Archive for the Guest Author Category

Chloe’s story- by Jack H. Smith

Posted in Guest Author, Reflections on December 3, 2009 by Justin S. Smith

The first guest writer on Thoughts from the Fringe could be none better than Jack H. Smith, my dad. My fringe dwelling is in no small way a result of this man leading me off the beaten path during my formative years and doing his best to unrepairably warp a developing mind. I can only hope to be as equal a warping influence on my children. -J.S.S

Justin I read your essay on the birth of Chloe and the problems that occurred. After reading it I decided that Chloe’s side of the story needs to be told and her grandfather was a good person to tell the story. Because I wasn’t there I will have to take poetic license in writing the story. Poetic license means I have to make it up (lie like a politician).

            Rather than take up space on your blog site I decided to email this to you. But I decided to take up the space anyway. It’s worth it.


                                                            Chole’s Story

                                                Created by her grandfather.


            It was after their children were in bed for the night. Justin and Faith were getting in a little together time uninterrupted by little people. Faith was in her favorite chair trying to find a comfortable position. Being eight and a half months along in her pregnancy there was no comfortable position. Justin had sat down on the sofa close to his wife’s chair.

            “Did you read that article by researchers who say you need to explain every thing that’s going on to your baby.” He said.

            “We’ve already told the kids what’s going on. They seem to understand, the older ones any way.”

            “Not those kids. They say you need to tell the one you are carrying what’s going to happen.”

“We’ve been talking able this for some time.”

“But we haven’t told her directly.”

“If you want to tell her go ahead. I’m going to try and rest.” She laid her head back and closed her eyes.

“ Chloe…” He started sitting on the sofa.

“If this was one of the other children you would have to first get their attention.”

“If I speak louder it would wake the others.”

“Try getting closer.” She replied using the speaking to an idiot voice.

“Oh. “ Justin got down on his knees beside his wife. “Do you think I should knock and get her attention?”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea.” She closed her eyes once more.

Leaning closer to his wife he started talking to his unborn child. “Chloe they say that we are suppose to tell you about every thing that is about to happen.” He stopped to gather his thoughts.

Who are you?” The voice was very soft and low. If he were even a little farther away he wouldn’t have heard it.

He looked at his wife to see if she was making fun of him. She appeared to be asleep. He couldn’t tell if he was really heard a voice or not.

“I’m your father…your Daddy.” he replied in a soft voice.

“What do you want to tell me? I’ve been resting. Something is about to happen and I need  to be rested for it.”

“That’s what I want to talk to you about.” He said. “The event is your birth. It is going to happen in the next couple of weeks.”


“Yes. That is what I want to talk to you about. Birth is where you come out and join us out here.”

“I don’t know how to do that.” She almost sounded lost.

“That’s okay. You’ll know what to do when the time comes. Your mother and I have decided to do thing differently this time. Instead of cold Doctors just doing their jobs there will be a loving midwife helping ease you into our world. Instead of a cool sterile delivery room there will be a warm pool of water.”


“Yes you will come out into a pool of water.

“You do realize that I’m young and unable to swim? I will drown.”

“You are in water now.” He told her.

“I am?” Her little voice raising several octaves.

“Calm down. Your mother is breathing for both of you.”

“Tell her to breathe a little faster, one of us is about to have a panic attack.”

“What are you doing? She seems to be agitated. “ Faith asked without opening her eyes.

“I’m just telling her what is going on.” He said. Turning back to his little girl to try an aleeve her fears. “Do you see that cord that’s attached to your belly?””

“You do realize that the light in here is very poor? I have kept my eyes closed most of the time. There isn’t much to see in here any way.”

“That cord is what is used to feed you and supply your other needs. And you don’t need to breathe in water as long as it is attached.”

“Okay Daddy.” She sounded calmer. “Tell me more.”

“When the time comes you’ll know what to do.”

“I’m scared and I have to get this right. Tell me what to do.”

“You turn head down and come out head first. ”

“What is down? Leading with my head doesn’t sound real smart.”   

“That’s the way it’s done. Down is toward the exit.”

“I don’t know which way the exit is. Will you be there? Will you help me? Will you call me so I’ll know the right way?”

“Yes I’ll be there and I’ll help you.”

“Thank You, Daddy.”

“Are you asleep.” Faith asked.

“I don’t think I was.”

“You were quiet for such a long time.”

“Maybe I was. I had the strangest dream.”

“Well it’s time for both of us to get some sleep.”

“You mean the three of us.”



“Justin, I think its time.” Faith said as she stood in church waiting for the kids.

“Daddy it’s time.”

“Go collect the kids so I can kiss them goodbye. Get the ones that are going to watch them too.”

“Daddy? Where are you?”

“Okay. I’ll be right back.” He disappeared to find his children.

“Daddy, its time and I need you.”

“He had better hurry. That last one was a good one.” Faith said speaking of her contractions.

“I hear Momma I’ll go to her.”

“She’s getting active.”

“I’m coming.” 



“Daddy there is no way out here.”

“We’ve tried several ways to induce labor again.” The midwife said. “I can’t find her heart beat where it’s suppose to be. I think we need to go to the hospital.”

“Daddy I’m here.”


 “She’s breech and up high.” The Doctor said as he looked at the sonogram. “She is way out of position.”

“What are we going to do?” Justin asked as he sat beside Faith.


“There are several choices. One is to wait and see if she turns on her own. I think it’s too late for that. Two we can try and turn her. She might turn and she might not. If she doesn’t then we have to do a C-section. Three we schedule and do a C-section.”

“What happens if you try to turn her?”

“Daddy? I hear you and I’m coming.”

“To be honest it’s going to stressful on both the mother and the baby.”

“What are the chances of it working?” Faith asked.

“Seventy five or eighty percent of the time we have to do a C section.”

“I think both have been through enough.” Justin said looking at his wife.

“Let’s get this over with. I’m tired.”

“Okay we’ll get things set up and bring her into the world.” The Doctor said.


“She’s moved.” The doctor said as he started the operation. “She’s sideways.”

“The cord.” The nurse said in a quiet voice to the Doctor.

“I see it. Let’s get this little girl out of here.”

“This isn’t like daddy said it would be. It not right. Daddy? Let me get that lung ful of air and I’ll let you know who’s not happy.”


Some people reading this will say it couldn’t happen that way, but I’m willing to stick to the fact as I created them. Congratulations to you both. Kiss the sweet child and tell her you will be there the next time she needs you.

You will notice that this telling puts the blame squarely on me. But who should we blame, Chloe? Faith? No, they’ve been through enough. I’ll take it.

Thanks for the story, Dad.