New arrival brings new perspective

December 6, 2011


This past Thanksgiving, something quite miraculous happened: I became a mom.

Startling enough for a 55 year-old, for sure, but no godly miracle or world record: my younger partner carried our child, a boy we’ve named Ilan Campbell Bayles Obejas.

He had a water birth (symbolically important for this island-born mom) and, with the midwife’s help, swam up like a little tadpole to rest on my wife’s chest. He was holding his breath. His mouth puckered, long purplish limbs jerkily grabbing at nothing.

“These water babies,” said the midwife, “they never know when they’re born.”

She gave him a little tug. He blew a raspberry and we watched as bubbles came out of his tiny lips. In minutes, he was pink and rosy.

We haven’t stopped looking at him since. He’s the man of a thousand faces: sometimes a wee-sized banker, others the mayor of a small town in Puerto Rico, others still a reclusive Welsh poet who might be up for the Nobel. (None of this is aspirational, just, honest, what he looks like.)

These days, we’re getting to know him. And, in some ways, getting to know ourselves in new and surprising ways.

This won’t become a mommy blog, that’s a promise. But I suspect Ilan may have a presence here now and then, even if I don't mention him by name.

In just these few days he’s been on earth, you see, my world has already irrevocably changed.