By Casey Liss

I promise this blog won’t turn into a shrine to Declan, despite my every desire to do precisely that.

However, this picture I couldn’t resist sharing. Though I need to establish some context first.

Normally when a child is born, the child is placed directly onto the mother’s bosom. Shortly thereafter, the child breastfeeds for the first time, if he or she will be a breastfed baby. When Declan was first born, he was placed on Erin’s chest, but almost immediately, he was taken away to be examined.

Declan’s breathing was clearly labored and he wasn’t wailing like he should have been. Naturally, both Erin and I immediately started freaking out, though I tried to lock it up as best I could. Seeing a little newborn gas mask on Declan, and eventually a tube placed down his trachea to clear the fluid out, was challenging.

Welcome to parenthood.

As it turned out, Declan had inhaled a lot of amniotic fluid during labor. A visit from two NICU nurses, the aforementioned mask and tube, and an hour later, he was breathing better and was placed on Erin’s chest for “skin to skin”.

This picture was taken seconds after Declan was returned to Erin.

If you look closely (or click to enlarge), you can see the tear running down her cheek.

For the rest of my life, I don’t think I’ll be able to look at this picture without crying. It is, and very likely will remain, the best picture I’ve ever taken.