Saturday, March 12, 2011

on having a kid for real

Not a narrative about our baby's birth:

-At 7:53 the night of March 9th, 2011, Reginald Carter Westbrook emerged into the world. He weighed 8 pounds, 14 ounces, was 21.5 inches in length and his head had a circumference of 14 inches. These facts proved difficult for his mother, Corinne Humphrey Belew (Cori), but she was extraordinarily herself throughout.
-He was born one day before his Uncle, my brother, Lucas Francis Westbrook. (aka Uncle Luke).
- A family friend, Charles Ragen, my Father and their Chinese business associates came up with a transliteration of "Reginald" in written Chinese: Thunder Child, or Thunder Bean, depending on how literal one wants to read.
-25 hours and fifty-three minutes after Reginald's birth, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of Honshu Japan. As I write this, millions of people are struggling with the aftermath of the quake, the aftershocks, and the tsunamis which followed. These facts are beyond our comprehension.
-We have seen 13 nurses at Alta-Bates Summit Hospital in Berkeley, California where Reggie was born. The vast majority of them have been extraordinarily caring and skilled. It's hard to express the feeling of being so indebted to, and intimately involved with, people you've never met.
-Reggie seems to like movement, jazz standards, Sam Cooke and his mother. He seems to dislike sudden change, having his diaper changed and whatever he sees every time he opens his eyes.
-Merconium is a phenomenon. Our nurse dooped me into changing his first diaper. That was some shit, yo!
-This is as close as I'll get to a horoscope reading for young Reggie:

On the date of his birth in the Gregorian Calendar, the following also occurred:
-Ornette Coleman was born.
-Samuel Barber was born.
-Chingy was born.
-C-Murder was born.

-Charles Bukowski died.
-George Burns died.
-Stan Brakhage died.
-Robert Mapplethorpe died.
-Bobby Fischer died.
-Notoriou B.I.G. was murdered.
-David Rizzio (Queen Mary of Scots' Italian Secretary) was murdered.

-Emperor Wu of Han assumed the throne.
- Teacher's Day (Eid Al Maolim) in Lebanon is celebrated.
- The U.S. Supreme Court rules the case of the revolt on the slave ship Amistad in the favor of the captive Africans.

-On the actual day of his birth, Hugh Martin the composer of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", died in -Encinitas, Ca., which is the next town over to one of Cori's childhood homes.
-On the actual day of his birth, the space shuttle Discovery made its final landing.

- On the date of Cori's birth Philipino poet Vincente Sotto was born, Albert Einstien died, and Paul Revere rode through the streets of Boston.
- On the date of Dillon's birth Duke Ellington was born, Ludwig Wittgenstein died and Roger Clemens set the single game strikeout record at 20.

-Some babies are small. Some babies are large. Some babies are squat. Some babies are long. Some babies are large headed. Some babies are small headed. Some pelvises are Gynecoid. Some pelvises are Anthropoid. Some pelvises are Android. Some pelvises are Platypoid. These facts, in the way they become actual, will determine how your labor progresses. These facts cannot be known ahead of time (despite what anyone may tell you to the contrary).
-As you make decisions upon the assumption of these facts, you are deciding in the dark. Every decision you make will give birth to counter-factuals which will haunt you like ghosts. We are lucky in that all our ghosts are worse than those facts which attained reality. Our hearts go out to those whose ghosts are better.

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Um, last paragraph translation please...

Jennifer said...

Oh and nice homework on the pelvic types!!!!!!

Dillon Westbrook said...

a counter-factual is a proposition or statement based on facts that we either know aren't true or can't determine the truth of. a 'what-if' statement, if you like.