I once befriended a young girl from the church I was going to in Texas. She was pregnant and her boyfriend had left her. She was doing her best to live well and to prepare for her baby. Her mother lived several states away, and wasn’t able to be there for the baby’s birth. So she asked me if I would go with her to the expectant mothers classes with her. She also asked if I could be with her when the baby was born, and I said that I would.
I was at home getting ready for bed one night when she called me; the baby was coming. So I threw on my clothes and drove over to her house. We got to the hospital in good time, and the nurses made my friend comfortable. They asked me if I was the mother, and I told them that I was just a friend. Then they asked if I wanted to be with her when the baby was born, and I said that I would.
My young friend was getting comfortable and she even brought a book to read. I was relieved that she was doing so well; then one of the nurses took me aside and asked if I had had a baby myself, and I said that no, I didn’t. She asked if I had ever been present when a baby was born, and I said that I hadn’t. So she kindly told me what to expect, and it was about that time that my friend went into labor.
So I gowned up and went into the delivery room with her, hoping that I could help her get through everything. Surprisingly, she was just about ready to give birth. Now here’s the thing: I had never seen a baby being born. I remember hoping that I could keep my friend calm and be a help and not a hindrance.
And then the baby was born; a beautiful and very loud baby girl. The doctor passed her to me and I all I remember was this: I, who had never had a baby, was now holding a brand new child. Her mother named her Sophie, and Sophie was squirmy and loud and completely healthy.
Years have gone by, and my friend is now happily married and has a little boy as well as Sophie. I have never forgotten what it was like to see a baby being born. It’s hard work, but the payoff is amazing.