During the births of all four of my daughters, I held the title of the “coach.” There wasn’t much I could do except for providing ice chips when needed and assist with the counting process. “Alright, here we go! One, two, three… eight, nine, ten! Now Push!!” My job seemed to be more of a rudimentary task assigned by the God of practical jokes. Ann always said without my presence, the whole experience would have been fruitless. I guess I can understand that, but let’s face it; she’s the one that did all the work!
Codi is our third daughter, our second youngest. By now, I was a pro at helping Ann through her breathing and her transitions into each contraction. As with the other two, when the time came, the doctor would ask if I wanted to cut the cord. My answer was always an emphatic, “No.” There are just some things that can’t be unseen and Ann will tell she’ll, hands-down, agree with that line of logic.
Up until this point, the births of our daughters were somewhat normal and uneventful processes. About a minute after Codi was moved to the prep table, the doctor looked at me and said, “We have to go Mr. Kiger.”
I thought, “Great, you kind of have already done all the heavy lifting. Thanks for everything and pleasure doing business with you!” But before I could take a breath, the nurses and the doctor pulled Ann’s bed out of the corner and rushed her out of the room.
I was floored! I had no idea what the Hell was happening! Ann’s mother came in and told me to go. I took off and followed the team down several hallways and watched them wheel Ann’s bed into a restricted room. Somehow I had missed a huge window to my right and I finally realized it was there once I saw Ann being moved into position. The next thing I knew there was blood everywhere.
I tend to tear up about this moment whenever I have to think about it. This was the first time I ever experienced the feeling that I may lose the only woman that I’ve ever truly loved. A thousand images raced through my head. I could see myself standing by, watching her casket being lowered into the ground. I could feel every second my daughters would have to spend without ever knowing who their mother was. I tried with every ounce of my being to have some level of composure, but the tears fell faster than I could catch my breath.
After about an hour, the doctor came out to tell me Ann was going to be OK. He then proceeded to tell me that it was a close call and she was extremely lucky, as if something else, other than his team, lent a hand in resolving this issue. Two nurses followed shortly behind and put their arms around me, helping me navigate the maze of hallways that led back to the room.
Ann’s mother was beside herself. In fact, she almost lost her mind on the entire staff and every living being in the known universe, seeing how no one told her that her daughter was engulfed in such a predicament. I very much love my mother-in-law, but if you think Ann is tough, then the idiom, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” REALLY applies right here. I was thankful I had those nurses with me when we got back to the room and it helped all of them to keep their jobs having Ann come in about two minutes behind me.
By now, Ann had yet to hold Codi. Codi was quickly moved into Ann’s arms and I can remember her whispering, “My little peanut,” before she started to doze off. I wouldn’t hear Ann say those words again for about another few months…
It was spring time and Ann had Codi on our bed, admiring her air kicks and precious smiles after having been trapped in her morning swaddle. Codi began to root a bit and Ann picked her up. In the very moment Codi’s little head began to rest in the crux of Ann’s shoulder, Ann said, “Is my peanut hungry?” Every day, from that moment on, Codi was her little peanut... her "P" for peanut.
So in honor of every mother’s loving whisper, I present this peanut. Every time I see a peanut now, I am reminded of how precious of a gift she is. One that must never be taken for granted. And most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Sunday, October 12, 2014
Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website: www.adamkiger.com
Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!