3.092 Udong

-Cycle 3, Item 92-
6 (Fri) April 2012


* * *

at Dong-Cheon-Hong (동천홍)

-Sinsa, Seoul-

with Mom and Dominic

In a prior post, I declared the entire Dong-Cheon-Hong chain to be on probation, pending a last shot for the original location, "but only if the opportunity were to arise out of unforeseen and/or unavoidable circumstances" (see 2.053 Oryong Haesam).

The birth of our second son was unavoidable. 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 for 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. The wife 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 Dominic's birth, about 3 weeks premature, I was on a business trip in another country, so it had not yet come up.) 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. The wife, 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, a ghastly look on my face, 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. The point of the story is that I was a hero that morning.


It turns out that he looks exactly like his big brother Dominic did when Dominic 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 (see generally 1.257 Tofu with Crab) (my mother, unavoidably, insisted that we eat there for dinner).

Dong-Cheon-Hong is still on probation. The simple noodle dishes that we ate this evening weren't very good but not bad enough to constitute grounds for a lifetime ban. Either way, I'm sure the situation will be resolved before long.


  1. congratulations! name? Ian? or something else? also, i fail to see how this is the "same" as with dominic since you weren't around the first two days or so anyway with dominic!

  2. it's the same in the sense that he looks the same as dominic, and that it's the same location with all the same players.

    but the umbilical cord thing was....i still can't really talk about it.

    i'm still pondering the name issue, which I'll address soon, but IAN is certainly somewhere in the mix.

  3. I like the name Ian! and as far as that "hero" thing: you go ahead and think that, you hero! Muchos congratulations on a healthy, safe delivery.

  4. okay, i was going to overlook that "hero" thing and let you be, delusion and all, but since DC has already touched on it, i will too. are you crazy? barely cutting a cord that was already probably severed from your wife anyway before you even walked in? you should ask david to tell you about his delivery experience with becca one day. weak sauce.

  5. Congratulations, again, and we're really happy your wife and the baby are doing well. I was in the delivery room for both of my wife's 'natural' child births. Nobody ever asked me to cut the cord or participate in any way, other than as a spectator - thankfully! Regardless, I think being in the room is sort of a right of passage and it sounds like you survived it. Hero, I think that goes to Mom on this day - your chance comes in the day-to-days in years ahead. You know what I'm talking about, but having two kids is a completely different animal than having one. Hang in there, brother, the ride is about to begin.

  6. thanks bob! the additional advice that you've given me via email keeps swirling in my thoughts, especially the part about lingering resentment from the older child. i'll do my best to make them both feel 100%.