Miracle. All of it.

“You’re doing great, Nicole,” Jenny said suddenly, and these seemed like the first clear words I had heard in hours. “One, maybe two more pushes and she’ll be born!” It was the most powerful moment of my life, that moment shortly after one in the morning when I heard her cry and knew she was finally with us. Our daughter decided to come into the world with one fist raised. Seconds later she was placed on my chest, beautiful and flushed and still screaming at the shock of birth, and I touched her hair, her warm little cheek. Her skin felt impossibly soft, softer than I knew anything could be. At seven pounds, fifteen ounces, twenty inches long, she was not a small baby—her wails were also lusty, much louder than I’d expected—but she felt new and fragile in my arms. She stopped crying and gazed up at me, and my world shrank to the arresting dark blue pools of her eyes…

I had never been so tired, and I was sore to the very roots of my hair, but I couldn’t seem to close my eyes—how could anyone expect me to sleep when I had this fascinating little face to watch? It was almost impossible to believe this was the same unseen being who’d done jumping jacks on my bladder, greeting me with kicks and pokes and slow stretches for weeks on end. She was so small and so new, barely and yet wholly herself, already…

Suddenly I remembered the words of a friend…I love telling my kids their birth stories. It’s such a privilege to be able to do that. Yes, I thought, and also a miracle. The clichéd word didn’t embarrass me; this day and night was a wonder I’d never get over. As many times as this had happened before, to billions of parents since time immemorial, it was the only time it had ever happened to me. I had a child now, and she was mine. We were together. We would stay together. When Abby was old enough to ask me—to wonder, and to listen, and to care—I would tell her about her birth, her first days with us. You were born with one arm raised…I would say. When it was over, you and Daddy slept, but I couldn’t. All I wanted to do was look at you.

~ Nicole Chung, “All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir” (October 2, 2018)


Notes:

  • Photograph Credit
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.
  • Inspiration: Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Comments

  1. How special. A good reminder that there are still miracles happening in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In the quiet of the morning, this post reminded me of the births of my own babies, the exhilaration and whispers of wonder and promises to be kept as they slept – exhausted from their journey to get here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes. And this:

      By four a.m. I had given up on sleep and the delusion that I might not be in labor…Later, when we told family and friends how this night and day had gone, they would laugh at my choice to let Dan continue sleeping while I labored on my own. I would fire back that I knew I would need him soon enough, and decided one of us, at least, should go into the biggest day of our lives well-rested. But the truth likely had less to do with the kind of clear-eyed pragmatism even labor could not take away from me and more to do with needing time alone, in the darkness and the quiet, to accept that this was happening. There was something special about being the only person who knew our baby was on her way, feeling her scooting ever closer to the world while everybody else slept. In a few hours everyone would know she was almost here, but for now it was still our secret, hers and mine.

      ~ Nicole Chung, “All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir” (Catapult, October 2, 2018)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. What an amazing description! I’ve always thought the mother and child bond must be the most intimate imaginable…these passages confirm it. This book just pushed its way to the top of my queue….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the walk down memory lane over 26/24 years ago….seems like yesterday. We each have our own stories of how our children got here but the feeling of wonderment and euphoria once they arrive seems to be the common thread.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love telling my kids their birth stories too. And I love being told my birth story by my mom, over and over. I don’t think I’ll ever tell mom that I’ve heard this one before. My mother always has her serious face on, I get that from her. We forget to smile. But her face softens, melts when she’s telling her birth stories.

    Love this, thank you for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The greatest miracle on Earth! This is why, when it goes the other way, it is such a tragedy. Right after our first child’s birth, my husband was sitting to my left as I held this visible miracle of ours and God’s in my left arm. He said to her, “Hello, Sweetheart.” She knew the voice, and turned and turned her little head (somehow!) to see him. There will never be another moment for either of us that could compare.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, feel blessed to have 3 stories thanks to no medication or pain relief…all different but each moment cherished in memory. What an outpouring of love sweeps in…also for the fathers. Thanks, David, needed something to remind us of the preciousness of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. that is beautiful. i’ve begun writing one for each of my daughters, including what the day was like the day they were born. my first daughter was born during a blizzard…..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely! And oh, those tiny feet!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Life is such a Miracle…Great photo…Beautiful text.
    A child such a gift…I hear birthing is a labor of love…/// for me I rec’d the phone call, come to the hospital Now, the tests were not good… (a very condensed version) your fetus is nonviable…not sure we can pull you through…never know what will come with each gift of a breath…at that moment with what I said to the doctor I showed, faith, strength and courage…and I knew that God had brought me this far…and no matter the outcome my journey was moving forward…an emergency C-section & our tiny precious one, every so tiny premie joined the world, I saw a little face and off to the neo nate intensive care unit…I was able to see her after two days…my husband was able to be with her from her first breath… he would bring me Instamatic Photos and talk about her… a Miraculous Beautiful Gift…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Don’t know why this escaped me. Such a WONDER-FULL and utterly compelling, beautiful story. That’s exactly as it goes….. and then they grow and become teenagers before their time, impossible young adults ….. and then again they morphe into beautiful human beings with ideas, opinions to discuss and maturity to match 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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