3.092 Udong


6 (Fri) April 2012



at Dongcheonhong

-Sinsa, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with DJ and Mom

Our second son was born today.  He was due in late April, but the mother was beginning to experience difficulties with the pregnancy, so we opted to pull him out a bit early. He was born at 11:05 this morning. 3.1 kg.  Perfectly healthy by all measures.  His mother is also doing great.  Whoever is responsible for overseeing these matters and ensuring that they go smoothly did a superb job on this one.  Thank you.

At 11:06, the nurse poked her head out of the delivery room and waved me in, much to my alarm.  W and I rarely concur on anything, most agreements between us being more along the lines of bitter compromise, but we were in complete accord that I would not set foot in the delivery room for any purpose at any time.  (At DJ’s birth, about 3 weeks premature, I was on a business trip in another country, so it hadn’t been an issue.)  Assuming that she’d informed the staff about our decision, my immediate thought was that something had gone wrong.  Once inside, I saw a purplish-pinkish thing writhing on a small gurney, gooped in yellowish-greenish slime, a ghastly bluish-grayish tube extending from its middle. W, who was still on the table, shrilled at me to get out – now!  The nurse placed a pair of scissors in my hand, then guided the scissors into position, and ordered me to cut – now!  Before I could comply with one request or object to the other, I found myself cutting.  Though dismissing the stories as urban legends, I’d heard about umbilical cords and how some fathers, supposedly, for some ungodly reason, are present to cut them.  So long as this is a food blog, I’ll use a food analogy: it felt like cutting through a semi-frozen hotdog.  Surprisingly firm, it took two tries, my ineptitude probably causing the poor kid an extra ounce of pain on top of everything else.  Blood, or whatever the reddish-blackish gunk was inside the tube, burst out. The room spun.  I stumbled back out into the hallway and doubled over, hands on knees, gagging.  The in-laws, who were waiting there, saw my reaction and started to freak out.  If I’d failed to courageously pull myself together and explain the situation and calm them down, they both would’ve had heart attacks.  So, for anyone carefully reading, the key takeaway of this post is that I was a hero today.

At 11:11, after they’d cleaned him up a bit and brought him outside.

It turns out that he looks exactly like his big brother when DJ was born, which isn’t a bad thing per se, but not much fun for me to deja vu it all over again.  I mean, it’s even the same hospital and the same medical staff.  And on the first evening, I’m eating at the same restaurant where I’d eaten so many meals that first time around (my mother, unavoidably, insisted that we eat there for dinner).

(See also FOODS)

(See also PLACES)

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