In Salinger's "Paula" there is the following passage:
"I so desperately want our baby born safely, darling. I’m afraid of falling. I’m afraid of a thousand things." Mrs. Hincher paused, suddenly squeezed her husband’s hand, as though some sharp, horrible image had come to frighten her mind’s eye. She continued, "Cars and trucks and things. I’m so afraid. And if I stay in bed I’ll be safe with my thoughts of you and baby."
The word "baby" sans the preceding definite article completely disarmed and waylaid Mr. Hincher’s heart. He replied to his wife in an exceedingly husky voice but with slight command in his voice.
I'm trying to figure out what exactly Mr. Hincher felt. So, first of all is "[t]he word "baby" sans the preceding definite article" a good or a bad thing? And what does "disarm and waylay one's heart" mean? My understanding is that Mr. Hincher felt totally defenseless and couldn't establish a counter argument. The thought of a baby was too dominant that he couldn't continue with the discussion. Is that correct?