Author:  Robyn Carr
Viewed: 74 - Published at: 7 years ago

Paul did his job-brow mopping, hand-holding, encouraging, supporting. It went on for almost an hour and he watched as Vanni got more and more tired and Mel stayed busy getting ready to catch that baby. While Paul supported Vanni he heard Mel say, "Hold it a little longer…right where you feel the pressure…. Okay, take a breath and push again…. Way to go!" Mel spread out the baby towel on the bed, brought her clamps, suction, scissors to the bed. Finally she said, "I think we're going to hit pay dirt on this next one, Vanni. Make it a good one." "Make it a good one, baby," Paul heard himself say. "Ready, push. Push. Push. Push." Mel handed Paul a blanket. "Spread this over Vanni's tummy, Paul. When the baby is delivered, that's where he's going. We're going to dry him off and then rewrap him in a clean, warm blanket. Okay?" "Okay," he said, mesmerized. Vanni reared up again, pushing. Paul did his job, just as he'd been instructed. "All right!" Mel said. "We're almost there! I think the next push is going to do it, Vanni. Here we go now." "Okay honey, here we go," Paul said. In spite of himself, he was leaning forward, watching, wanting to see this baby being born, wanting to be in on this all the way now. He heard the baby cry, heard Mel exclaim happily. He grabbed the blanket, did his job and out of the womb came this mucky, squalling infant. Oh, man, he looked unhappy. "Whoa," Paul said with a laugh. "He's pissed!" Vanni laughed emotionally. Paul stared in wonder at the new life, astonished by what she'd done. Astonished that he'd been there. Then he remembered-he was supposed to do things. Together, he and Mel dried the baby, and while he was helping with that, he couldn't help counting fingers and toes. He watched Mel clamp and cut, then he wrapped the baby in a new, dry blanket and carefully lifted him. Vanni was struggling to pull herself up a little bit, trying to get the pillows behind her back. Paul held the baby in one arm, assisted her with the other. Then he knelt beside the bed and watched as Vanni snuggled the baby close, gently kissed his head. And, Paul, not completely conscious, rested his lips against Vanni's shoulder. She turned her head and looked into his eyes. Vanni reached up a hand to his face and wiped the tears from his cheeks. Tears he had absolutely no idea were there. "We're in business," Mel said. "Good job. Good, good job." Paul was exhausted. He lowered his head to Vanni's shoulder and just lay there for a moment, trying to imagine what she'd just been through. He

( Robyn Carr )
[ Whispering Rock ]