Birth is much more practical than I had ever imagined. Because the birth of a new life is so spiritual and ceremonial, I always had a fantasy that it would be calm, peaceful and meditative. My wife and I would sit under a tree with moonlight shining down on us… and through a zen-ed out bliss, we would finally get to look at our new son (who would instantly smile at us and then use baby-sign-language for milk).
It was quite a surprise to see how messy, raw and intense it was. A wave of guilt washed over me looking back to see the array of towels soaked in blood, amniotic fluid, and pooh we left as we checked out of the birthing center. I have never been surrounded by so much bodily goo before in my entire life!
I also will never forget the look of pain/pure-focused-purpose/exhaustion/determination on my wife’s face as she worked through the final few minutes of labor. It was such a piercing concoction of emotions.
And looking at my child for the first time — it’s the definition of pure happiness. Somehow the whole 8 hour ordeal seemed worthwhile for one moment of holding your son.