How many times have you heard that births never go as planned? A gazillion. And it's so true. Anything you've ever heard about a "typical" labor and delivery should be thrown out the window, because there is simply no such thing. It's one of the (many) reasons I admire midwives so much. They must be prepared for anything (And they are! Have you ever seen all the luggage midwives carry with them to a birth?). They are perpetually on call. They must be prepared for alarmingly fast labors and epically slow labors. They're amazing. In this instance, the plan was for a warm, soothing water birth. What do you think is the key element for a successful water birth? Yeah. Warm water. Though sweet mama longed to slip into that partially filled tub, the hot water quit before she could. And so the only thing to get in that tub was a lone rubber duck.
Thankfully, babies come regardless of our plans, and this baby couldn't have come at a more beautiful time: by way of morning's first light on a sleepy, Sunday morning. All was quiet when I opened the door to the house on the hill. Eventually I heard a low moan that led me to the waiting room--the room where mother and father and little-big brother and midwives all waited for Baby. He was coming. Mother rested on her bed, the very place she had felt those first contractions. Midwives and father flanked her with caring presence and respectful distance.
Big-brother-to-be was a mixture of eagerness, concern, and curiosity. He frequently moved between the outer edges of the room to close beside his mama.
As labor intensified, he looked at me strangely and asked, "Why are you taking pictures of me?"
I said, "Well I want to get pictures of the newest big brother!"
His eyes widened. "Who's going to be a big brother?"
If only I had photographed his expression. It was fabulous. He couldn't have heard better news.
This, of course, made it all the more sweet when this boy in footsie jammies studied his little brother for the first time and proclaimed, "He's nice. I like him."