This I Believe

Emily - Randolph, Vermont
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: birth

This I Believe

I believe in the power of working together for the common good of someone else.

I was awakened one bitter January morning to the whispers of my step mother. The dreaded words “Kelly is in labor” escaped from her soft lips. It was two thirty in the morning and I was half awake, half caring, but fully unprepared for what I was about to witness.

As I passed from the hospital hallway into my step aunt’s delivery room, I was transferred into a completely different world- one filled with excitement, pain, sorrow, and sobering reality. Instantly, the hectic, distraught, and confusing process of birthing consumed me. My eyes were quickly drawn to my aunt’s vulnerable and exposed body. The fluorescent lighting reflected off her legs that were spread wide and were lifted into the air forming a ninety-degree angle at her knee. My step grandmother supported Kelly’s left leg while my step mother supported her right leg as she pushed and screamed. I saw five women bounce from one side of the hospital room to the other. They resembled pin balls trapped in a pinball machine-they knew they had some goal to achieve but they didn’t know where to begin so they continued to bounce around. As the confusion escalated, I became very dizzy. I was overwhelmed by all that was taking place and eventually blacked out.

I awoke on the hospital’s stiff blue floral couch. The screaming was still persistent, but the confusion seemed to have decreased. As I stood swaying, I noticed a circle that surrounded Kelly that included the midwife and several of my step mother’s relatives. I took one step into this same circle and at once felt this great unity, this great power. I joined this circle of support and experienced the same pain and agony that Kelly was suffering.

In this circle, the midwife asked me if I wanted to take a closer look at the baby in a mirror. This single piece of glass allowed me to see a future, a new story, a new beginning. It reflected the small crown of Roxy’s brown curls. As the group continued to coach Kelly’s breathing and pushing, I watched in awe as Roxy’s crown disappeared and into view came two little eyes, a tiny nose and mouth, two shoulders, two arms, one little stomach, two legs, two feet, and finally ten little toes. At that moment everyone burst into tears, myself included. The intense emotions that had been accumulating throughout the day had finally reached their zenith. We cried for the overall experience, the joy of the moment, and the joy of bringing this baby into the world.

From the moment I felt that strong and powerful vibe, and from the moment I watched Kelly’s face brighten when her little Roxy was placed into her protective and loving arms, I believed in the power of working together for the common good of someone else for the strength, wisdom, trust, peace, love, faith, and spirit that people can possess.