Saturday, October 20, 2007

on the other side of life

There are some opportunities in life that cannot be refused. Chances that cannot be dismissed. Experiences that cannot be repeated. Today was one such day.

I'm not sure what I was expecting or what I had pictured in my mind. Even now I have trouble acknowledging the reality of the events that occurred earlier. I feel joyously numb, emotionally drained, and at a total loss for words.

It was beautiful. It was amazing. It was all very simple and natural. Yet it's an everyday occurrence, a routine, a regular practice.

I've been waiting for the call. She told me way back that she wanted me there. I can't describe the honor that gave me. Yet I wondered what in the world was I going to do? I know a lot about a lot of things, but one thing I really don't know very much about is birth. So I've been anxiously waiting. I've feared for weeks that he would come on a day that I had big tests or mandatory class lectures or during the wedding I was in recently. But none of that happened. Today was a beautiful day. We spent the afternoon celebrating Haydn's 4th birthday and playing outside. It was a great time of communion and fellowship. All the while her body was pulsating with joyous eruptions announcing the arrival of her son. I waited with anxious anticipation as I made balloon animals for Haydn and her little friends. They left the party and I soon followed them home.

When I arrived she was quietly acknowledging her contractions. Calls were made to the midwife and she found solace in a warm bath. She resided there for an hour or more meeting each contraction with courage and fear, knowing their intensity would grow and bring forth her son. I helped when needed, but mostly I stayed out of the way and occupied myself by watching portions of a movie. He stayed right by her, encouraging her, monitoring her progress, taking notes of times and changes. A final call to the midwife and we left for the hospital.

I drove, He sat in the back holding her body and supporting her all the way there, cheering her on. She held on to him tightly, cringing, feeling the pain. We finally got to the hospital. I believe I hit every pot hole and dip in the road (she later told me she didn't even notice). They went in the ER, a mistake, and I parked the car. I got up to delivery with the rest of the stuff he couldn't carry and waited and waited and waited. The anxiety within me was mounting. Where were they? After an irritating ordeal in the ER they finally made it up and off we all went.

We got to the room and the team came in. It all happened so fast. I can see it in my mind - the events, but there are too many words to tell and yet not enough to truly express. We flanked her, he and I. We each held a hand and a leg and gave words and looks and held our breath. The team was nice and respectful and couldn't have been any better. I had the best view in the room. I stroked her hair and held her hand and watched. When it happened I found myself with tears running down my face. I don't even remember feeling them come. But there he was. Her hand was gone from mine and wrapped around his little wet squirmy body. He did not cry out but bayed soft blissful whimpers that were truly mesmerizing.

Other things happened and the midwife, knowing I was a nursing student, explained everything to me in detail simply for the joy of it. And it was. The time came for him to cut the cord and he didn't really want to. So they offered. And of course I accepted. So I cut the cord. That was my small part.

It's funny being a twin. I suppose that since I had shared in one birth with her that I might as well share in another.

So, may I announce the birth of Josh and Chara Watson's first born son, Jonah Andrew Watson. Born at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on October 20th at 4:19 pm weighing 6# and 15 oz and 20" long. Mother did great. Baby is healthy. All are truly truly blessed.


Craig said...

Congratulations Aunt Tara. I know this one is truly special to you in a way that few understand. You told the story beautifully I think.

Love you lots,
Uncle Craig

Elizabeth said...

You guys are amazing!

With all my love,
Aunt Beth

Chara said...

It was truly special to be able to share this experience with you. I know Jonah is going to love his Friend.