A dad's heart-warming story about a day when life didn't go as planned.
When my wife and I delivered our third child, we decided to do it as a homebirth with a midwife.
Everything was progressing normally and on schedule. Our 32-week checkup was excellent but with a slight abnormality in heart tones. Our midwife thought she might have heard a second heartbeat. We all listened...and listened. We decided it was likely Sonya's own abdominal vessels that she heard. Week 34 and 36 checks came and went, everything (including heart tone) was completely normal.
The next weekend, early in the morning, Sonya felt contractions. Three weeks early. Being an experienced mother, she monitored the timing of the contractions, and sure enough, they were accelerating. She woke me up to call the midwife and prepare for delivery, but our midwife was out of town visiting family almost 3 hours away!
I was doing my best to attend to Sonya's needs and to give her all the water, ice, pressure, support, massage, and encouragement she needed as the contractions were accelerating. Still no midwife.
Sonya soon recognized the time to push. With no midwife present, I readied my hands to catch this baby who was clearly on his own schedule. The time was now! We birthed a baby boy. Our first boy! We celebrated that amazing adventure, and moved on to nurturing and appreciating this new little life when Sonya contracted again. OK, we realized, it was time to deliver the placenta. No problem. But the contractions kept getting stronger and stronger, and still no placenta. As the intensity and concern increased, our midwife burst through the door. She immediately examined Sonya, and all I heard was, "That's a head ... push!"
Moments later, a baby girl was born. Our midwife administered oxygen, just in case there had been cord compression, but in a few moments more, we were holding our unexpected miracle baby, who had somehow hidden behind her brother all this time.
As we were once again moving from intense excitement to nurturing relaxation with our surprise baby girl, we suddenly remembered her brother. In a minor panic, we looked around the room and spotted our 4-year-old daughter leaning against a wall with a tiny baby boy in her lap. She was caring perfectly for her little brother.
Forty minutes after welcoming one amazing child into our lives, we were blessed with another. There is nothing more powerful than delivering a baby. I have spent the last 10 years studying the ancient wisdom of the Five Elements, an eastern philosophy of health and life based on how energy and matter relate in nature. This philosophy suggests that deep happiness occurs with full expression of all our elements. Fire represents love and community, Earth represents support and growth, Metal represents wisdom and trust, Water represents freedom and connection and Wood represents vision and contribution to a greater purpose.
The images of community, support, trust, connection, and even a four year olds contribution to this wonderful event are forever logged vividly into my memory as the most amazing and happiest day of my life.