Monday, October 28, 2013

The Birth of Oswin Edward Canote

I wrote this last year for one of my other blogs. It was ten years ago today that my son Oswin was born. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. I had went to work at the Federal Building in Dallas that day. I was doing courtroom intelligence on the Harris vs. Ericsson case. It was a patent infringement case. I was on my last day as the trial was to end that day. We had just come off recess about ten in the morning when the judge asked if there was a Mister Berry Canote present. I answered, "yes." She then asked me to step outside into the hallway. I was wondering what I had done wrong, and was expecting US Marshals to greet me in the hallway. Instead a young law clerk asked if I was Berry Canote. I said yes, and he handed me a note and said "congratulations." The note said Tee was in labor. I was to meet the office manager of Teresa's office out front. We had just driven the one car that day so I needed a ride to her office.

Tee's office was only 10 to 20 blocks from the courthouse, but the drive seemed a lifetime. We got lost at one point. We got to the office, and I got Tee loaded into the car. Our hospital in Denton was some thirty miles away, and I drove the fastest I ever have on an interstate highway. I was hoping to get pulled over so I could have an escort, but wouldn't you know it, I never saw a patrolman or police officer the whole way. At one point a pickup who I guess realized what I was doing ran interference by passing cars and then slowing down so I could pass. Whoever that stranger was has always had my thanks. No sooner than we reached the hospital doors than Teresa's water broke. I got her inside, got her in a wheelchair, and got her up to the maternity ward. We had already done the pre-checkin sometime before so we would not have to fill out paperwork upon arrival.

Then came the waiting. I called her parents, and made some other calls. We had to arrange to make sure someone was at the house for when my stepson got out of school. Once that was done, I spent the afternoon comforting Teresa. I cannot remember when the delivery began, but it was in the evening. It was not an easy delivery. Her pain medications wore off, and it was so close to the birth they could not give her more. She had to have the birth totally natural. It took a while. Tee's nurse was a petite woman so the midwife had me hold one of Tee's legs while the surgeon who was on standby in case they had to do a cesarean got on the other. Just as the surgeon stated she wanted to do a cesarean, the midwife said no, and encouraged Tee to push harder. And out came Oswin. I still remember that moment. By then I was no longer holding Tee's left leg, and had come around to her right side. I was only a few inches from Oswin when he was born. His little chin bumped the bed when he was born which did not hurt him thanks to the cushioning. I cut his chord, and then the midwife handed him to me. It was the proudest moment of my life. It was probably about 8:00 pm at that time.

Tee had done all the work, but I was there, and got to witness the most amazing thing of my life. I held him for a moment and then handed him to his grandfather Red who was just as happy as I was. Oswin weighed in at 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 19 inches long. They then took Oswin to the nursery to get cleaned up, and wheeled Teresa out of the delivery room to a recovery room. I went with Oswin to the nursery and watched them clean him up. I then went to spend time with Tee, and then they brought Oswin in to nurse for the first time. That was another amazing moment. About one in the morning I went home. I had to run back to the hospital as I did not have the house keys with me. We had left them in Tee's purse. I went back home and got up early the next day to go in to be with Tee and Oswin. The photographer came in and arranged to have Oswin's picture taken. Other than that Tee and I just talked and took care of Oswin when he would come in to nurse. I spent nearly all my time at the hospital the next couple of days. After three days, Oswin and Tee came home, and his life at home began. I had to care for Tee the next few weeks as the birth had been so difficult and taken so much out of her. She was bed ridden for a good deal of the time for several weeks. During that time I had full care of Oswin, and got adjusted to being a new father. He seemed so tiny and fragile. Still he wound up sleeping with us in our bed part of the time, and in the bassinet the rest of the time. He was well behaved for a newborn. He did not cry often, and keeping us awake at night was at a minimum. I have very fond memories of those first weeks of his life.

Even though Oswin is a growing boy now, and no doubt will grow to be taller than me (he takes after his maternal grandfather in that); a part of me will always think of him as that little baby. I miss him living so far away, but I am very proud of him. I could not ask for a better son. His mother is raising him well. I only wish I could be a better father. I feel I have let him down in so many ways. I have missed so much of his life with the distance. But I love him more than I have anyone in my life. Happy birthday Oswin!

Here is a poem I wrote for him a few years ago:

What did your parents do,
To make one as beautiful as you,
Not the stars in the sky,
Not the birds that fly,
Are as beautiful as you.

What did your parents do,
To make one as intelligent as you,
Not the gods high above,
Not the crows and the doves,
Are as intelligent as you.

What did your parents do,
To make one as sweet and gentle as you,
Not angels in heaven,
Nor the great elven kin,
Are as sweet and gentle as you.

You are the gods’ greatest creation,
Nothing they made can match you,
You are the gods; greatest creation,
Perfect in all you do.