We arrived to the hospital early in the morning, but running a bit late – which was fine, it is not as though they could very well start without us.
The staff was very professional yet also very personable and friendly; they exuded a sort of natural warmth that showed how much they truly enjoyed their work – a rare attribute, in my experience, for the medical profession.
Things progressed well, though it seemed that Sophia was content to take her own sweet time in coming forth – though Candace maintained her typical even keel. As all the busied tumult whirled around us, our eyes would meet and everything would fade into a low faraway hum – our smiles told each other everything in silence.
After a morning of meandering and tenuous wondering, everything started to fall into place by the turn of the Noontide hour.
My daughter descended further down and out within her mother`s Birth Canal… soon the Doctor arrived and, at the stroke of thirty-seven minutes after Noon, Sophia Rhiannon Love emerged from her mother`s Womb, ruddy and coated with small traces of blood and Vernix mucus. Her mouth was wide open, and I saw her take her first breath of free air – letting it loose in a beautiful wail of newborn life.
I was handed a pair of medical scissors and cut my daughter`s umbilical cord in a single quick motion – as though I were somehow sanctioning her birth through the severing of the cord, symbolizing my role (and that of my wife) as the child`s provider and guardian in this wilderness of the world.
While the Doctor and her assistants saw to my wife`s post-natal concerns, I saw to those of our daughter – hovering over the technicians, offering my assistance in full “overzealous father” mode. They were jovial and pleasant, even allowing me to give Sophia her first bath in the Nursery.
As soon as my wife had recovered from the initial physical trauma of the birth, we brought the children into the room – so that they could meet their new sister, who has thus far only existed within their dreams and as a great bulge in their mother`s abdomen.
Gaelynn was eager to hold Sophia and snuggle-cuddle but Israel was a trifle more reticent – not fearful or anxious, simply reserved about the whole affair. He seemed to prefer to keep his distance, and speak lovingly of his sister from a vantage point across the room.
Eventually, the day grew long… the remains of the day had taken their toll, and I hesitantly returned home – leaving my sweet wife and beautiful newborn daughter at the hospital, as per the orders of her Doctor.
Tonight I spoke with my older children about what had occurred – and how they felt about it all. We laughed and played, rather far past regular bedtime. As I left them to their dreamings, my daughter asked me if we could have another baby next Winter. I laughed at this and told her to go to sleep. Silly girl.
Now I sit alone in the candlelit quietude of my house, longing for my beloved and missing the tiny princess I have only just met.
Upon this, the close of her first day, I wonder at what the days with her will bring.