As a child, our family photo albums weren’t your average collection of pictures. Rather, one might find herself flipping pages of pictures of children playing, vacation sights and family portraits and then – BAM! – photos of a baby being born. My mom was an OB nurse, as were many of her friends, and they literally took turns witnessing and documenting one another’s deliveries. So, as a child I saw photos of babies being born, many photos. But as an adult I’ve never witnessed the miracle of birth (unless you count the mirror in the delivery room as my first son was born) – until last night.
Through the awesomeness that is the internet, I got to “be there” to see my sister become a mother. And it was the most amazing thing ever.
The past few weeks, as my sister neared her due date, I found myself overcome with sadness. I didn’t get to see my sister in person while she was pregnant. I never got to touch her belly or feel the baby move under her skin. She’s my only sister and this is her first baby. It’s monumental, and I felt lonely and isolated, missing it all.
Somehow in the last couple days as it became obvious that the birth would occur soon, I asked if I listen or watch the delivery using FaceTime. My sister, generously, agreed. So, last night, as she prepared to push and deliver her baby, my mom texted to wake me from my restless sleep. I was anxious and nervous and so, so excited for my sister.
I sat by myself in my living room in Germany, holding my iPhone a few inches from my face to try to get as close to action as possible. My mom and a nurse took turns holding an iPad in Texas. I got to see my sister’s face as she strained, pushing with all her might. And, yes, I saw everything as the baby entered the world. Well, saw what I could through my tears. I was a bawling mess, so overcome with the miracle I was witnessing.
After what was the longest labor in the history of babies, it took only minutes of pushing for my sister to deliver her baby. A girl. My niece. And I was a very small part of it. I’ll never forget it.
Of course, just when I thought things couldn’t get any better I heard the baby’s name…
Welcome to the world, Leah Kate. You are so, so loved. And I am so, so lucky to be your aunt.