When Shane was born, it was via C-section – along with an emergency bladder repair. I’d had a normal labor, until something went horribly wrong and even the epidural couldn’t kill the pain.
One nurse – only one nurse – knew that something wasn’t right. She saved my life, and probably Shane’s, by insisting that the doctor take a second look at me. He did, and I was rushed to the operating room where they discovered that my normal labor was no longer normal.
When Shane emerged, he started to cry. Well, he screamed. The doctors told me that he’d popped a small hole in his lung with all the screaming. They made it sound like it was nothing. In fact, Shane had a pneumothorax, which is a collapsed lung caused by air in the chest cavity.
In his entire life, Shane has never screamed that ferociously again.
As I lay on the operating table, I begged to see my baby. I had to yell to be heard. He’d been crying non-stop since he was born, and the nurses and my husband did nothing to make it stop. They all wanted to get Shane to the NICU as soon as possible, but I insisted on seeing him first.
Shane was gorgeous (unlike all other newborns except my own). And he was wailing uncontrollably. He hadn’t shut up for even one second since he’d been removed from the womb.
Someone was holding him next to my head, since the rest of me was strapped down. I couldn’t hold him, but I could introduce myself. With my high-pitched, reserved-for-babies-and-puppies voice, I said, “Hi, Baby!”
And Shane stopped crying.
His newborn eyes widened into tiny saucers as he tried to locate the source of the sound. I kept talking. I don’t know what I said, but he didn’t cry at all for the two minutes I spoke.
Then they whisked him away, and he was crying again before he got to the door.
When they allowed me out of the recovery room, I insisted that they take me to the NICU to be with him. I’d had a rather major operation and everyone wanted me to rest, but I wanted to be with Shane. So for the next two days, while Shane was stuck in an incubator with a blue hat and a pacifier to keep him quiet, I spent every waking moment in the NICU.
Eventually, we all were allowed to go home.
Since that time, Shane has been my darling and a saint. While he’s my “Angel Baby,” he idolizes Dylan – which means that Shane’s parents always come second. But he is a cuddler and gives great hugs and has always made others feel loved, even when he’d rather be playing a video game or eating some sharp cheddar. He’s been such a sweet, beautiful addition to our family, and I simply can’t imagine my life without him.
Shane turns 11 today, and I am just as in love with him today as I was on Day One.
Happy Birthday, Angel Baby.