The First Noelle
by Vanessa Richardson
She was in pain. Excruciating pain and she was determined to endure it. She smiled, she then frowned and then she screamed. She was in pain! Sweat was coursing down her brows and her clothes were damp from her perspiration. She was determined.
The woman could hear Christmas music in the background. The soft sound of Nat King Cole's voice was like an elixir as he sang "The First Noel." It was soothing her soul. Her eyes were drawn to the window. It looked like a winter wonderland outside as the snow continued its descent. Inhaling the woman smelled the odor of disinfectant.
The room's decor was depressing to her only an array of roses added life to the room. When the pain became frightening unbearable she would look upon the roses. They were her representatives. They represented life. There they stood bold, majestic, and comforting. The red petals looked vibrant begging to be touched. She reached out to touch a petal and was seized by pain.
Breathe in and breathe out, breath in and breathe out, breath in and breathe out. She didn't think the pain was going to be that bad. Certainly there were friends, family members, and associates who forewarned her. Having a high level for pain she had laughingly shrug their words off. Truth is told she secretly wanted the challenge. Bring it on!
Arrghhh, another one was coming on. Pain! Breathe in and breathe out, breath in and breathe out, breath in and breathe out.
She was not a swearing woman by any means but she felt the compulsion to bring forth every epithet that came to mind. She opted for Sugar, Honey, Ice, Tea.! Those words would become her mantra for a collective number of hours. She felt someone squeeze her hand. Michael, her husband of three years. My how she loved him so. There wasn't a day that went by that she didn't thank God for him. The loving look he was giving her gave to her added strength to endure. His look was fierce and it spoke volumes to her.
She smiled at him in reassurance; truly it was her intent to squeeze Michael's hand gently. But the pain changed all that. There was a process. Her smiled evaporated. Her gentle squeeze became a death grip. And she really, really, really wanted to hurt her husband right then. She began to pant in agony. She needed a release! She wanted a release! Where was her release! She has been laboring for hours now.
"Honey? I am here for you. Take my strength." The words didn't come out as strong as he would have liked. He was scared and the pressure Laddina was putting on his hand was unbelievable. "Baby?" The look Laddina sent him stopped his question mid-sentence.
Michael couldn't believe this was happening to them. The moment seemed so surreal. No one thought it could or would happen for them. This was just too much! Why was there so much pain? His wife was genetically petite and the pain she was facing seemed too much for her to bear.
Michael vision blurred; aware of his tears Michael did nothing to hold them back. How much longer? How much more must she endure? Just when Michael thought he couldn't stand it any longer. He heard the most beatific sound. As long as he lived he would never forget that moment. Ever!
It was a cry. A wailing cry! "Mr. And Mrs. Winfrey it's a girl," Dr. Graham announced proudly. "Dad. Would you like to cut the umbilical cord?" Dr. Graham offered.
Michael moved in a trance-like state; he was thanking God repeatedly as he cut his daughters umbilical cord. His daughter. His daughter. He liked the sound of that. Michael watched as his wife and daughter bonded. Laddina reached out her hand to Michael and smiled.
"We did it. We have our family now." she began to sob with joy and Michael joined her. Dr. Graham, who was not only their Doctor but good friend, watched the young family with joy. He knew their struggle to bring forth life into this world. Their belief was unwavering and to see the couple's desire take life was a blessing. It was moments like these that he loved his job the most. A glance at the Clock revealed it was 12:00 am. Officially Christmas morning.
"Well, what are you going to name this gift of life? Since it is officially Christmas?" At Dr. Graham's question the couple smiled. It was Laddina who revealed her daughter's name. "Noelle. She is the first of many for us." Michael smiled broadened and he glanced at the red roses. His mind went biblical.
Michael thought about the significance of the color of red. His thought went biblical. It was because of Jesus' blood that those who believed in him could have life. A glance at his daughter was evidence enough of that for him. "Noelle Rose Winfrey". Laddina looked at him and smiled. It was good. It was ALL good.