For two weeks, the midwife expected me to call at any moment to meet at the hospital, so the day she finally gave up on predicting, you decided to enter, unrushed, yet rushing to be here all the same. Calm yet exuberant.
My body, breathing steadily, walked outside to hail a cab, and realized with abrupt surprise that a cab would not do. To everyone’s chagrin and disbelief, I insisted on an ambulance, and proceeded to launch into intense contractions the moment we took off. “They’re one on top of another,” I heard one frum (observant) Hatzalah (emergency medical worker) man note to another.
“Imminent delivery!” They yelled as they hurriedly rushed me into the hospital on the stretcher, bypassing all fantastical triage rooms galore, and I grinned, inwardly. What a fantastic way to come into this world: ” Imminent delivery!!!”
“Pant!” intoned my midwife, rushing to my side.
“Breathe deep!” disagreed my doula.
And I, caught in the middle at a most inconvenient time, grabbed onto the latter and relaxed through the most difficult of it all, except it wasn’t.
When you came out, crying, I didn’t mind the screams.
“Don’t worry,” they assured me—which I wasn’t—for you were alive.
Squirmy, alive, and—it’s a girl!
“A girl!” I laughed. ” Wait until my husband hears!” (He was still checking me in.)
“Is she healthy?” I asked anxiously.
“Yes,” they assured me again, smiling. She was.
So a year goes by and while all the stories of “they grow up so fast” are true, so are also the untold stories of “they grow up so slow!”
What a slow, difficult, beautiful, opening year.
Just beginning. It’s just beginning. And we’re all, finally, starting to coalesce.
You, me, sister, abba (Dad).
Your laughter and your silly grin, your funny dances and your excited squeals. The way you will do everything cautiously in order to avoid being hurt, yet the way you climb ferociously over everything.
You add everything to the rhythm and the movement of our life.
It’s just beginning, Naomi Rachel. It’s just beginning.
Welcome to our world.