My son, Shmuel, was born four years ago on the 10th of Cheshvan. My wife woke me at 3 a.m.; we were at the hospital a bit after 3:30. Not her first delivery, the labor was quick. By 5:45, she gave birth.
So efficient she was, I thought that there would be time to make it to my regular 7 a.m. minyan in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem. Our newborn would fit into my schedule -- everything according to expectations; everything as planned.
I accompanied the baby to the post-delivery room. The doctor, flanked by two nurses, labored over the baby with unexpected focus and intensity. Finally, the doctor emerged. Our newborn, he suspected -- really, he knew -- had Down syndrome.