I have fallen irrevocably in love. I met my nephew for the first time yesterday. Less than 24 hours old. Face still squished up. Arms and legs folded as though he were still inside his dear mother. Scratches on his face, which he is still sussing out.
A whole life lying bundled up in my arms.
I want to jump atop my roof and scream it out for everyone to hear. I use my desk at work instead. My colleagues politely indulge my excitement. I have to remind myself that it is not the case that a woman has never had a child before. Though it feels like it when it’s your very own nephew.
My brother’s chest has swelled twice its original size. I think this is a symptom of parenthood that will persist from now on. I don’t blame him in the slightest.
The little man arrived with a scare. An emergency c-section. Eight days late and with a plummeting heart rate, it was the only thing to do.
Before being wheeled in to the operating room, my brother posed in his green scrubs and funny surgical hat and his wife took photos from the bed. Both of them laughing.
Minutes later, nurses swarm in and around them. Cart the bed into surgery, hang a sheet across her body. Minutes later still, a baby is lifted up into the world.
The sheet blocks her view, but my brother can see. A limp baby, head flopping. Hands blue and feet blue. A flash of panic in the nurses eyes.
“A boy!” my brother says.
His wife hears only silence. No crying. No crying.
“What’s going on?”
“Nothing. He’s okay. They’re just wrapping him up,” he says.
The plan was to have skin-to-skin contact immediately and she knows all is not well. My brother is watching two nurses pumping and blowing and desperately trying to resuscitate the tiny helpless body.
One minute passes.
He grips his wife’s hand hard.
They are freaking out. Absolutely freaking out. He is trying to hold it together. She is crying. She is breaking.
TWO MINUTES AND FORTY SECONDS LATER…
A tiny whimper.
And then a full blown scream.
He screams and screams and screams and screams and screams. It is the sweetest thing they have ever heard. A fresh wave of tears escapes them both. They are electrified and elated and nothing else in the world will ever matter again.
And he is so little and so perfect. He is divine. And I already know that I will do anything for him.