The Birth of Nathaniel:
A team of doctors swirled around the delivery room, the epitome of organized chaos. Their child came into the world only to be immediately whisked from view. Devin stood close by Sera’s side and tightly held her hand. The grasp they held sought comfort in the turmoil.
Tired and disoriented, Sera looked to Devin for answers. “What’s going on? What’s happening?” Emotionally distraught, tears leaked from the corner of her eyes to rest inside her ears.
“I don’t know.” Devin felt helpless.
The flurry of the medical team worked as though Devin and Sera no longer occupied the delivery room. All of them gathered around the clear plastic bassinette on the other side of the green tiled room.
“Excuse me?” Devin ventured a tap on the shoulder of the last passing nurse. “What is going on?”
She didn’t stop. “I’ll get one of the doctors.” Six words methodically spoken that intimated little to nothing at all. Her eyes said more: Concern. Worry. Even fright.
Sera raised her head to see what was happening. The circle of bodies clothed in white lab coats and green scrubs only allowed brief glimpses of their little boy. Weak, she gathered what little energy she had left. “Will someone please tell us what is going on?!”
Her frenetic scream got one of the doctor’s attention. He approached them both with extreme urgency.
“Your son was born not breathing.” His voice shook. “We’ve seen this before. There is no surfactant in his lungs.” The doctor grew impatient; his time, these precious moments, were better spent with their child – not in explanation. “Our lungs have fluid in them. It keeps the lining from sticking together each time we exhale. Your son was not born with this liquid. He breathes only while we use a manual respirator. I have to get back.”
“Will our son be okay?” Sera’s manic tone rang within the four hospital walls. Devin tried to calm her but the fear only a mother can feel pulsed through every fiber of her body.
The doctor called over his shoulder, “Nurse, please give our mother a mild sedative.” He looked to Devin. “We are doing everything we can. We don’t know how long he was without oxygen. Please…” He took his arm and ushered Devin out of the room. “I’ll let you know something as soon as we know something. Until then, please find a seat in our waiting room.”
“Devin!” Sera screamed.
As Devin’s removal from the room became complete, he caught the distraught panic in Sera’s eyes while the nurse added the sedative to her IV. Helpless. Confused. Emotionally ravaged. He felt all of these things and more.
Martin’s cheerful demeanor evaporated the instant Devin appeared.
The look on his Devin’s face said it all. An obvious inner turmoil waged war within his son at a level Martin had not witnessed before. Any questions Martin wanted to ask would have to wait; the needs of his son vastly outweighed his need to know the details.
Devin rooted to the floor barely outside the delivery room doors. His feet would not move. His mind spun like a roulette wheel. How could he procure answers when he didn’t know the questions?
Two tortuous hours passed.
Devin finally moved to pace for most of those minutes.
His father helplessly watched his son come undone with each passing moment. Jay left to get Deborah a while ago leaving just the two of them. This wasn’t Martin’s area of expertise: watching the boy he loved toil in emotional anguish.
The same stoic doctor appeared from the double doors of the delivery room.
Devin stopped on a dime, eyebrows knitted and eyes watery.
For the first time since Devin was a child Martin slipped his hand into Devin’s and held it; this wasn’t his little boy about to cross a busy street, this was his son facing the greatest hurt in the form of heartbreak. Martin West knew the need to not be alone. Neither Heaven nor Earth would budge his steadfast grip.
When life spirals out of control, the ones who love you are all you have left.