i had the most amazing experience last month. before i get to that, there's a little bit of backstory...
one of the saddest things to me about getting older is the very real possibility that i may never have children. i'm not saying i won't for sure, but the window of time is definitely closing. it's not something i talk about a lot, but it is something i think about a lot. i know i can adopt, freeze my eggs, have kids until i'm old, and every other thing you might be thinking to tell me, but unless i meet the man of my dreams pretty pronto, it might not be in my life plan.
as i have thought more and more about that recently (especially the last year), i realized i also may never have the experience of birth (either my own story or witnessing someone else's). it's not the kind of thing i would necessarily ask someone. i would never expect anyone to invite me to be present for their delivery, and i would never be upset if someone offered and then changed their mind.
somehow this topic came up at bookclub in december. mauri was pregnant with baby #6 and talked about how she didn't really care who was in the delivery room-parents, students, whoever. she invited me to come to her birth. i assured her over and over that she didn't have to, and she also assured me that it was totally fine.
the week came and we exchanged several texts about the plan. she would be induced sometime on sunday-probably in the morning. she again assured me that she was completely comfortable with me being there.
sunday morning came, and she let me know she was at the hospital. she invited me to come and be there for as much of the process as i wanted. i got to the hospital after they started her on pitocin and gave her the epidural. we spent the next several hours visiting in the room. her husband was there of course and her parents came. her mom watched the monitors. the nurse came in about every 15 minutes to check the baby's heartbeat, and we waited.
eventually her midwife came in and broke her water, and we waited some more. we chatted throughout most of the afternoon, and eventually she got tired and took a little rest. the room was so peaceful and quiet. the midwife checked her a couple of times, and the progress was a little slow. she came back to check in the early evening. she checked her and then said it's time to have a baby.
i wanted to make sure to be completely out of the way, and everyone else wanted to make sure i could see. since it was baby #6, things went pretty quickly. the delivery went very well. the whole thing was so incredible. mauri was completely calm the whole time. she talked a little between contractions, and it seemed almost effortless. i saw the baby's cute little head, and i could barely contain my emotion. the baby was born, and there were tears in the room (the baby's, grandma's and mine for sure). words cannot adequately describe the sweetness of the experience.
i stood back and observed as they finished taking care of things and taking care of the baby. i didn't plan to stick around too long after the baby was born, but i did wait until everything was pretty wrapped up. dad held the baby and then passed her to grandma and grandpa. i got to hold the baby before i left. there is something so completely precious about a brand newborn. i held her for a few minutes and savored the sweet experience. as i congratulated my friends on their new arrival and thanked them for the experience, i felt so much emotion. i witnessed a miracle that day, and it is something i hope i never forget.