Chapter 23: If Only Us... Chapter 23

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

Reads: 267
Comments: 1

Virginia opened her eyes, saw me standing there, and lifted her free arm towards me.  I rushed over and kissed her on the forehead, nose, and finally on her lips.

“I love you,” I whispered.  “More now than ever before.  You have our future ready to enter the world.”  I don’t know where I’d heard that line, probably in a movie, but it fit perfectly.

Virginia reached to the back of my head and pulled me closer.

“You’d better believe it husband.  And I think she wants to come out soon.”


“Yep, I’ve decided she’s a she.”

“Wonderful.  That would be perfect.  You try to rest now as best as you…”

A huge contraction hit her at that moment.  She cried out, leaned forward until the nurse stopped her, and began gasping for breath.  I stood helplessly by until she calmed down again with the nurse’s help.

“Only six minutes that time, Virginia.  You’re getting closer.”  The nurse pointed at me and then to the door.  “Now, you get out of here and let us women get serious.”  I got - again.

My dad had arrived in my absence.  He solemnly shook my hand and then hugged me.  Tears in his eyes told me how much this meant to him too.

Two hours later, I was still nervously pacing the floor despite repeated requests to calm down.  I was a wreck.  Perspiration had broken out all over.  I could feel it as it soaked my undershirt.  My stomach began grumbling.  Bear heard it and said he’d go rustle up some grub as he headed out the door.

The nurse appeared once again and told us that Virginia had been moved to the operating room.  I must have looked very concerned but she told me it was what they did in every instance ‘just in case’.  She didn’t tell me ‘just in case’ of what.

More waiting.  I got tenser.  The cheeseburger I had eaten sat like a bowling ball in my stomach.  I’d drunk seven cups of dispenser coffee and was wired like a pinball machine.  What the HELL was taking so long?  Bear started a long yarn about taking the Commanding General’s jeep for a joyride many years ago but never got to finish it.

A new nurse appeared at the door and stopped to hold it open.  From down the hall the piercing wail of a newborn baby sounded.

She turned and pointed to me.  “That’s your daughter you hear crying.  Give us five minutes and you can visit very briefly with mother and daughter – who are doing just fine.”  Huge smile.  She tapped me on the chest.  “Congratulations, Daddy!”

“Woohoo!  I’m a Daddy!  It’s a girl!”  I cried out loud.

Everyone jumped up and began hugging me and pounding me on the back.  I felt dizzy for a moment, and then a huge wave of pent-up emotion washed over me.  I was now responsible for the lives to two people – my wife and our baby girl.  I wept silently with a hand over my eyes and my head bowed thanking the big guy upstairs for this miracle.

In the middle of our celebration, the first nurse came, tapped my on the shoulder, and motioned me to follow.  We went down the corridor and turned a corner to enter a small room.  Virginia was lying again on a pillow, but with more color in her cheeks than before.  She had her eyes closed, but opened then when I came in and touched her hand.

“We have a girl,” she said, beginning to cloud up with joy.

“I heard her,” and then my stoicism broke and I joined her in tears.

We held each other as best as we could for long moments until the nurse asked if I’d like to see my daughter.  All I could do was nod as I couldn’t trust my voice.  She left the room.

I pulled a chair over and sat next to Virginia’s bed.  We held hands and smiled at each other.  The door opened and the nurse came in with a tiny bundle of pink blanket in her arms.  She asked who goes first and Virginia pointed to me.  I stood and very carefully took my daughter from the nurse’s hands.  When I sat back down, I cradled her so that Virginia could see also.  I pulled the tip of the blanket away from her pink face and held her to the light.

“Our creation, Tom.”  Virginia said.  “She has blue eyes, your nose, ten fingers, ten toes, and is perfect.  I didn’t think it was possible to love you more than the day we got married, but I do now just looking at our baby.”

I couldn’t speak but simply nodded and bent to kiss my daughter’s wrinkled forehead.  She squirmed, blinked, and closed her eyes again.  She was perfect.

The nurse put her in Virginia’s arms and shooed me out again to let both of them rest.  Virginia was already opening her gown to expose a breast for feeding and I was just a third wheel right now.  I went back out to the waiting room.

I entered and made my announcement.  “Marie Alexandra Oldman has entered the world, and she is perfect!”

My two moms began sniffling, and my dad and Bear tried manfully to not tear up but failed.  We all had misty eyes for a while.

Bear cleared his throat and turned to my father.  “Well, granddad, maybe we’d better go spread the news, eh?”

“Your club or mine?”  My dad responded.

“What the hell, let’s hit both of them, Colonel.”

“Sounds like a plan to me.  Let’s go!”

They pronounced their congratulations again and left.  My mom and Myra stayed a few moments longer until the nurse came and told me to come back around nine and I could visit longer.  That sounded final, so the three of us left.

The two moms got into their cars and drove off.  They asked me if I wanted a lift, but I told them I just wanted to walk (walk, hell, I wanted to fly!) so they drove off.  I felt emotionally drained, but strangely energized at the same time.  I was a father!  I kept repeating that mantra to myself over and over as I crossed the frozen grass of the square at the center of the housing area.  I shouted out loud.


Half a block away, some of my friends were skating on the frozen tennis court.  Their heads turned towards me and looked.  They had heard me yell.  They quit skating and moved towards me shouting.  When I met them at the edge of rink, they clustered around and clamored for the details.  I told them Virginia had given birth to a girl, seven pounds, six ounces and thirteen inches tall.

Amid cries of congratulations, hooray, and even a Mazeltof, genuine concerns were voiced that Virginia had had complications.  Not true I assured them.  Actually, the nurse had said it was an easy birth.  Someone suggested we head for the Teen Club and that sounded like a good idea to me as I was totally famished.  I rode over with one of the guys.

Even before we got there, the word had already passed, somehow, about our little girl.  Girls I hardly knew came up and kissed me; guys I only knew by name shook my hand.  I was on top of the world right now.  I ended up eating three burgers and two orders of fries before I headed home to clean up and change out of my sweaty clothes.


Submitted: July 02, 2013

© Copyright 2022 B Douglas Slack. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:



No complications... That's rare. I'm glad you didn't have to sit around and watch her give birth, that stuff gets nasty.

Thu, December 5th, 2013 5:44pm


I would love to have done so, but back when my kids were born it was frowned upon - hence the cartoon guys walking in circles and smoking up a storm. Neither one of my children were complicated births.

Thu, December 5th, 2013 10:59am

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