Yesterday, I wrote about the happy new addition to my extended family. A chocolate cutie who has already chewed through Mom's computer cord and sundry other items.
And today. Today, I write yet again about new life. Precious new life.
Some of you might recall a post a little while back wherein I worried aloud about my good friend who was very very pregnant and very very sick. As I wrote that post, this friend was in the ICU of a local hospital, fighting viral pneumonia and swine flu. Fighting for her life. Fighting for the life inside her. Fighting.
After spending a whopping week-plus in the ICU and then several days in the maternity ward where she and the baby could be closely monitored, my friend finally came home last week. To her husband. To her daughter. To her bed. To her life. A life that was on the brink of change, wonderful change. A few days after coming home, my friend went into labor.
So it was back to the same hospital. This time for a happy reason. The happiest of reasons. Her husband kept us apprised of her progress via text messages. On Friday night, we got word. He was here! A perfectly healthy little boy. And his heroic mother made it through it all in one piece. I still haven't spoken to my friend in over three weeks because she has not been able to talk. That is how sick she has been. Unable to talk. And yet. She mustered the strength, the courage, the might, to welcome new life.
I spoke to her husband yesterday morning. This man has been through something no one should ever have to go through. But this time his voice was different, markedly more animated. Stuffed with pure relief and joy. I do not pretend to know what happiness is, but it was there, alive in his words, palpable in his pauses.
And then he told me something I am not sure I wanted to hear. He told me that after his son was born, the doctor pulled him aside and told him something. My friend's doctor told her husband that he was very very lucky that both his wife and his son made it through the birth so well given everything. The doctor told my friend's husband that this baby, this outcome, this exquisite outcome, was a miracle.
A miracle. I am not one to throw around this word. I don't know why. But this is a special occasion. This adorable little boy? He's a mini miracle. That my friend is okay, that she arrived home today? This is a miracle.
Mark Twain (unsurprisingly) said it well, A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
A blessing. Again, I am not one to throw around this word. Again, don't know why. But this is a special occasion. This adorable little boy? This little blue bundle? He's a blessing. The fact that my friend is home and settling in and adjusting to a her new world? This is a blessing.
When I go back and read that original post of mine, I am brought back to that somber afternoon in Starbucks when I wrote, and furiously, because I had no idea what else to do. I remember how the fear mingled with hope, how the anger danced with defiance. Deep down, I knew things would turn out okay. Because they had to. And at the end of my little tear-soaked homily, I bowed to that inchoate optimism, I gave it air. I wrote something I believed, I needed to believe. I wrote:
"What amazes me is the keen contrast, the devilish dichotomy, the quickening of shadows in sunlight. What amazes me is how quickly things can change. And now I wait, patiently, humbly, for the next moment to arrive, the brighter one. I wait for the moment in the not-too-distant future when I will hug my beautiful friend and her incomparable husband and their kids and celebrate health and happiness and love and life."
Today, the shadows are gone. Today is all sunshine. Things have changed. And that moment? The brighter one? It is here in all its bounty. It is here. And when I am given the go-ahead, I will race to a home not far from where I type this now. I will tiptoe through the front door in case the baby is sleeping. Gingerly, I will hug my friend who has weathered the cruelest storm imaginable and emerged victoriously. A true champion. And I will hug her husband. And then I will get a bit silly and twirl around with a little girl and tell her Toddler says hello. I will give this brave little girl a big sister gift because she is now a big sister. And then. As soon as I am allowed, I will Purell my sweating palms, and I will hold him. The little man himself. The mini miracle. The baby blessing.
And then, when no one's looking, I will whisper something in his tiny ear. I will say: "Welcome to the world, little man. I am so glad you are here to bless and bother your parents for a long, long time to come."
Congratulations to a certain family of four. I can't wait to meet him. I knew this day would come.
Come on. This is the sweetest of occasions! Leave a comment congratulating my friend and her family on this adorable and auspicious arrival!