Her name is Maria, and I don’t remember screaming.
When Wyatt was born, he didn’t move.
He didn’t cry.
He didn’t look around.
He didn’t do anything.
He was, for all intents, dead.
Yeah. Stay with me – there’s a happy ending.
We used to watch this show called “House,” which was about a medical doctor-version of Sherlock Holmes. It featured a weird-ass protagonist who was kind of an asshole, but really, really good at his job. The guy that walked in with the crash cart, yanked a stethoscope off of another doctor’s neck and went to work on Wyatt looked like that. Grateful Dead t-shirt, flip-flops, destroyed jeans.
And, he was awesome, as evidenced by us still having Wyatt around.
For whatever reason – anyone who knows me well has heard a lot about it already – we decided to have a home birth with our first child. Which would have been fine, except for when it suddenly, violently, irrevocably
Today, we had our quad-annual ARD. That’s fancy Dept. of Education speak for “get together with the teachers and figure out how to get your kid to do what he needs to do.” Wyatt spends a big part of recess chasing different groups around, trying to find someone to play with.
Here’s a tip to Future Readers: the one thing you absolutely do not want to read in a report is that your kid has no friends, that he or she is desperately trying to fit in. A lot of us had to do that as kids. I was lucky enough to find a few really amazing people in my late teens – phenomenal people with whom I am still friends.
You don’t want your seven year-old to have to wait until he is 40 to figure out what a good friend is.
Maria was our charge nurse, assigned when we arrived at the hospital after 36 hours of labor at home.
That may seem like a long time.
There’s this super-awesome thing called “Group B Strep,” which is fatal for kids (and, sometimes, moms) in a surprisingly-high number of cases. Considering a home birth? Google it.
Maria was about 5’6, brunette, soft-spoken, clearly very good at her job. She reminded me of my big sister, Tara. Not physically – just her manner. I felt *safer* with her there.
She stayed on well after her shift ended, and was the one that pushed me out of the way when the emergency team came into the room.
She was the one that, when I was holding Audrey’s hand post-delivery, looked me in the eye. And that look told me that, no, in fact, I was not crazy. Shit was, in fact,, going sideways.
She was also the one that grabbed my hand, and told me to come see my son. Because, well, I probably wasn’t going to get another chance to see him breathing.
To my knowledge, Wyatt is the only person in our “immediate” (we’ll include me/Audrey, +- 1 generation) family to ride in a helicopter.
I spent the next two weeks shuffling between hospitals – Audrey and Wyatt were then at different places – occasionally finding time for a shower. I am grateful to have had that opportunity. I’d crawl through broken glass and drain every drop of my own blood, and do that again, and again, and again if it meant that my wife and my son made it home safe.
My son has no friends. I’m considering putting him into soccer, or maybe guitar lessons.
I don’t really know what to do. But, WE have the chance to figure it out. Mostly, because someone named Maria was there to hold our hands, tell us when we were wrong, and help us try and fix the biggest mistake I’ve ever allowed “us” to make.
I hope that, one day, we’ll meet again. I’ll probably cry. But, hey, whatever.