Oren at Two

38425-2021-Jun-30-AMJ-X.jpg Rachael and Oren at Hope Lake in Azerbaijan.

It was two years ago today that Dr. Crane yanked Oren out of Rachael’s abdomen. Two years ago that I watched this unfold with Dr. Hayes behind me, her hands on my hips in case I fainted. Two years ago that a nurse took his limp body and rubbed his back and flicked his feet until he let out a weak cry and told me that he was alive.

Two years ago today Rachael had labored for hours, sweating and grimacing and screaming and pushing and willing him out of her body. When he finally emerged the only movements left were her shivers and chattering teeth, a side effect of the anesthetic.

When Oren wakes up he’ll be two. We’ll point out the “Happy Birthday!” letters we hung over the sink, and put on birthday hats, and eat pancakes. And he’ll wonder what the heck this is all about. And we’ll say it’s for you, which he won’t really understand.

It’s an old cliché, but really we should be celebrating Rachael, honoring her for what she went through two years ago today, recognizing that she made a person, and that he now sits smiling back at us, with a dimple and a half, under blond wispy hair that’s too short in the front and too long in the back, and also, somehow, perfect.