“I am so sorry, baby!” I screamed maniacally at the hospital room’s dingy ceiling. I was yelling at no one and everyone. My second son was arriving, born in chaos under harsh fluorescent lights to a mother who was painfully confused. My husband held my hand, overwhelmed and helpless, while the nurse took the time to admonish me for apologizing while I pushed a baby into the world.
My first son’s birth had been an epidural-induced blissful procedure of tranquility. I had been a rock; I had eaten a peanut butter sandwich then pushed five times. He entered a room full of laughter, jokes and congratulatory hugs.
But, of course, she knew. In my second delivery I crossed into a netherworld of haze and meditative pain. When I closed my eyes, I saw the smooth purple inside of my eyelids for the first time. When I opened my eyes, only one sad brown triangle tile on the hospital room’s floor was in focus.
My youngest son’s first sounds on this beautiful and brutal Earth were going to be me, his mother, screaming in sheer pain. So I yelled out apologies, sorry this was the best first impression I could give him.
Squawking, squealing, and perfectly pig-pink, he was placed against my heart. My tears fell on his new, cone-shaped head while my legs shook uncontrollably. Medical staff scrambled around the room cleaning, measuring, testing, recording.
Quiet, I looked at my second son for the first time. As his nearly nine pounds sunk against my breast, I knew he would forgive me the harried and loud birth.
I realized that when it comes to a mother and son first impressions are everything and yet, in a lifetime together, they are nothing.
I wrote this one year ago, based on a prompt with the only direction: write about First Impressions.