In 1968, when i was 22, i gave birth to a boy baby. He was way early and weighed less than 3 pounds. He was tiny.
When he came out he was taken away before i got to see or feel him. I remember a little sound, like the squeaking of a mouse, and he was gone. I didn't get to touch him until i took him home at 52 days of age.
They put him in an incubator at the very back of the nursery. I would stand with my forehead pressed against the viewing window, trying to see him. Just a glimpse. Anything. A waving hand or kicking foot. I yearned for sight of my son. I wanted to hold him, smell him, hear his cry.
One day, at about 3 weeks, as i was standing there, the doctor came up to me. He asked if that was the closest i had seen the baby, i told him yes. He patted my shoulder and stepped into the nursery. He put on a gown and gloves and a mask, and amid the arguing of the nurses, he proceeded to push the incubator up to the window. He reached his hands, huge hero hands, through the holes and slid them under my son, raised him up so i could see him. He held that naked baby boy, turning him this way and that for me, so i could get a good look before i had to leave for home. Leaving him there again, until tomorrow, when i could come back and stand at the window during my lunch hour, waiting for a bit a movement from that incubator that was once again shoved to the back of the room.
I remember looking up at that doctor and thinking he must be my angel. He was over 6 foot tall, with black hair shot with white. His voice was deep and rumbly. His hands were so big, my son could lay in his palm. I know his name, it comes into my mind off and on, but for the life of me i can't remember it.
I never saw him again.