A Letter To My Baby – New Beginnings
The “A Letter to My…” series has been an incredible experience that has given us an opportunity to hear touching stories from people in all walks of life. And as we continue to receive even more heartfelt letters for A Letter to My Baby we wanted to share some of them a little early. This is planned to be an ongoing series that will give a glimpse of what is to come from the project and book.
Dear Mr. Baby,
They said you would be big. He will be a “huge” baby, is what they said. The obstetrician and the perinatologist placed bets on the enormity of your size. Fourteen hours into labor, the doctors realized that you were stuck. Your shoulders were too large to fit through the small canal reserved for your trip. We would be having a cesarean birth.
I adore your father. He is the best man I know and making a new person with him is a way I could usher more parts of him into a world in need of good things. As I was taken away to an operating room, he held my hand and gently reassured me that everything would be all right. I believed him.
I watched in the overhead mirror of the OR as the doctors went in to get you. They took a look at you and then everyone began moving very quickly. The short umbilical cord was wrapped twice around your neck. This was not good for you. You had already relieved yourself before making it outside. This was not good for me. They untangled you and tended to me. They placed you, the love of my life, on my chest and we were okay. You were big, but not too big. You were a nine pound one ounce baby and you were ours.
You were a sturdy guy with baby acne and a widow’s peak. On your first morning, your pediatrician came to meet you. She cradled you sweetly. Your face was covered in downy brown hair in mutton chop sideburns. She looked at the newborn acne sprinkled liberally across your chubby cheeks and your Eddie Munster-like widow’s peak and declared you, “Perfect.” She also recommended we take a picture of you in your pimply-baby-monkey state to show to you later and remind you that, “We loved you even when you looked like this.” So we did, and we did. We loved you.
When you were three weeks old, your father got in a fender-bender when he was on his way out of town to do a show in Northern California with his band. With his car in the shop, he would have to take our other car, the green ’97 Plymouth Grand Voyager that was always on the brink of collapse. Rather than leave you and me alone and car-less, we decided that we would make the six-hour road trip with him. We quickly packed up the rickety minivan and set out on the highway. We had no idea what we were doing.
It was a long drive. There were snacks. You refused to sleep. There were tears: yours. There were tears: mine. Somewhere near Stockton, I got out at a gas station to use the ladies room. I returned to find your father outside the mini-van, holding a naked you at arm’s length, as you peed into the wind. You were screaming. Your dad looked confused. I could not stop laughing. Later, we pulled over at a rest stop. We put a blanket down on the hood of the car and changed your diaper. The strong wind whipped baby wipes and paper towels to the ground. A truck driver in an eighteen-wheeler blew his horn at us and waved. I didn’t know how we would make it to the venue in time for sound check. We were all exhausted.
At the show that night, we were able to settle down and pull it somewhat back together. You finally slept in my arms, wearing noise-canceling headphones. I was wearing a clean shirt for the first time in three days. We stood in the wings and I watched your dad playing the guitar while he took intermittent slugs of coffee. Over the next year, we would all get used to this arrangement. We were figuring this out, together.
With your entrance into the world, you brought hope and insomnia and faith and love, so much love. I cherish you to bits and can’t wait to see where the road takes our little family.