I hustled back from the bank with an eagerness to get on the road. Marillyn and I had recently met a professional photographer who volunteered her services for family portraits before the birth. However, the day decided to take an unexpected twist.
"Jon, I'm feeling contractions. I'm not sure if they are premature, but this could be the real thing."
"Do you want to cancel?"
Thus begins my day as Mr. Multi-tasker. Yes, ladies you read it: MR. Multi-tasker.
I got on the phone and called the photographer, our mid-wife Uva and Marillyn's parents. I grabbed Marillyn's Nikon and begin to chronicle the day, not to mention entertain Naomi and change a few diapers here and there.
Uva arrived a few hours later and we prepared the birthing tub. Naomi, Uva and I shot up to her home to get the rest of the supplies and we prepared the living room for the birth.
While I connected the hoses in the laundry room for the tub, I grabbed Mare's tri-pod and set up my video camera. Did I mention that I also offered some liquids for my wife and massaged her lower back?
Soon more help arrived. Uva's assistant, Patricia, begin to organize the kitchen into a mini-herbal-pharmacy along with birthing chair and exercise ball. During this time, I called the Goransons again and reorganized the kitchen to help Patricia. I also got a few candid photos and some close ups with the video. I might have said this already, but I cleaned up several water spills on the tile floor with some old towels. (Naomi decided to check if the water hoses were actually working and proceeded to water the living room floor!)
As Mare entered the pool, I readjusted the tri-pod, changed into my board shorts, gave Naomi a few crackers and strawberries and prepped our bed with several sheets and a couple shower curtains.
At this point, I transformed into the human Bow-flex for Marillyn. I was pressed, squeezed, leaned on, pulled on, held, braced and even yelled at few times. I was also a mediator for my hearing impaired spouse and her mid-wife, as well as my almost two-year-old daughter and the photographer and Patricia. (Melanie, the photographer, had arrived and was taking over film documentation duties.)
Then she arrived. While gripping my arms in a squatting position, Mare delivered Tabitha Charis Helle Beard into the reaching arms of our midwife at 3:38 PM. (Uva was reaching through my legs to get to Tabitha!) With babe in arms, we positioned Marillyn into the birthing stool and gazed at our new child. She had come! S-H-E. I couldn't believe we had another girl. My heart was overwhelmed with joy and a little fear. Joy that Tabitha was outside the womb and fear that I would not be able to love another little girl as much as I love Naomi.
However, as I gazed into the beauty of the moment, I knew that God saw me fit to raise and love another little woman into this world.
What a crazy day! What a perfect day!
This is my birth story.