Daily Archives: November 3, 2019

Introducing Joshua

Introducing my beautiful new grandson
Joshua Reuben Galliford
Born 10.27 pm Monday, 28th August
At Southmead Hospital
Birth weight 6lb 12oz (3.62kilo)

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Image: Joshua, 18 hours old.

With gratitude to the delivery team at Southmead Hospital. A special thank you to the amazing midwife, Sandy, who delivered him.

I watch,
knowing that which she
can only imagine, yet her agony
does not outreach her anticipation.
Even the searing pain fails
to twist her into anger
or fleeting regret.

As I watch, I remember
the first time I held her,
hoping that her life be joyous –
a hope which she now fulfils.

Sandy is reassuringly calm, but I detect a flicker of urgency as she glances toward the monitor, the instant before she tells Laura to grasp her legs, pull them toward her, and push. The baby needs to emerge very soon.

For an instant,
fear traps our lungs,
but Sandy silently commands
our trust. We exhale and it feels
like the room breathes with us.

Laura is magnificent,
as if she had given birth
a hundred times before.

My chest swells with pride
while I try not to enter the space
that exists between this mother
and her successfully married child.

Tomorrow, she will speak of trauma, not comprehending the strength she showed as her son was expelled from her womb. I will tell her she she was brave. I will say she made it look easy, but she will not believe me.

After a time,
the recollection of pain
will dim, becoming little more
than a tale she tells; an acceptable
paragraph or two
in her unique story.

One last push
and the room explodes with love.
Mother and son are skin to skin.
She holds him, kisses him.
He is beautiful.

She speaks his name, Joshua.
crooning in the soft tone that she used
all those months while he grew inside her.
He turns his head. His blurry eyes
seem to seek and quickly find
the face of his mother.

Birth
is a violent, traumatic act, and yet
within a minute or two of his emergence,
he is contented,enfolded by
my daughter,his mother,
his whole little world.

He recognises her.

When she speaks,
the very sound describes the deepest,
truest love.

In the days that follow,
Laura’s is the only voice
he responds to.

I leave my miraculous Phoenix
smiling softly, watching her long-awaited son
as he suckles at her warm breast.

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Didn’t she do well…

While this is about Laura, her husband deserves an honourable mention. Dave is a caring, experienced father who adores his new baby son.

©Jane Paterson Basil