6 lbs, 8.8 oz. 20 in. Extracted at 11:13 p.m. Consumed 1.6 ml colostrum exactly 32 min after birth. Meconium expelled the following morning fell within tolerance.

Mother’s irritation levels peaked one hour before the procedure, leveled off after and then steadily rose subsequently. Passively resisted postpartum treatment and instruction. Requested early discharge. Likely victim of undiagnosed oppositional defiant disorder.

July 2nd, 2015

I waited three whole days in the hospital before anything happened. The platitudes grew old by Wednesday, each preempted by three quick knocks on my room door, uttered by gatekeepers in scrubs of red or purple or blue or teal. Nutrition took orders for meals. OB opined and projected. Recommendations were made.

The tedium gave way to blind fear. Incapacity among steel instruments and winding IVs and parched cloths. Fluorescence washed muzzled faces delivering muffled orders.

Then I heard a gasp, then a cry, pulled in and squeezed from new lungs. Eyes smiled behind facemasks. My baby boy dangled from rubbered hands, and for long seconds, the artifice melted away. He filled my eyes like sunlight revealed behind drifting clouds.

Six-and-a-half pounds, twenty inches long, they told me. He could have weighed a ton and still would seem the sweetest of burdens.

The regimen resumed after midnight. Slogans instructed, crafted for memory retention. Mission statements begged fulfillment via evaluations, offers and surveys. We left when they tired of whys.

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