“You’re in My Body” Part 47 “First Encounters” by earthtomaggie
He encloses my hand in between his and stares at Dr Palmer’s back. For about a minute we wait, until he can’t take it anymore.
“What the fuck is going on here?”
But we don’t get an answer. We only hear the little commands and information that are passed between the nurses and the doctor, like “I’m in,” and “bag!”
The tears fall quietly down my face, Jared’s eyes glisten as well. The nurse that stayed with me caresses my hair.
“They’re doing their best to make sure everything’s okay.”
“Then why don’t they tell us anything?” Jared asks. His blue eyes are wide open with fear and his jaw is clenched together. Pure anxiety is written on his face while he clings to my hands. I’m sure I look exactly the same. There’s a heavy weight on my chest and my belly feels twisted.
“Why doesn’t it cry?” I whisper. “It should be crying, right?”
You can cut the tension in the delivery room while my body grows more numb. My baby is dead. I’m sure of that. It was blue when it came to this earth and it doesn’t make a sound. I watched enough “Emergency Room” to know that they intubated it. Why won’t they at least let us know what gender it has? My god… it’s dead.
A heart wrenching baby cry breaks the silence. Jared’s tense body goes limb and he releases the breath he’s been holding. The knots in my belly loosen up and my breath goes easier. The baby is crying its little lungs out, but I still can’t see it.
Then Dr Palmer turns around and smiles big. In her arms is the most beautiful little thing I’ve ever seen, our baby wrapped in a white blanket.
“You have a beautiful little boy,” she grins and puts the little bundle that is my son into my arms.
His face is a little red from the crying, but everything seems to be in place: his nose, his ears and his mouth. On top of his head is dark hair peeking out under the baby blanket. I look at Jared and there are tears falling down his face, he looks so happy. I sink back into the cushions and with a shaking finger touch his face. He stops crying immediately and his face relaxes. I kiss his forehead softly and rub my nose against his soft skin. He is so… perfect.
“Do you have a name?” asks Gemma.
“His name is Noah,” says Jared before I can respond. Then he looks at me. “You still want that name, right?”
“Yeah,” I whisper and kiss the tiny little nose. “Hi Noah… it’s Mommy.”
A glance at Jared tells me I held Noah long enough, so I offer his father to take him. He takes our baby from me and kisses him all over.
“Daddy is so sorry for the scruff,” he murmurs. “If I had known you’d join us, I would’ve shaved.”
I smile at seeing my two boys together. We really are a family now. I can’t believe it’s over. It feels like a weird dream… I feel how I get dozy and my eyelids get heavy. “Jared, make sure he’s okay, alright?”
With one hand he’s holding Noah, and with the other one he caresses my hair. “Don’t worry, baby, I have him covered. Get some sleep.”
When I wake up, I’m disoriented for a moment. I’m lying in a white room with a little machine next to me that beeps a constant rhythm. Then I remember. Noah.
I lift myself up a little bit and see Constance sitting next to me. She wears a big smile. “How are you feeling?”
I take a deep breath. “I don’t know… how is Noah?”
“He is doing great. They have him in the NICU and put him under surveillance and also gave him some oxygen. That is a completely normal procedure,” she reassures me when she sees the frightened look on my face. “Preemies need extra oxygen, their lungs aren’t fully developed yet. They also put him under a baby lamp because he gets cold too easily. Also completely normal. Jared and Shannon are down there with him.”
I smile. It seems as if they are taking great care of my boy. “Have you seen him?” I ask her.
The sweet smile on her face makes me feel warm inside. “I have. He’s beautiful. Absolutely perfect.”
“I know…” I murmur. “Can I go and see him?”
She caresses my arm. When she does, I realize the IV that comes out of my arm. “Honey, you need to wait. They said that it was extremely exhausting for you, and that you need a lot of rest.”
“I don’t understand this… I thought they gave me something against my pain, but it was extremely painful.”
Constance’s lips tighten and her eyes darken. “Jared wondered the same thing, so he checked with everyone. As it turns out, they didn’t give you meds, but simple saline.”
I frown. “How can that happen?”
She shakes her head. “I have no idea. It shouldn’t, I can tell you that much.”
“I still want to see him.”
“Jared is trying to arrange something. Just be patient.”
I grab her arm. “Why was he blue, Constance? He was blue when he was born, and he didn’t cry for minutes!”
“The doctors said he didn’t get enough oxygen in the womb. He was extremely lucky to be born early, he probably would’ve suffocated if he hadn’t come until his due date.”
“Oh my god,” I whisper. “I would’ve killed him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” says a voice from the door frame. There stands Jared, with open hair and a big smile on his face. Pushing himself off the door frame, he walks over to my bed. “Mom, can you give us a second?”
“Of course!” Constance gets up and smiles at us before she leaves the room.
Jared sits down on the edge of my bed and takes my hand. Then he just looks at me.
“What? Is something wrong?” His silence makes me nervous.
“No!” he’s quick to reassure me. “Everything is great. Noah’s doing amazing, the doctor said he’s very far developed.” He chuckles. “He’s been crying for you though.” Jared caresses my cheek. “I want to thank you. You’ve been doing such a great job, he’s the most perfect little baby… I love you so much! So. So. Much.”
I smile and squeeze his hand. “I love you too… I want to see him, Jared!”
“I know… they said when the IV is through, I can take you down there. I’ve been trying to get them to take Noah up here. Maybe they can set up a baby warmer in here, the nurse is checking that right now.”
I smile at him tiredly. “Have you worked on your smile for her?”
He looks ashamed and avoids my eyes with a shy smile on his face. “I did it for Noah.”
I laugh. “I love you…” It feels great to laugh, maybe because I’m so relieved that somehow everything worked out for the best.
Jared cups my face with his hands and leans down to me. Rubbing his nose against mine, he whispers “I love you” over and over again, before he kisses my lips tenderly. My heart blooms and explodes in my chest by his touch. I drive my hands into his hair and pull him closer to me. He smells so good… and he is the father of my child. And my fiancé.
When he breaks the kiss, he looks to the side. “I think the IV is through… I’m getting a nurse.”
I brush his hair behind his ear. “Okay…”
He grins suddenly. “Happy new year, by the way!”
5 minutes later I’m all propped up in a wheelchair, with a blanket and my hair in a ponytail, while Jared pushes me down the hall to the elevator. When we get out a floor lower, I can already hear baby cries.
“I think that’s him,” smiles Jared. I laugh. “He already has your voice.”
He pushes me down the hall and the crying gets louder. He opens one door, and there are two nurses, Shannon and Constance all standing around a baby warmer, they all look a little lost. The little baby in it has turned red from the crying, and he’s only wearing a diaper and hat. My chest tightens with happiness when I see him.
The one nurse is turning around and sighs when she sees us. “Are you his mom? Thank god… he’s been crying for almost an hour. His lungs are definitely fully developed. He’s keeping the other babies from sleeping, we might actually have to move him to your private room.”
The other nurse wraps Noah in a sterile blanket and takes him out of the warmer. Tears are falling down my face when she puts him into my arms.
I rock him back and forth in my arms to calm him down, whispering “shhhh… Mommy’s here. Noah, Mommy is here… don’t cry!”
After a few seconds, his crying subsides into hiccups and about two minutes later, he’s fast asleep. He must be so exhausted from all the crying.
“That’s something only a mother can do,” smiles one of the nurses.
“I’ll let you know when you have to put him back.”
Noah’s lips have a perfect heart shape. Just to make sure, I count his fingers. Eight, nine, ten. All there. He is the perfect baby, only is he… tiny. He is really small. I kiss his little cheeks, and smell on his skin.
Jared grins and kisses my hair. “Don’t I have the most wonderful family ever? I’m so proud…”
Shannon puts his arms around his mother and holds her tight. “Is it weird that I want this too?”
We all shake our heads and decline. “No! Shannon, this is absolutely normal… just find the right girl and get to it,” laughs Constance.
Shannon gets a serious look on his face. “Maybe I already found her.”
The silence following this remark is plain awkward. Nobody wants to tell him what we think about his girlfriend… Clarissa is due to be back in two days, she’s still with her folks in Georgia. I can’t help but notice that the past couple of days have, even though we had so much trouble, you know, people threatening to kill me, early childbirth, old friends Jared disturbing our peace and other peanuts like that, well, let’s just say they have been more peaceful than they could’ve been. And I have to say… the little human being in my arms makes me so, so peaceful.
Noah juggles one of his tiny arms free of his blanket in his sleep. I don’t want him to get cold, so I try to take it, but instead he grabs one of my fingers and holds it tightly.
“Oh wow, look at this, Jared!” I beam at my fiancé. He sees it and stands behind my wheelchair so that he has a better look on Noah.
“He is so perfect,” he whispers.
“He is, right? Look at his fingers, there are even nails on it!”
Shannon grins big at us. “It’d be weird if there weren’t, right?”
Jared throws a dirty look into his brother’s direction. “It’s still amazing, okay?”
Two hours later, I’m back in my bed with Jared cuddled up against me. The baby warmer is also standing in the room. Noah is hooked up to all kinds of machines, one to watch his heart, one to watch his temperature, one to make sure he gets enough oxygen and so on… at first all the beeping made me nervous, but then I realized that, as long as the beeping continues, he is okay.
Jared buries his nose in my hair and cuddles me close. “I love you so much…”
“I love you too… I never would’ve been able to make it without you!”
He chuckles. “You wouldn’t be here without me.”
I turn around to face him. “Exactly.” I take a deep breath. “Ever since I met you, all I wanted was to be with you and, and… I wouldn’t want anybody else to be the father of my children. You are so amazing, anything I could ever ask for, and I can’t wait to be your wife.”
He smiles and his blue eyes suck me in, making me feel warm inside.
“All I can say to that is that I love you so much, and I love Noah, and I want you to be my wife so much! As soon as they release Noah, I want to get started on the planning of our wedding. I never want to be a day without you again!”
“That sounds great,” I smile.
His smile turns into a grin and he brushes my hair behind my ear. “You know what else I wanna do as soon as we get home?”
“No… what’s that?”
“I want to tie you to the bed, blindfold you, whip the living daylights out of you and then fuck your brains out. I haven’t done that in too long!”
I smile at him tiredly. “Are you seriously talking dirty to me right now? 6 hours after I gave birth to our son?”
He kisses my forehead. “You’re right. That was sorta inconsiderate of me. I’m sorry. But I want you to know that I will do that. You should mentally prepare for that, because it will be… mind blowing.”
I kiss his nose. “I’m sure it will… I can’t wait!”
Jared grins. “Are you still awake or are you already sleep talking?”
“Sleep talking…” I mumble.
He pulls me onto his chest. “Is Noah okay?” I mouth into his shirt.
“Yes, he’s fine! Get some rest, baby. You did such an amazing thing tonight… did I tell you that Noah was the last baby in Los Angeles to be born in 2012?”
I smile. “Really?”
“Yep. Now sleep.”
“Okay… I love you!”
“I love you too, Maggie!”
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