“Here she is!” he proclaimed. His wide smile was unusually reserved as he held her out toward me. I reached my hand under her head and cupped it in my palm, drawing her puckering face in toward my lips to kiss her.
I was barely able to graze her cheek before he barked “They need to take a look at her.” He turned his head toward the other doctor standing next to him and he abruptly shoved her into his hands, and holding her nearly upside down, that doctor ran the few steps toward the wall with her, over toward the mobile intensive care cart.
My eyes fixed on her and the swarm of two doctors and two nurses that engulfed her newborn body, still being held on an inclined angle with her head at the lowest point. One nurse was picking through a fistful of tubes while another fixed bands to the baby’s tiny wrist. I could see through the screen of scrub-clad bodies that the tubes were being threaded through the baby’s mouth and down her throat.
“What’s going on?” I asked Dr. Tchabo, who was now seated by my legs. My eyes darted from him to the guys, who were still standing to my right but were beaming with pride as they gazed over at their baby on the other side of the room. Oh my god, I thought to myself, they have no idea that something’s wrong. What should I do? Should I tell them? But they look so happy, and I don’t want to frighten them. But Jesus, I’ve never had to push a baby out on demand like that. What time is it anyway?
I glanced up at the clock on the wall in front of me. 5:30am. It’s 5:30am, how is that possible, I thought to myself. I started pushing less than ten minutes ago. Good lord. The doctor said push and I pushed. And I pushed that baby out in under ten minutes. Holy hell.