his lungs. Ironically, the only sound in the room, as we held our collective breath, was the sound of Dave’s snoring.

After my sweet baby was safely delivered, the nurses woke Dave and asked him if he’d like to cut the cord. Groggily he replied, “Ah, no thanks. You can take care of that.” More sympathetic looks my way.

Well, you know what? I didn’t care. I don’t care. I experienced the joy and pain of bringing David into the world. I remember every minute of it. I was there, fully connected, acutely aware. I have no need to live it again. I’m happy he is here with me every day, playing his trumpet, running cross country, reading books, listening to his iPod, challenging me with his edgy sense of humor.

If you ask Dave about his experience, he will relate to you a similar story. You’ll hear about the endless hallways, the escape to the lunchroom, the scary epidural, the last-minute name change, the cord incident. He can probably tell you the Apgar scores…the struggle over the decision whether to circumcise or not. His face will likely be covered with tears as he “relives” the pain and beauty of David’s birth.

He wasn’t there. My companions were the nurses, my doctor Fred Brown, my parents and siblings. Nostalgia is often synonymous with absence. With unknowing. A lost chance to experience life and love.

But it most definitely makes the heart grow fonder…..

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