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In Print: On News Stands Now

The Family Grows And Grows

by Tumbleweed Smith

I don't know if you've been in a birthing situation recently, but things have certainly changed since I saw my youngest son born 35 years ago. Back then there was a birthing room in the hospital that also served as a surgery room. The medical staff wore masks and gowns and paper overshoes.

There was growing anticipation as the time for the birth came closer. That anticipation was reflected in the way the nurses rushed around, carrying trays full of sterile instruments. Every once in awhile the doctor came by to check things over.

I got to witness that birth. I stood behind my wife's head as BZ made his first appearance into this world. It was really a special thing for a husband to get to observe his child's birth back in 1968.

Move the calendar forward to 2003.

My son Kevin and his wife Jill have a new baby son named Caleb. He was born on July 14 at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. Caleb's birth was quite different from BZ's.

When we got to the hospital, Jill was bedded down in a spacious, comfortable room filled with relatives and friends. She was connected to medical devices all around the bed. I thought it was strange that all the medical stuff was in the room. It was like the things you see in an operating room.

Finally I started to get the picture. "Is the baby going to be born in this room?" I asked. The answer was yes. I thought that was strange and bizarre, but quite convenient for everybody concerned. Kevin and I walked down to the gift shop and bought chocolate and bubble gum cigars (blue) and a camera. I took my 12 year old grandson Jackson to get something to eat.

Back in the room, things were progressing along nicely. Jill's dilation was getting to the point where we were all getting ready for the big event. The doctor came in a couple of times to talk to Jill and look over some of the medical machinery. He wore a coat and tie and looked nothing like he was about to deliver a baby.

After being at the hospital for a couple of hours, Jill asked us to step out of the room so she could have the baby. We were in the waiting room no longer than 45 minutes when Kevin came in and announced, "He's here!"

We trooped back into the room to meet Caleb. That little baby is so curious. His eyes were open wide and he seemed to be focusing on everybody who held him. What a baby. The birth went well.

"She just grunted that little puppy right out," said Kevin.

Jill had some powerful medicine to make the birth nearly painless. Kevin stood at her side and helped during the birth. He cut the cord. He told us later that because of the strong medicine, Jill didn't look like she was having a baby. "I looked down there and saw what was going on and I looked back at Jill's face and she was smiling," says Kevin.

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