Ten years ago, this very day, I witnessed my first birth.
Thomas Edward Grant Blackwelder was born to his mother, my mother, at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in Laguna Hills, California.
My parents and I had planned for months that I would go with them to the hospital to see the baby born, I was really excited. My mother fed us dinner, while her contractions grew stronger. She cleaned up dinner as they grew more consistent. She paged my dad as they grew longer. She sewed a quilt as they became more intense (she doesn't sew). My mother stopped during each contraction to catch her breath and write down the start and stop times. I tentatively ventured into her space and observed.
After some hours, dad came home. He gathered some this-and-that and choked down some dinner, but my mom was already in the car. He said, "Are you coming?" I got in the car too. A fast drive in the rain (dad's specialty).
We marched right in. Nurses came at my laboring mom with a gown, an IV, stirrups, everything. She said, "No."
She sat on that transformer/table/bed, I held her leg, she pushed. Dad cried through photographing at the holiness of the moment, and mom labored on. The doctor tried to communicate with her, there was no getting through. Then, coming up briefly from the deep-inside she said, "I'm working here."
The myriad instruments freaked me out, they were wheeled in on vast tables, arranged on long, shiny trays and on sterile drapes, stacked, gathered, laid-out, and all around us.
Silently, the little prince slid into life without a cry, the peaceful son of a peaceful mom. All in tears we watched that perfect one, overcome with his presence, and the very real knowing that this being came to us from somewhere else.
Doctor clamped and cut, baby gasped, and his eyes were full of fear.
I'll never forget that look. I have learned so much since that day, but I don't know anything more than I did at that moment.
Happy birthday little brother.
I love you.