Born today was our third daughter, Layla Peace. She entered this world at 12:30pm. She weighed 6.8 pounds, and measured 19.3 inches. These are the statistics.
Of more importance is her reception. The lead-up to her birth was quite strange for us. Emma was anticipated to be a natural birth, but found the umbilical cord around her neck which prompted an unexpected but necessary c-section. With Hannah we knew that a c-section was a possibility, but walked and walked and walked in the days set before the deadline by the doctor. Not eager to exit, she was removed at knife point.
A second c-section meant that all subsequent children would be so delivered. From the first pregnant visit to the doctor we set the birth date, and waited for it to come. The soon arrival of our daughter was a number on a calendar, not a period pregnant with anticipation. Perhaps the excitement wanes for everyone after the miracle has been experienced more than once. Perhaps there are latter born children who have grown to resent their timing on the scene.
May God preserve us from such complacency; likely, he has already done so. In each of the previous two c-sections I have dutifully stood by Julie’s side, though positioning renders the expression more accurately as ‘sat by Julie’s head’. Draped between her neck and her bosom is large cloth, rendering mute any visual of the proceedings. I have not had inclination to peer beyond. On the one hand, it is best to stay behind and offer support. One the other, should I faint at the sight of my wife’s inner organs the complications added to major surgery surely would not be appreciated.
For baby number three, however, the cloth was barely the size of a handkerchief. While blocking Julie’s view, all was open and exposed for me to see. In order to avoid it I would have to cower nearly cheek-to-cheek at the level of her gurney.
Interestingly, Julie not only encouraged me to look, but also to take pictures. The conversation has not yet begun as to making these public, but we will start any such post with suitable warning. I suppose after three times behind the curtain, she was curious as to what they were doing to her. No shame in that, of course.
Now, I know. To be honest, it was fascinating. I will save the details for later, just in case we do write about it. Layla, though, will never lack for something special. She was the one I watched come out.
Of course, any parent will say – I believe – that they fell in love with their child the first he/she laid eyes on him/her. Keeping that sentence grammatically neutral somewhat ruins the sentiment, but maybe that is fair. Does not one have to say such things? Julie agreed, but put it more sincerely, less romantically, but more poetic: She was already a part of me; the love was already there. I agree.
Maybe you have been wading through this prose waiting to get to the pictures, so I will make you wait no longer. Please enjoy a few of Layla’s first photos.
Now, a video of Layla for 45 seconds in the first hour of her life.
Finally, one of Emma and Hannah enjoying their new sister.