Birth and The Beautiful Life

 The author second from the right. The papa on his left. Dr. Vika to his right and Grandma on the end. Mom didn't feel like a photo.

The author second from the right. The papa on his left. Dr. Vika to his right and Grandma on the end. Mom didn't feel like a photo.

I recently had a terrifying and incredible experience: I witnessed and assisted in the birth of a child.  

And another thing: I am not a doctor.

April, 21st at 3 AM I awake to Viktoriya Valikova telling me there is a pregnant woman ready to give birth.  In those misty moments she also tells me to drive into town and grab one of the other doctors currently lending their time in the central clinic and bring them here.  The struggle was very real to wake up, gather my things and get in the car. I wasn't entirely aware of what was happening, but could hear the woman and her family moving about in the patient rooms and outside.

I finally get the car started and head...nowhere.  The car was idling, the gas pedal was down but no go.  No weird alerts. I turned the car off, then back on and try again.  No dice. But then as I'm about to pop the hood, Viktoriya comes running out and tells me to stay. She yells, “I need your help now Andrew, she is going into labor.”  

I get out, wash my hands and glove up.  I'll be honest, I was very nervous. Sure I’ve watched Dr. House, but all I knew was that if anything were to go wrong, I will somehow be responsible for causing Lupus. I mean I felt pretty close to worthless.  So I did as I was told, with as close to total obedience as I could muster – and before I knew what was happening, that baby was barreling out.

Let me now take a moment to pay homage to all women, past, present, and future that have or will give birth; You all are a bunch of bad-asses.

There. I said it.

 The author cleaning up his newborn buddy. 

The author cleaning up his newborn buddy. 

As it goes, the beautiful new mom gave birth to a healthy baby...alien.  I mean seriously, did we all look that strange on exit? But the little girl was calm and completely spaced out, which was hilarious given all the pain that had just filled the room.  Dr. Viktoriya tidied up the woman and not an hour later we were all headed into town (car started and acted just fine) to check with the gynecologist that everything was copacetic. Thirty minutes later I held that little girl and was amazed and blown away by how fragile and dependent we are.  Also how crazy wonderful and scary it must be to have a small child and be responsible for it.

And what does this story have to do with FTF?  Not a whole lot and that's cool, because sometimes we have to take a step back and appreciate things like birth and all the women that endure it.  To remember where we all come from and how incredible it is that we are here. That we are living. That life is beautiful. 

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Andrew Schwark