76. Serving Up Baby #3

My wife’s mother Susan had been visiting on this lovely Thursday afternoon, the day before Amar’s 3rd birthday.  Susan was taking her leave and already out to her car when Diana discovered her mother had left something behind.  Diana went hurriedly out after her.

Well, most likely this brought her to feel contractions and she was sure the baby was on its way.  Susan brought Diana back into the apartment and said to me, “Son, I do believe we have a situation here.  Looks like Diana is going into labor!”  

Immediately we scrambled to grab a few things for her and rushed out to our white Rambler so we would get to the emergency at St John’s Hospital; our go-to local hospital and fortunately just over a mile up the road.

Susan of course stayed back with her two grandchildren.  What good fortune that she was still there!  

As it all happened the contractions were noted as a false alarm.  There were more goings-on while I was downstairs at the Admissions desk.  The obstetrician who watched over Diana’s 3rd pregnancy was scheduled to leave on his vacation the very next day and therefore suggested to Diana to let him induce her labor.  

He felt she was close enough to her due date anyway.  I found this all out later on.  Now I was still filling out the paperwork when our 3rd child entered this world.  The admissions lady who was helping me with filling out said paperwork got a phone call.  

She hung up rather quickly and immediately said to me, “Congratulations!”  

‘What happened?’ I asked her, surprised.  She looked at me rather startled that I should ask, what?  Then she smiled and with a little laugh said, “Your wife just gave birth to a son!”  She then told me, as soon as we finished the documents I could go up to see them both.

It was actually a bit of a time before I was able to go up to the maternity floor.  ‘I’ve been blessed with another son!’ I thought to myself with this very warm and generous feeling in my heart, one of immense gratitude in fact as I made my way up to the nurse’s station for direction to my wife’s room.  

When I arrived at her room I paused in the doorway for a moment looking at Diana in the bed with a giant smile across her face.  She pointed to him and I walked over to give her a kiss first.  

Then over to feast my eyes upon the newest addition to our family.  He was swaddled up like a papoose and in his little baby bed near to Diana.  Another precious son with lots of hair was waiting to meet me.

I looked at her again and said, ‘So fast?’ and she laughed a bit weakly and then said, “He couldn’t wait, you’ll have to take it up with him.”  After the nurse clearly identified me as the father, she lifted him up and handed him to me.

I held him with great joy and kissed his forehead.  ‘Nice to meet you my son.’ After a few moments in adoration, I sensed I should hand him over to his mother.  I thought he probably wanted to be close to where he just came from.  Makes sense right?

We talked proudly for a little bit and then she had something else she wanted to tell me.  It was about the delivery and what happened before our son was actually born.  Diana relayed to me about the false alarm and then the induced labor process.  She continued the narration by telling me something quite disturbing.

Diana told me she had become a bit conscious even with the anesthesia, right in the middle of the delivery and while not really feeling any movement she heard the delivery room staff talking in a bit of a frantic tone and the doctor’s voice saying, “Let the mother go, save the baby!”  

I cannot begin to describe how that caused me to feel.  We shared some heartfelt words between us.  Then I told her I should be getting back to the kids.  “I’ve got to let mom know that you’re all right and that she’s been blessed with third grandson!’  I kissed the both of them again.  

Diana of course agreed and added, “And the kids need to know they have a new baby brother and that the both of us will be home soon!”  Still holding on to that gratitude and love, I said good night and with one final glance in their direction for the evening, I headed back home to my other two children and their grandmother Susan.

Celebration to be sure and especially in light of the close-call which I decided not to say anything to Susan; I thought it best to let Diana tell the events to her mother herself.  Susan was joyed and the kids showed their excitement.  

🍾 I opened a nice cold bottle of champagne, 🥂 frosted glasses for all four of us.

Susan and I toasted with the bubbly and the two kids with their ice cold chocolate 🥛 milk.  ‘I’ll take all of you to the hospital to meet them tomorrow.  And then we’ll name your baby brother!  Right now we will toast in happiness and gratitude.’

Susan stayed over that night.

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70. Loving Favour Delivered Into Our Home

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 sononce 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.

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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.