I love how life cycles through stages. We’re infants. Then toddlers. Then students. First elementary school, junior high, then high school. Upon graduation we join the college crowd where some of us stay indefinitely. If we’re lucky enough to graduate from college, we move into the work force and become “young adults.” Eventually the young adult crowd starts marrying and every weekend of every summer is filled with weddings, weddings, and more weddings. The weddings start tapering off just in time for the babies to come fast and furious. We’re having them. Our friends are having them. Everyone we know is up to their eyeballs in baby showers, diapers and breastfeeding. As I moved into the “mothering elementary school children” phase, the number of new arrivals became fewer and far between. Thankfully some of my friends are still reproducing and this week has been filled with a rash of babies to celebrate.
A big welcome to George Jeffery Hunkins who just barely gave his parents a tax credit for 2010 by being born on December 30th. Welcome “little” baby Clara Abigail Bailie. She, like her Mommy, didn’t want a Christmas birthday so she waited an extra ten days to make her 10 pound, 1 ounce debut on January 4th. Today another healthy baby girl, Hannah Grace Huntington, appeared on the scene tipping the scales at 8 pounds 12 ounces! Congrats to Maggie and Jeff, Clint and Adrianne, Erica and JD.
The most memorable birth this week, for me at least, was the arrival of George David Buchstaber on Thursday, January 6th. I had the honor and privilege of photographing his arrival and I am in awe at the miracle of new life. It was really amazing to be on the other side of the birthing process and be the support person instead of the one breathing through contractions.
George’s mom, Britta, is one of my best friends. A kinder, more thoughtful, and self-less person would be hard to come by. Britta is very much a planner and is always poised and beautiful, even when giving birth. George’s birth was so serene and peaceful that it was almost comical. Britta got her epidural and “labored” quietly for two hours while we chatted and hung out. She calmly told her nurse she thought it was time to start pushing and then proceeded to deliver her sweet baby boy in three pushes. I’m pretty sure she didn’t even break a sweat and I have NEVER seen such a beautiful momma. She was positively glowing.
All 9 pounds, 4 ounces of George David Buchstaber are pure perfection! He has a full head of soft, curly hair, perfectly shaped little ears and the most expressive eyes. His round cheeks are filled out and he was born with at least two chins and multiple rolls on his arms and his thighs. He has big broad shoulders, a thick, manly chest, ten perfect fingers, and ten perfect toes. He is mellow, sweet and very much alert. He just stared and stared and stared at his mommy, appearing as enthralled with her as she was with him.
I have no idea how many pictures I took. Poor baby was so sick of the flash in his cute little face but I couldn’t contain myself. I got to be the one documenting his first batch of “firsts.” His first breath. His first time in his Mommy’s arms. His first bath. His first outfit and of course his well-prepared mom switched out the hospital hat and white T-shirt for a more stylish infant-sized short bill hat and gray and white striped outfit. I got pictures of him meeting his Daddy, his brothers, his sister, and his Grandma. I documented the birthing room, the view outside the windows, the white board that said, “Welcome George” and the computer screen on the scale that said in bright primary colors, “9 pounds 4 ounces.” I even had Grandma Trudy document my first time holding and falling in love with him.
A big thank you to Lisa Swartout for managing her kids and ours to make it possible for me to participate in George’s birth. And thank you to Bucky and Britta for being willing to share your special day with me. I am still in awe.