It is what every expectant mother prays for. She holds her breath during the ultrasound until all is declared good. The moment of birth, she counts toes and fingers and looks her baby over for anything odd. Most times, nothing is found, and the baby is thus presented...Perfect! Until she gets him home, late night screaming change her mind and she wonders what is wrong. Is there something wrong with me, is there something wrong with him, the house, his room, his blanket??? What is it?
We had a moment like this during the weekend, where the babe was crying and awake for several hours. Both Big D and I were exhausted. Our poor little newborn had caught his very first cold. Not something momentous as a first tooth, but still. There was nothing we could do, he's only 12 days old. But still, he pulls those smiley faces while he sleeps, and again, he is perfect.
When I was in labor, we still hadn't decided on a name. I was laboring in the pool, and there was a clear thought about what his name should be. We had just barely thought of this name, we both liked it fine, it just wasn't on the top of the list. And I also got a clear view of what his middle name should be. My grandpa's name. Of course to be fair for family names, Harry was named after my side, Chilly named after Big-D's side. We were going to do a mix of both sides and use one from each, but it didn't work that way, and the babe named himself after my mom's side of the family. Big D obliged, how many husbands argue with a laboring woman?
When he popped out and was handed to me, I realized why my perfect little baby had this name. My grandfather was physically handicapped. His arm and leg on one side were smaller and didn't work. He was this way all his life, and yet he lived a very full life, he was a judge, had four kids, etc. A pretty normal guy. He used a cane when I knew him, and toward the end of his life, he had a hard time getting around. But most elderly people do.
Anyway, when my perfect baby was on my chest, I noticed his hand. It was much smaller than than the left hand, and it looked like he had arthritis of the fingers. That or he was doing "live long and prosper" from star trek. His little fingers are a little webbed. But the really noticeable part was how much smaller the right hand is. His arm is really skinny and a bit shorter too.
What does this mean? I have no idea. Of course you think about your baby and how perfect they will be, and when they come out, not quite perfect, at least to other's standards, you wonder. At least I did. I wondered how his life was going to be different. Is it going to be harder for him? Will he need more help? Will the Dr.'s want to do surgery? Are there other things that could be different with him?
He is still my perfect little baby, but now I wondered how other's would see him. Would they see him as perfect? Will they treat him differently?
Everybody has their thing. Harry has a dipped in chest. Chilly has a weird rib (and he did have webbing on another part of his body too). Just because you don't see it everyday, doesn't mean everybody doesn't have something different about them. That is what makes us unique. My babe will probably just have to deal with his for the rest of his life.
My baby has a small hand. And he has his grandfathers name. He has the name to remind him that he can have a normal life, that he is still perfect no matter what anyone else sees or thinks.