That Bryce Canyon sunset, when rustic hoodoo spires fired slow in burnished twilight, and her unborn spirit swept across our hearts' expanse. ~In reference to our May 2007 Southwest road trip
Do you remember watching one of those farm birth documentaries on PBS when you were younger, and the miracle of the foal being born was so amazing and crazy strange?
Well, it's got nothing on a live human birth. At home. In your own bed. With your own Mama wife and newborn.
After getting second and third opinions on the blood clot fights, the plan was to stay home and not go to the hospital. (We had researched and planned all this the first time as well.)
As my dad says, "God willin' and the creek don't rise."
This time God was and the creek didn't rise.
Saturday, August 21, 2010, 2:15 a.m.
I'm standing over the crib stroking Bea's arms to soothe here and I know I have to go.
Beatrice had been up since 1:00, primarily because of her cold and snotty nose, but also because she knew something was up.
Because our midwives had everything under control with Mama, it was up to me to tend to Bea if she needed it.
She did. Lots of it. She just couldn't go back to sleep and I had to stay in there so she wouldn't wail. She couldn't hear anything coming from our room; we keep a fan going in their for white noise and have been doing it since before she was born. (We dig it too.)
But she was obviously unsettled and aware of what's coming.
Mama had been in active labor since around 12:30 and the motion of the womb ocean was climaxing to a category 5 hurricane.
Things were moving fast and I was missing it.
I stroke Bea's arm one more time and whisper:
"I love you, baby, but I have to go help Mama."
As soon as I'm in our room, Bryce is entering the earth's atmosphere for the first time.
Of course I can't share the intimate details, but I can tell you that earlier she found her baby Zen center as contraction after contraction rolled through her.
Now I'm standing behind Mama on the side of the bed. She grabs my hand with the power of a 10,000 volts, pulls me down towards her on the bed and shrieks:
"Get it out of me!"
That's the final reality of birth, my friends. Guys, we have no idea. Nada. Zip. Imagine passing a hot bowling ball through your urethra.
Mother Mary of God, I think. There's a Bryce coming out of my wife.
You see, the first time with Bea I didn't see. That plan was to be at home as well. If you're interested you can relive Bea's birth story here.
But this one I am seeing, the visual annealing that softens my Y chromosome for an ultimately stronger bond.
Saturday, August 21, 2010, 2:24 a.m.
And then it's done. We're in the moment of tearful Mama holding wet newborn to her breast, the universe expanding the heart and soul ad infinitum.
All 7 pounds, 8 1/2 ounces, and 20.5 inches of her.
Welcome to the world, Baby Bryce.
No one gets to their heaven without a fight. ~Neil Peart