I have one sister. Her name is sweet little Bird. I was seven when she was born so I have cared for her since the day she was born. I remember changing her after a nap as an infant and a friend being worried that I would break her as I stuffed her chubby legs back into her footed pjs. I knew better. Babies are bendy. I was never much for dolls but I have always loved babies. I loved the Bird form the moment I met her. She was an easy baby and she has grown to be an relatively easy going person. When asked for her input in a group about where we should go or what we should eat her response is often a raise of an eyebrow and a shrug of the shoulders. Code for ” what ever you want”. Generally just happy to be along. We couldn’t be more different in that way. I’m happy to be along but if asked what my desires are, I will clearly list them. I’m what you call…bossy.
So it’s no surprise that the story of our baby deliveries is much different. I was clear. I wanted no one but Stubby Hubs Hunk in the room. My family obliged by waiting, all six of them, for hours in the waiting room. I assumed that the Bird would want a calm environment to suit her calm nature. I planned to arrive after our sweet new baby had entered this world. That said, I wanted constant updates. Which my dad provided, the good sport that he is. It was during this texting correspondence that I read, after leaving work, ” you just might get here in time.”
Wait…..what? “Yes, but does she want me to be there?” Doing my best to make sure the Bird’s birth room remained her own.
So I ran, home put dinner together, let the dogs out, and headed to the hospital. My beautiful sister, on the precipice of her greatest desire, to be a mother, lay in bed with a big grin on her face. As I do when I am in a uncomfortable situation, I started cracking wise. In hopes to keep everyone convivial. The nurse came in shortly thereafter, she examined the Bird and declared that pushing would begin in an hour.
“Where do you want me to be Bird?” She answered me with a shrug and one cocked eyebrow. “Ok, I’ll just stand up here, in the corner by your head.” This got a nod and an approving chirp.
When the hour had passed the cute as a button nurse returned. She did so with instruction. The bird will put her hands behind her knees and I will hold one foot and my mother will hold the other. We all looked at each other with disbelief that the moment had finally arrived. My dad choose this opportunity to take his chair and turn it to face the opposite wall. Wanting to be there but not wanting to see that he was there. We were a room full of people that love my sister dearly. Her husband sat across the room with my 15 year old niece, clearly nervous. Unsure of what his job was in this.
We don’t have a modest family by any means but we can be private. I had at first intended to just look the bird in the face as she pushed. I suppose I thought that I might not look at her the same if I saw her deliver a baby. I mean really SAW. It turns out I was right, but not at all in the way I thought.
My sister is a warrior. She quietly worked the baby out as if she did it every Monday of the week. She worried after the first few pushes that she wouldn’t get the hang of it. She DID have the hang of it. After some time her husband, the Postman came to the bed to help us. I had begun to put my hand behind her back in an effort to help her bend overherself. He did the same from the other side. We reminded her to breathe in between pushes. We told her she was doing an amazing job. Cheered her name. An hour into pushing the Postman asked the nurse “what happens next?” She replied that as soon as she sees more of the head she would call the doctor. I leaned close to the Bird’s ear and said,” You can do this. Let’s make her get the doctor on this next set of pushes.”
My sweet Bird, the perfectionist, did just that. Eliciting a “woah woah woah, slow down and just breathe. I have to page the doctor so this baby isn’t born without her,” from the nurse.
The doctor got to the room in time. Our baby arrived. My sister made it happen like she had been doing it for years. Amazing! I never thought I would want to be a part of someone else’s birth story. I was so wrong. To watch my sweet baby sister become a mother. To watch her focus to make it so. Her body to accommodate. I am in awe. My sister is my hero. I am so grateful to have been included in this with her. To look over her and see that my mother and the Postman were all doing this together. One of the best days of my life.
I am so proud to be your sister!