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Hats Off

Posted Oct 14 2009 10:03pm
Shane has agreed to write up his version of Tommy's birth story, now I just need to coerce him into doing it SOON. He has the memory of a fly (and also, he's so not techno savvy that I'm not even sure he knows what a blog is), so he truly forgets everything two seconds after it happens. If he doesn't write it up soon, I'm afraid his version will read like this: "Erin woke me up, then she started yelling, and then she had a baby on the stairs, the end."

I know when I wrote about that night, I talked about looking up and realizing the kitchen was full of firefighters, while I sat there in all my naked glory. I didn't tell you, though, how one fireman was brave enough to come downstairs, and how he was so very nice. He told me that they didn't have an OB kit or a bulb syringe, and I remember thinking, "We have a bulb syringe upstairs," but I was not thinking straight and thought that if I told him that, he'd make me walk upstairs and get it. Instead, I told him that I cleared Tommy's nose and mouth with my finger. Even though they didn't have an OB kit, they did have a teeny, tiny baby hat that he gently put on Tommy's head while holding him ever so safely. Before we left that night, he shook Shane's hand and told him congratulations.

(It fit a lot better the night he was born.)
Isn't the hat darling? When we got to the hospital, they put on the standard pink and blue striped hat, and the nurse tried to throw this hat away because it had blood on it. I was all, ARE YOU ON CRACK, LADY? and instead had her put it with our things. I'm glad I did. It's so tiny and it reminds me how the entire way to the hospital, I peeked at his dark, dark hair curling around the edges of the hat.
It also makes me think of the very kind firefighter, as well as the very kind EMTs. I've already told you how they were my angels, but I didn't tell you how three days after Tommy was born, I received a card from the two EMTs. Indeed, before most of our family sent cards, they sent me one telling me they were so blessed to be a part of his birth. It made me cry. And then a week later, we went to the fair, and Shane saw the fireman who was downstairs with me that night. Shane said, "I think you were there when he was born." The fireman jumped up and shooked both of our hands, then asked how Thomas was doing. He remembered his name. I joked that it was good to see him when I had clothes on, and he laughed and told me to bring him down to the fire station to show him off. Shane thanked him for all they did that night, and he said no thank you was needed, as we'd already done all the work when they arrived.

When Luke was born, I found out who my true friends were, because I lost a lot of friends when I became a mom. But when Tommy was born, I didn't lose any friends. Instead, I saw the happiness he brought to people. To the firefighter and the EMTs who have jobs where they must often see the saddest of cases, he brought light and hope. A healthy, beautiful baby with an APGAR of 9, already cradled in his mama's arms. And to us, he showed us the goodness of the hearts of others, of those for whom work is more than just a job, but instead, a calling. I've always said that as a teacher, I have the utmost respect for those others in the public service calling, like firefighters and policemen, but now that I've truly seen the passion with which they do their jobs... well, my hat is off to those men and women.

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