Monday, August 15, 2005

True Love

The Baron and his Boy are away for a few days before the latter goes back to school. Moi, having been to the hospital to see brand new Liam, seem to have come down with a bit of a bug. So my plans to "help out" now that mum and baby are home will have to wait. I adduce the bug is hospital-influenced since Liam's big sister, Geneva, also had this ailment. I hope mine goes away as quickly as hers has.

Liam was a month premature, though from the picture he doesn't look it, does he? They don't make preemies like they used to. He had to stay in NICU (neonatal intensive care) for a few days to get his lungs going well and to watch for jaundice. Seems the latter is common: eighty percent of preemies have it and sixty percent of full term babies, also. According to some statistics from Canada, it's the most common reason for re-admission for babies in the first week following discharge.

Don't you love Google? I found a great site for post-graduate med studies on the first hit. Told me more than you want to know about the subject. So I'll spare you. Let's just say the information I got was straightforward and put my mind at ease. In five minutes I had the cause, its frequency, treatment, and possible complications. If Google was human, I'd buy it a glass of wine.

What is compelling about the picture is not so much Liam Joseph -- let's face it, like most babies he resembles Winston Churchill without the cigar. No, what draws me into this scene is the utter focus of his momma. She's in pain during that photo but you'd never know it. As my son holds him up so she can really look at her brand new child, J's focus is utter and complete. She is memorizing her baby viscerally. To me, the photo is made more poignant by the knowledge that immediately after the picture was taken, Liam was brought down to NICU and J fell instantly into the drugged sleep that follows a c-section.

When I worked for a woman who trained child psychiatrists how to observe infant child interactions, these are the kinds of pictures she would use. Oh, plus Mary Cassat's paintings, of course. The mother of an infant is in the most intense mode of minute observing and responding to her baby. When it works right, you can even feel it through a mere photograph. As this composition illustrates.

A modern Madonna...don't you wonder if the Renaissance Italian painters would've included all the machinery? I think they would have.

Meanwhile, mum and bambino are home now. All the dangling lines have been removed from both of them and they are settling into the first week of the rest of their life together.


At 9:45 PM, Blogger hank_F_M said...

Grama Dyphna


At 6:47 PM, Blogger Newvictorian said...

Hurray and congratulations! Just this past Dec. 2 I, my wife, and Young Thomas were in exactly the same scene, just a different town.

What a beautiful, wonderful thing.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger neo-neocon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Congratulations! Yes, all babies do resemble Churchill, but they are still cute, and so is Liam.

I was reading your post and I thought to mention the Cassatt works, which the photo made me think of, also--and then you mentioned them yourself! Cassatt had the most amazing ability to capture the mother/child relationship in paintings that are touching without being sentimental.

Hope you feel better soon.


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