Once we were settled into our 20th Street home, the first thing I wanted to have done was get my wife set up with an Obstetrician. Time to use that excellent insurance I protected and worked for. We went to this first appointment together.
The doctor we were hooked up with was very patient and kind. After the initial check-up, a clean bill of health and approximate due date given for the end of May, he provided Diana a prescription for prenatal vitamins along with simple advice.
The doctor also handed her list of sensible nutrition (for what was known to be ‘best’ at the time) for the mother and baby’s most favourable health and the to-dos & the no-dos at the various stages of pregnancy.
I continued working happily at the Hotel Miramar making good money still, that wouldn’t change and Diana was happy, glowing and taking great care of herself and our baby. I’d come home in the evenings and spend some time talking to the baby, waiting for it to start kicking … one day he did and it was full go after that!
Hopeful for a son … once again.
Our joint excitement was mounting tremendously! Diana had everything ready that she could think of so that our child’s arrival and new life would begin in the greatest comfort and surrounded by all the love in the world.
Ralph and Doris were right here all along helping out. Now they were also ready to greet and become a part of our child’s life. Other than my Indian side of the family, we were almost complete. Diana’s mother and sister were still out in the Midwest with definite plans to move out here by the end of the year.
My Diana was a great writer and very good at providing regular, very detailed letters to my family back in Fiji. She’d tell them everything and I knew they weren’t feeling too left out!
They’d wait patiently and anxiously (if it is possible to do both at the same time) for news from California – just as we’d await news from them. Their love and support of my new family was very much felt by the both of us.
What a whirlwind of emotions I experienced as the time of arrival drew closer. Imagine … I’d have sudden thoughts in anticipation, reflections from my previous engagement with fatherhood.
I told myself this time it would be different; everything about this child’s arrangements (save for me being the father) were different. I’m older and stronger and living in a country where there’s more modern capabilities. My child will make it!
Spring was upon us, life was good. The belly was nice and round, solid as a watermelon. And as May put in an appearance, our little slice of heaven provided what I considered to be the best possible weather, absolutely perfect. We were averaging upper 60s to low 70’s, oh so comfortable!
Monday, Memorial Day was now upon us, no wind and just the right amount of sun. The unofficial start of summer decided to give us a present.
We were both at home in this moment; sharp pains, gulp, water breaking! Diana kept a cool head and picked up the telephone receiver to call the doctor. After her very quick description of events he ordered her to get going, he’d meet us there. The cab arrived in an instant and off to Saint John’s Hospital we went. Fortunately it was real close by.
Once admitted, I was directed to the waiting (torture) room. I was able to make a call into work to be excused for the day. Anxiously I waited. And as I sweated it out, my child arrived healthy and perfect.
I still hadn’t been told of the child’s birth. As Diana tells me later: she held our child pressed to her breast as the nurses beginning cleaning up. The baby was measured, checked over, weighed, documented, cleaned and wrapped. She’s been moved into a room already.
Finally my suspense is relieved by the nurse entering the waiting room to announce the healthy birth of my son! Thank God. I was led to her room. I see a swaddled bundle cuddled by Diana.
My heart skipping beats, I approached them and I kissed her. Diana smiled brilliantly and I asked her how she was feeling. She said she was doing pretty great all things considered and told me it all seemed to happen rather quick. Grateful.
I walked around the bed and took a little peek. I pulled the blanket away a bit to see more of my son and I immediately recognized a precious beautiful child, our son. I wanted him to know right then and there just how much I will always love him.
I lifted him out of her arms and embraced him in my heart. I walked around the room with him without any outside thoughts. I then took a seat in a chair near to her bed and simply absorbed and adored him.
My heart was reminding me that I really wanted to give this child the name of my son before him.
Prior to getting married I had shared with Diana all that was my life before I knew her. Especially the moments which included my firstborn son. However I hadn’t said as much with regard to carrying his name and spirit forward. I knew she completely understood my heart. ♥️
Diana had already been thinking about this on her own too. In hindsight (there it is once again), she may have saved this thought for the momentous occasion of naming the child should it be a boy. She quietly observed me as I swooned over my son.
When she saw the happiness in my eyes she made her offer. “We could name him after your 1st son … would you want that Parma?” My soul was overcome with fulfillment and pure delight. Why yes, it’s exactly what I wanted! What a gift, what a blessing, what a day.
Diana and our son remained in the hospital for 3 days with me visiting everyday of course. I went back to work and was the happiest man there I’m sure! My fellow employees and the catering manager all came around to wish me congrats and toasted with a cup of coffee, several handshakes, hugs and slaps on the back!
Ralph and Doris weren’t far behind on their visit to the family’s first grandchild and with lovely flowers for the mother, the abundant baby’s gifts were to come.
And it started with my son’s first car ride, the ride home in his grandfather’s car.
I’ve never stopped even to this day, believing that my first son had returned to me and not once was there the doubt of what his name was to be. My wife was following Catholicism at the time and asked if I wouldn’t mind allowing her the middle name of Saint Stephen for our son. Granted.