One week ago today, my beautiful niece made her dramatic arrival into the world. My little brother and his wife endured 12 hours of labour and three intense hours of pushing before this little girl was guided into the world with some giant salad tongs.
Seeing my brother become a daddy was such a wonderfully bizarre experience: Watching him support and encourage his wife through labour with loving devotion; seeing the utter relief and the explosion of stress releasing tears once the baby arrived safely. It's a side of him that I rarely get to see but it's one that makes me love him on a whole new realm whenever I get a peek.
I've been to visit the new family twice since they went from a couple to a trio. The absolute ease that they seem to be handling new parenthood has blown me away. My own first week of motherhood seemed to be filled with endless tears (both mine and Hayden's) and so many fumblings and unknowns. In contrast, my brother and sister-in-law have fallen into an easy rhythm and silently take over from each other when needed.
I see in my brother a whole new respect for his wife. He talks about her with undiluted pride and praises her openly for everything from managing a long labour to successfully nursing and balancing the various needs of a newborn. I think for many couples, having a baby for the first time can sometimes be a dividing experience. As you try to figure out your role in your child's life you can often struggle to determine your place in the world as a parent, spouse, housekeeper, milking cow and the child of your own parents. It's a confusing and overwhelming time to say the least. But these two have certainly surprised me by taking that discovery journey together, hand in hand.
I'm not sure if she knows it yet, but little Ella Rose is one lucky little girl. Congratulations Lisa and Ben. She's beautiful. And you've both taken a huge but confident step in the long road of life.