Twelve years ago today, at 7:52 a.m., the Matron and Stryker finally got to take a good long look at each other. The Matron probably looked like one big gaseous planet to Stryker, eyes virgin and mucky, body suddenly afloat on a whole new planet.
What did the Matron see? A human being, a real actual bona fide slimy human, that had finally (thank God-Oprah-Buddha-Allah) COME OUT of her body!!!!
Because Stryker was born approximately 30 hours after that prodigious bag of water broke. In bed at about 11:30 on July 15, the Matron knew that trickle in the dark of night was not pee (but three babies later, now it will be). She won't bore you with the details of pain and despair and joy that follow, because most of you reading have been there, done that. Uneventful, just slow.
Until the end. Stryker got stuck. Shoulder dysplasia, which means his shoulder hooked right under the Matron's gigantic child-bearing pelvis.
Digression!!! The Matron is not a big person, oh no. She says she's 5'4" but that's because she's adding half an inch for ego. Her current favorite pair of shorts? Boys size 14. You get the picture. Yes, yes, yes, she fits into Stryker's shoes. But when she first got pregnant, she took her petite, delicate, refined self to the doctor and inquired: was she up to the task? After all, alien invasion ahead. Big time trouble.
Her adorable obstetrician said this: "Don't you worry. You have the pelvis of an 18th century peasant. HUGE. Just for making babies. Half a dozen."
Well. She's not certain that's a compliment.
But it does turn out that this big ole pelvis can serve as Impediment as well.
So poor Stryker's head is out and the Matron knows something is amiss because the attitude in the room - all casual and happy and 'you're at the end you're doing great!' -- has snapped into something furious and lean. People are yelling. Lights and blinking and beeping. Someone runs to get a cart, she learns later, for the emergency C-section, right there on that bed.
But there's no doctor! The Matron had a midwife in the hospital where doctors just pop in and out, checking on the female love. And hers hasn't even bothered yet because the Matron just started pushing. No need. Nut now, as the Matron pushes to NO avail, everybody -- most especially John who sports a lovely gray color -- wanted that doctor.
While all the bells and whistles jiggle and blow and the room suddenly bursts with stress, and it seems to the Matron, about a dozen additional people -- one nurse, very large and focused and tall and kind -- bends down and whispers to the Matron, intimate and intense: "You have to give this everything you have. Your baby is depending on you to get him out. He needs air."
The Matron? She bore down with every last ounce of power in her body, with all the love and desire and hope she had for that child, with centuries of Mamas riding her shoulder and whispering into her ear, her heart.
And it wasn't enough.
As Stryker began to fade and purple and no doctor emerged (he was running, running, running, she learned later -- and so were two others, who'd heard the word), the large nurse said, "I don't care what they say" before she straddled the Matron, heaved her entire body into the air for force and gravity and God and slammed herself onto the top of the Matron's uterus, with all her 200 pound might.
Stryker shot out, a rocket.
Let's all love that nurse for a moment, as a thank you. The Matron thinks about her quite a bit.
What would the world be missing?
The boy who used all of his money to buy his sister a doll.
The child who rested his head against an old dog's chest and when the last breath left, wept: "One minute he was here and I felt him, then he was gone. Just gone! Will I be like that?"
The boy in charge of these.
The who once articulated this at 11: "I'm not jealous of Scarlett because she's an actor. I'm jealous because she's found her passion. I want a passion for my life. I want to know it."
Yes, honey. That's the ticket.
This is the day that the Matron became a mother and the Earth got Stryker -- the big brain, the quick wit, the clown to many. But the Matron knows that it is his pure and unbound heart that will make the planet a better place for his presence.