Last night I was with you as you brought your second child and first daughter into the world.
Truly, one of the best nights of my life.
I know you were pretty busy, what with getting her here and all, so you may not have noticed the finer points of what was happening. But I did. And can I just tell you: Wow. You're really good at making and birthing babies.
Seriously. Were you a Scientologist, they would be super proud, because you totally mastered that being in control of your body and your emotions thing. At seven centemeters dialated and no medication, you sat and chatted with Andrew and me about Friends and YouTube videos as if we were all just hanging out, until another contraction took your breath away.
Your toughest moments of labor were indicated by a little heavy breathing and a tiny tensing. But it was clear just how much pain you were in.
At one point near the end, you calmly informed us that you didn't think you could do it, and the sarcastic part of me thought it's a little to late for that, Jess, because you're just about done while the rest of me was in sheer awe of how completely you were showing labor who's boss. Can't do it? YOU SO COULD DO IT! But I tried to keep silent. I'm not very good at it, so I probably didn't keep silent. Your husband deserves a medal for how beautifully and simply he reassured you, and gave you just the right motivation to keep you moving through those tough contractions that didn't give you any peace.
If I could have taken it from you at any point during the night, it would have been right then. Just to give you a break from that tough job you were so bravely doing.
As you began to push, your hospital gown began to bug you. In a moment of sheer, instinctive brilliance, you said, "this is really in my way" and whipped it off as you focused all your determination on the intense job you had ahead of you au natural. If I'd been able to make any sound through my holy crap she's totally going to do this haze, I would have shouted, GO JESSICA! Do what you've gotta do!
Three pushes and a full head of hair appeared. Two pushes later, she was here.
You probably didn't get to see Andrew's face. He's so in love with that tiny, six and a half pound little girl, and he's even more in love with you.
The joy of a man becoming a new dad, even for the second time, is powerful, palpable, and one of life's most heart-stopping moments. I hope that seeing his face in these pictures makes it worth having me there.
My beautiful friend, I am so blown away by your poise and grace as you took on this, life's biggest and most incredible task. Our friendship may have begun because of our boys, but it was designed by God. Thank you for letting me be a part of this special day.
Thank you for making such awesome people.