Saturday, July 14, 2007

Do You Believe In Miracles? YES!

My RSS feed reader is packed with blog posts featuring datelines as old as last Tuesday. My email gets checked approximately once every thirty hours. The only thing I’ve posted on a blog in the last several days is a hastily written entry on why I blog about sports for Just Call Me Juice. Thursday night, I actually forgot the Red Sox were playing until my wife’s cell phone chimed with the final score. And you know what?

I’m perfectly fine with all of that.

Why, you may wonder? What could, in a matter of days, completely alter the worldview of a sports and Internet-obsessed individual? The answer, my friend, is an arm’s length away, currently weighs a shade over eight pounds, and goes by the name of Joseph Reed.

He’s my son.

Joey, as his mother has taken to calling him, was born on Tuesday, July 10, at 8:54 in the A.M. He started things off as a pretty big little man, tipping the scales at 8 lbs., 10 oz. and measuring 21 inches long from toe to top. He sprang out of the gate as a four-tool baby (eating, pooping, crying and sleeping), but I think with a little bit of work and some formula, his puking ability could be unparalleled. The kid’s got potential.

Originally, I wanted this post to be about how every parent thinks his or her kid is special. But you know what? There are really no words that can accurately explain the way I feel when I look at my son and realize that already, at five days old, he is my magnum opus (note to any future children: don’t worry, I love you all equally). Or the feeling of awe that hits me whenever I say or write the words, “my son.” Or the frustration I feel when he cries and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. None of it can truly be defined – not by me, anyway.

Here’s something I can do, however: use this space to thank the people who have helped us out over the past few days:

--The nurses: If you have ever been forced to stay in a hospital for several days at a time, you probably have some sort of appreciation for nurses and the work they do. The knowledge that these women possess and the caring attitudes they display toward complete strangers truly amaze me. Amber, Nancy, Sharon, Teresa, Tiffany, Renee, Cheryl, Cynthia, Terry, Rosemary, and everyone else I know I’m leaving out – there’s a special place in heaven for people like you.

--My in-laws: From 7 o’clock Tuesday morning to 11 o’clock Friday night, one or both of my in-laws made time in their work schedules to be at the hospital with my wife and I. Their presence allowed both of us to take time for ourselves in different ways: my wife actually had the chance to get some rest every afternoon while her father watched the baby, and I was able to run home from time to time, secure in the knowledge that my mother-in-law was keeping an eye on things. I don’t know if that SOUNDS like a big deal, but it might have been the one thing that kept us sane.

--The doctors: Counting the doctor who performed her Cesarean, my wife saw something like four different people with an M.D. tacked onto their name. Each one displayed a genuine concern for her well-being and made sure she was receiving the best care available (and a couple were even nice to me). Likewise, the representatives from the pediatrician we chose convinced us that are son is in good hands. The initial exam was done by an older gentleman who responded to my uncertainty about a name (Joseph wasn’t among the three finalists we had brought to the hospital and I needed to speak to my wife before going public with it) by cheerfully suggesting that my son “looks like a Michael” and proceeding to call him Mike for the rest of the exam. Kinda quirky? Yes. But he had a definite likeable air about him. And don’t even get me started on the guy who did the circumcision – possibly the driest sense of humor I’ve ever stumbled across. Everything was delivered in a total deadpan (think Stephen Wright without the droning monotone). Completely put me at ease, which is surprisingly difficult when watching one’s offspring get his tallywacker snipped.

--Aunt Kathy and Christine: As luck would have it, my wife’s aunt and cousin both work at the hospital where she had the baby and were able to be in the operating room during the procedure. I wasn’t sure what to think about that at first, but it became obvious soon after I entered the room that their presence was a huge positive. For starters, Vicki was able to tell Kathy what she was feeling (she had a local anesthetic and was awake, which can be disconcerting when you start feeling tugging and pulling from down below) and know that Kathy could calm her fears by telling her that everything was normal. Add in Christine’s boundless energy (she’s a nurse – go figure) and obvious enthusiasm for this particular case (right after Joseph was born, she poked her head around the blue curtain separating us from the crime scene and crowed, “Vicki, he’s BEAUTIFUL!”) and the situation couldn’t have been any better.

--My wife: The true star of this show. She carried that little bowling ball around for nine months, took great care to manage her weight (even after a gestational diabetes diagnosis) and was smart enough to cut back to two packs of cigarettes a day (I keed, I keed. The only thing she smoked during her pregnancy was crack). It was an impressive performance even before the doctors cut her open and left a twelve-inch incision across her stomach. The strength she has shown over the last week, even when she can barely get out of bed or walk across the room, has been remarkable.