After seven minutes of screaming and sweating, annoyed at the doctors and nurses who kept yelling at me to “push” (wasn’t it obvious?), around one in the morning on Tuesday, March 1, 1994, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario, Canada, I finally heard it… The cutest little cry I have ever heard. Music to my ears. I kid you not, my precious baby boy sounded like he was singing. The nurses wiped his off and laid him on my chest. My heart pounded. Was he healthy? Did he have ten fingers and ten toes? He was perfect. Seven pounds, fourteen ounces of squirmy, sweet perfection. I’d planned to call him Jesse, but when I saw my baby boy for the first time -when our eyes locked, the melodic crying faded to a whimper, and his tiny finger curled around mine- I realized he looked nothing like a Jesse.
“Hi, Justin” I whispered, wondering how on earth two troubled teenagers, could have created the most breathtaking baby in the entire universe. I soaked in the glory of the most beautiful moment in my entire life, nestling my sweet baby against my skin. My mother beamed when she finally had the chance to hold Justin. She stared into his face, her eyes glowing with pride, with amazement, with gratitude. When it was Jeremy’s mother’s turn, she did much the same, fixing her eyes on her grandson with an intense awe. She gasped. “He looks exactly like Jeremy.” After all the visitors left and I found myself alone in the hospital with Justin, I finally had time to think. Something happens when babies are born. The world seems different, better. You care less about stupid things and you start thinking more about the future. Absent of a string of visitors, nursing coming in and out checking vital signs, and doctors following up, it was taste of our coming life together. This was it. Justin and I were on our own. Something about his sweet, crinkly face and the adorable yawns where he resembled a baby lion tempered all the fears and questions continuously tapped me on the shoulder.
"how are you going to take care of this precious baby on your own?"
One day at a time, I suppose.
“Can you even afford a baby as a single mom?”
I’ll find a way.
“What if he gets sick?”
I guess we’ll go to the doctor.
“Where are you going to live?”
I’ll work out those details just like i worked out everything else.
“What if? What if? What if?”
Who had the time or energy to get bogged down by the weight of those questions? I didn’t. I had a baby boy to care of.