"Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay."
Monday's Child,English nursery rhyme
This is going to be a quick one.
It is past 2:00 AM and I cannot sleep. Cheryl is at the hospital, waiting to go into surgery tomorrow. Her Inner Child™ is now one week overdue and due to the uncomplicated nature of her pregnancy, she was allowed to carry our baby till up to ten days after her expected date of delivery. I brought her to the Labour Ward yesterday afternoon to have a cardiotocogram done - y'know, just to soothe our postdate parental anxieties and also because Cheryl thought that our boy had been moving less vigorously and less frequently than he used to. Just a few days ago, I took her to the Emergency Room (where I work) and borrowed the shitty ultrasound machine there to scan her. While I couldn't measure the kid and estimate his weight using the ancient behemoth, I could see his heart beating merrily away and even spotted him move a few times (though Cheryl couldn't feel them when I asked her). That was reassuring but you can't be too careful about your one and only son, right?
In Labour, it came as a surprise to us to find that the baby's estimated weight on ultrasound scanning had already reached 3.8 to 3.9 kilogrammes.
Strictly speaking, the kid is still below the upper limits of normal, with 4 kilos being the cutoff point for macrosomia (i.e. overweight babies). Of course, there is a ±500 grammes error for sonographically estimated fetal weight but since one medical officer, one registrar and two specialists all independently scanned and agreed that we have a real whopper of a son on our hands, we are going with what the experts say. One perk of having your baby delivered in a hospital you work in is that everyone takes extra care of your wife and child.
Dr Prakash - who attended to my wife back when she had her threatened preterm labour in July - gave us two options. Either we cut the baby out via a Caesarean or we could try to induce labour using a pharmacological agent because they too found the reduced activity from the little one worrying and didn't think it was wise to wait till the 9th, as was originally planned. The cardiotocogram was still good but why risk being sorry when one can be safe? Anyway, the reason why they think induction and vaginal birth is still a viable choice is because when they sized the baby with their eyes and hands, they thought that the baby is probably less cherubic than what they scanned. Besides, Cheryl isn't diabetic so our kid is likely just lean and long. They were honest about their uncertainties and misgivings, which is a mark of honest physicians.
Now, we live in a patriarchal society (so much so that a woman needs her husband's permission to tie her tubes) and also, I was the medically-trained one so they looked to me for a decision.
"I think you should ask Cheryl," I said quietly. "It's her body, not mine."
After having the risks and benefits of induced labour versus surgery explained to her, she decided that she wants the McCaesarean please, with a side order of fries and Coke. And here we are. Today's the day. Today we are going to meet our little stranger for the very first time. I am just a ball of nerves and excitement right now, buzzing with the static of imminent fatherhood. I realise that this is just the first of many sleepless nights he's going to give me. A couple of hours ago, I was just sitting by Cheryl's bed. The palm of my hand was resting on our firstborn, feeling his kicks and rolls, while hers was wrapped around my arm. We talked little because there are times when words simply cannot make a moment more perfect than it already is.
|Cheryl's last supper before her fast started. It was her favourites, prawn capellini |
and tiramisu from The Junk. And there was literally a side order of Coke.
Today, September 6, 2013, we are going to find out how the child of one fair of face and she who is full of grace will turn out to be like.
Fair of face,
k0k s3n w4i