I was wandering around a house in a dream world, and came across a baby girl sitting on the floor. She was so irresistably adorable, so I laid down and started playing with her. She crawled up and nestled right in the middle of my stomach, looked down at me and said, as clear as day, “Yep.”

The next night I tossed and turned, and didn’t do much eventful dreaming, but woke up to the news that my best friend gave birth to a baby girl, Violet. She told me she was ready to join us, I should’ve known it was her.

Obviously, dreams or no dreams, I’d known she was about to arrive any day now, but some things you can’t anticipate the feeling for. I was dying to meet her straight away, even moreso than I thought I would. When my friends finally brought her home and got somewhat settled, I made my first visit. Laden with gifts, and food and overwhelmed with wonder, I walked into their house, and saw my beautiful friend sitting on the couch, breastfeeding Violet. I turned to her husband (both of whom I’ve known for 15 years before either one of them had an inkling they’d be making babies together) and started excitedly bawling on his shoulder. It was too much emotion to handle. What an incredible sight. They made a human! She’s real. She’s here. And she’s feeding from her mother’s breast. Weird. Awesome!

“Can you get your head around this?” Violet’s father asked me, “Because we can’t. It’s crazy.”

“I know.” I said, as I held her. She’s an actual human being. And this little body swaddled all nice and cozy and snoozing in my arms is the same one she’s going to have for the rest of her life. She’s perfect and innocent and untainted by anything in this world.

Her father told me about his experience of cutting the umbilical cord. “I didn’t quite get it in the initial go, so I had to give it a couple of slices…it was all squishy and so strange. What a thing, this cord, it’s like god’s little afterthought, ‘And we’ll just attach the two of you together with this cord on your belly, I guess’…what a system,” he marveled.

Then he talked about the myth of the process that unfolds after the birth. “You know, you just assume that the baby comes out, and it latches on to the breast and away you go, and everything is just easy, but it’s so the opposite. From the minute you’re born, you have to fight to survive in this world. The mother and the baby have to figure out how the breastfeeding thing works together and then find their rhythm, the whole thing is pretty traumatic really. It’s a struggle from the get go.”

But that’s the part that’s the so unfathomable to me about the whole thing. “I look at her head, and just think ‘there’s no way…’” my friend said to me, in an attempt at comprehension. What the female body has to endure for the better part of a year, what everyone has to go through, there’s loads of difficulty inherent in the whole thing of it, but man, it’s just so heartbreakingly beautiful. Life, right? Just like life. We start out attached, right from the belly button, suddenly, we’re detached, then we’re attached to our mothers, then we spend the rest of our lives going through a series of attaching and detaching ourselves to people, thoughts, desires, it goes on and on. And so much of it is painful, trying, traumatic, but somehow it’s all insanely beautiful.

Thinking of Violet, and how much love exists in her home between her Mom and Dad, and all of those around them, I honest to goodness get choked up even thinking of it. People are having babies every second of every day, and there was a time when I’d be like, “Yeah, yeah, ok, I get it, no big deal people. I think it’s pretty obvious that having a baby isn’t all that special,” but goodness gracious, how wrong was I. It IS special, it is sacred, it is all the best feelings you could imagine in the world rolled up into one overflowing sensation of awesomeness (and she’s not even my baby).

Not only does Violet have the good fortune of having appropriately chosen a pretty stellar household to make her life in, but she chose some damn good-looking parents to get her DNA from too. “I can’t stop staring at her, I’m so in love with her…” her Mom said. No kidding. If she’s this gorgeous as a 7 pound newborn, I can’t even begin to think about how stunning she’ll be as a 7 month, 7 year, or 17 year old. Good looks aside, they’re lucky ducks, all of them. And I’m so blessed to be able to look on and to bask in the joy that is her being.

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