Monday, January 10, 2011

When joy accompanied a cry ...

Twenty five years ago, I was lying in a hospital bed in Huntington, West Virginia, on January 10th, 1986.

Just a few hours earlier -- after an intense labor -- our third child, Kevin, was born. When he made his first gasp, it was extremely weak. Then, when we heard a genuine cry, my heart sang! But it wasn't that way just seconds before ...

As Kevin made his entry to our world, the doctor immediately spotted a problem. The umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his neck three or four times, and he was in distress. I heard the doctor talking to someone in the room. He repeated himself twice, and his voice getting louder. That's when I realized he was talking to me.

"Stop pushing."

It's a little hard to put the brakes on when you're at the point of no return, but the doctor's voice was firmly insistent. My husband was also leaning over me to catch my eye and was repeating, "He's got to cut the cord ... there's a problem and the baby is in trouble."

It seemed hours went by, but in reality it was just seconds later when our newborn son was released from the umbilical cord and gave a lusty cry. Our son was alive and squawking in protest!

All I wanted to do a that moment was hold my child, but a nurse had whisked him away and was working with him. I watched as she rubbed his wrinkled little back and tucked him inside a cozy, white blanket. My arms were reaching for him, but he was taken to the neonatal nursery for further observation.

Twenty-five years ago tonight, I rested in my hospital room while newborn Kevin nuzzled up against me. It was just the two of us then, because Phillip had gone home to be with Kevin's big sister and brother, ages 5 and 3. Me? I lay there basking in the goodness of God. The joy that accompanied my son's first little cry was still making my heart sing!

Kevin is a young man now -- and one we are proud to introduce to everyone we meet. As a former grunt with the U.S. Marines, he's a great mix of tough and tender.

On the birthday card we gave him, the verse inside reads: "You look at this little boy all grown-up and think, Hey, he turned out good!" And he did. Kevin is pictured here with his girlfriend Lourie. I'm so very thankful to be his Mom!

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