Nearly two years ago I witnessed a miracle: The birth of my niece and goddaughter. This momentous occasion marked a new chapter in my life. In fact, it’s hard to remember life prior to Ella.
At the time of her birth, I was five months pregnant with my own little love bug. My sister, who happens to be my twin, wanted me to be in the delivery room during her labor, which I agreed to without a second thought. But, I cautioned that when it came time to push, I would probably leave. Since I had yet to experience childbirth myself, I was afraid the images I saw would scar and scare me. I was sure that witnessing a live childbirth would cause extreme anxiety and fear on the remaining months of my pregnancy, that I would spend most of my waking hours wondering how I would in fact endure the pain of labor, and that I would worry about lacking the strength and energy to push the baby out.
I was wrong. Very wrong.
After laboring all night long, which I faithfully endured with her (OK, it wasn’t so bad since she did end up having an epidural. One might even say it was fun chatting, laughing, and listening to music on her iPod. My aunt, a labor and delivery nurse who was my sister’s nurse that night, even hooked me up the fetal monitors at one point so I could hear my baby’s heartbeat (another miracle witnessed on a monthly basis during pregnancy). ) it was time to push.
I was ready to exit the room, but my aunt had other plans. She urged me to stay.
Fine, I said, finally caving. But I’ll stand by the couch and I probably won’t look.
And, as they say, the rest is history.
The gory details didn’t matter anymore. The pain didn’t matter anymore. A baby was born; a beautiful, precious, baby girl, who melted your heart with her first cry.
And with that I knew what truly matters in this world: Love. Family. Living.
I didn’t spend the rest of my pregnancy in fear; Instead, I spent it in hopeful anticipation, awaiting my opportunity to give life to my precious miracle.
Happy 2nd Birthday Ella! Auntie loves you!