Daniel Payne: 'Watching My Wife Give Birth Illuminated What A Miracle Life Is'



"I had been by my wife’s side for 12 hours as she moaned, breathed, and eventually pushed, and still I was not prepared for what seemed for all appearances to be magic."
Some decades ago, my father, reflecting on my recent birth, wrote in my baby book that I was, as are all babies, “a miracle clothed in flesh.” Dismiss this sentiment as you see fit: the sweet but mawkish gushing of a father with a newborn; the overprotective emotional preening of an insufferable millennial brat; a run-of-the-mill baby book sentiment. It could be one of these things, it could be all of them—but it also happens to be right. My father was correct: babies are miracles.

I know this because just recently I watched my wife push our new baby son out into the world. Our society has built a great deal of baloney around the awesome and staggering phenomenon of labor and birth, but the one common refrain that they all say is true is actually true: there is nothing like it. I know the biology, I had seen the ultrasound, I had been by my wife’s side for 12 hours as she moaned, breathed, and eventually pushed, and still I was not prepared for what seemed for all appearances to be magic: one second there was nothing in my wife’s arms, the next there was a baby boy, pink and healthy and beautiful and priceless.

For one of the few times in my life I was rendered speechless, and properly so. What do you say, after all, when you witness a miracle?

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