The baby fell out!
Into the waiting arms of a doctor. Just as planned. But still. It felt very dramatic.
Look what Jeff and Kim made.
They done good.
This very proud auntie is happy to introduce you to my newest nephew.
Congratulations to Jeff, Kim and the baby’s big sister and big brother!
AND ALSO TO ME! The new auntie.
We’re all so very happy that the little man finally made his appearance. None more happy than his mama and daddy, of course, but I like to think I’m up there on the joy scale.
And fall out, he pretty much did. I mean, his mama only pushed about five times and, VOILA!, a squishy, purple, gurgly baby emerged.
Who quickly turned into a quiet, content, reddish-purple baby. Who kept opening one eye like a pirate.
Argh! I like you already, kid.
Importantly, in a STUNNING turn of Beth CAN Keep Her Mouth Shut Long Enough To Go Unnoticed And Not Get Kicked Out Of The Birthing Room…
I got to be there for the whole thing!
Now, it wasn’t like when my friend, Tami, delivered my cousin Leslie’s baby. That time, I was all down at the business end asking questions and going, “Wow!” And “Oh my gosh!” And “Is that a freaking HEAD coming out of her hoo-ha?!” Like I didn’t know what was gonna come out of where… but, seriously, it was a HEAD coming out of her!
Tami told me to shush at that point. Which is probably best.
That’s the kind of relationship I have with Leslie. I know that’s true because she was there in the hospital with me when my twins started to come too soon and the nurse made her keep an eye on my hoo-ha so she could pull the emergency doctor-summoning cord if my babies made their appearance before they could get me to the Operating Room.
And one good gander at a hoo-ha deserves another, I always say.
Actually, I’ve never said that before, but I kind of wish I had.
No, this time, I was quiet as a mouse. And I didn’t even take a peep at the business end of Kim. My special sister present to her.
In fact, I sat my rear end down in a chair, zipped my trap, and thought “Wow!” And “Oh my gosh!” And “WHERE ARE ALL THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL??”
Because there was only one nurse and one doctor. And, let me tell you, that was a LOT different than delivering twins prematurely where there were four nurses, four doctors, two anesthesiologists and miscellaneous interns wandering in and out.
I kept wondering if I should ask Kim’s doctor if she needed help. But she seemed fine, so I shut up.
This was my view of the birth.
And that’s my bruder, wearing his lucky baby-delivery shirt. The same one he wore for the delivery of his other two kids. It’s like magic, that shirt.
Or Kim is like magic.
Or God is like magic.
Or all of the above, which is my pick.
I may have, just for a teensy tiny second of time become overwhelmed with emotion. Before I even got into the room. When I passed the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The same unit where my twins were delivered seven weeks early. And where they were whisked away from me and attached to tubes and devices by doctors I’ll never meet but who saved my babies’ lives.
Uh, give me a sec. There’s some dust in my eyes.
I held my breath outside Jeff’s and Kim’s room, wiped my tears, slapped a smile on my face and remembered this is about them.
And then the crying-stick may have struck me again when a slimy and gorgeous boy was placed on his mama’s chest and hunkered down, perfectly content and warm.
They were intensely beautiful.
And I thought, perhaps oddly, of angst.
I thought about how sometimes children don’t come with perfect circumstances. Sometimes, there’s infertility or miscarriage. Sometimes a difficult pregnancy or a premature birth. Sometimes the push-me, pull-you losses and gains of adoption, or a difficult attachment.
I could go on, but you get the idea. And I hope it’s not in poor taste to nod to the sadness in a moment of joy.
It’s just that, the older I get and the more experiences I have, the more I believe that the times of sorrow and loss bring with them a gift.
The gift of seeing — really seeing — the joy. Seeing it. Stopping for it. Acknowledging it. And being oh, so grateful for it.
I know that this new little man’s story has its bumps, too. Both behind him and before him.
Which is why it’s all the more intensely beautiful to get to be there for the moments of bliss.
Like when a daddy gazes on his new baby for the first time.
What a privilege.
So, here I am, wishing Jeff and Kim more and more moments like this. And also expressing my abiding gratitude that I get to be part of their community.
I love you, love you. And also you, my newest nephew.
Whose middle name is a derivative of Matthew. Like Mathew, which unbelievably, I wrote before I knew about his beautiful name.
Which means Gift of God.
Which you are.
Which you are.
Which you are.