As explained in a previous post, we were lucky enough to look in on the miracle of a natural breech birth on December 30th in Washington DC. If you want details on how it looked from the Grandparents view, I posted about it on our Deseret News blog here. Both parents are careful to say that this is not a procedure they would recommend in anything but a perfect series of events. If you want in-depth details of the labor and miraculous delivery through the mom and dad’s eyes click here. There you will find a click that leads you to a totally modest but realistic and breathtaking photograph that Eli took of those little feet coming out first. It is stunning!
One of my favorite things on earth is spending time in the presence of a new baby. When people recite the familiar portion below of Wordsworth’s eloquent and timeless poem about birth called Ode to Immortality they often stop quoting just before the sentence that I think is the most important. It goes like this:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Truly heaven surrounds those newborns. For a precious short while they are half way between heaven and earth. There is nothing like watching a newborn sleep and observing their rapid eye movements when they are dreaming about the only thing they know…where they have just come from! I have sat with newborn grandchildren who have not only smiled but actually laughed while sleeping. I’m pretty sure they’re not dreaming about their journey through the birth canal!
Well, that’s just my own feeling but I firmly believe that not only are angels present in the room when babies enter the world but they linger for quite a while after birth. Gazing into those innocent, clear faces while they sleep and as their open eyes and observe the blurry new world they have entered is pretty close to ecstasy! Stroking those petal soft cheeks and watching those first yawns and stretches along with snuggling that little soul up to your neck and feeling their baby soft breaths on your skin is purely heaven to me!
It is also so moving to see the new parents bond so immediately to a soul they have only just met. Because this was a first baby for Eli and Julie they knew they had just entered a new life forever and in this case they were ready (even though they joked about going into “baby prison”.
Of course the realization of what this new life means soon settles in to every set of new parents and it’s not ever perfect and often not pretty. The real world settles in as the effects of sleep deprivation take over and the baby spews out from both ends incessantly. There are even colicky babies who are inconsolable and so difficult to survive. Almost every little baby has “issues” big and small. But in the end, it’s all worth it!
This is a room adjacent and similar to the room where Julie gave birth with an “audience” of professionals in the background in low lights looking on. One of Julie’s advantages is that she has been a full-time nurse for the past few years. Because I (and probably most people) could never do this in my wildest dreams I somehow think her hospital experience may have helped her cope with this very unique delivery. Still….what a champion!
Here’s Eli entering the hospital to pick up Julie and new daughter Zara (pronounce Zara as in Laura) with that empty car seat which will, at last be filled:
Delighted Daddy with Darling Daughter:
Heroic Julie! Great supporter Eli. So happy! Zara, not so much!
She liked her first ride. although she didn’t see much. She seemed to like it that way!
Home at last!
I arrived on December 31st and Eli and I welcomed the New Year in while we watched the baby and Julie slept in order to get ready for the next feeding. We welcomed the new year while watching the fireworks on TV. I gave Rick a nice kiss on the phone to start the new year. Not very satisfying I must say!
Their condo is on Capitol Hill and is just high enough to see the light on the top of the US Capitol what indicated that Congress was in session. Somehow I didn’t feel too sorry for them as we saw that light burn all night as congress attempted to save us from that crazy cliff!
Wow, did we have fun for the next week! Eli and I went to Safeway and Costco and I had a ball actually cooking for a week! We tried new recopies and had a great time pulling together some nice breakfasts since that is Julie’s favorite meal. This was our first dinner together!
First outing in this baby’s “Rolls Royce” stroller. Cut parents making sure she is warm and comfortable!
Think she’s going to be warm enough?
What a precious week we had! There’s nothing like a new baby to start a new year!