Yesterday, I saw it. The total surrender to breath. And through it, a new life was born.

A sweet friend of mine had asked several weeks ago if I would be present at the home birth of her baby and bring my camera. And like her, I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the past two weeks, but in a different way. While she was attentive to every tightening of her belly and asking herself, “Should I time this?”, I was jumping on my phone at every chirp and ring wondering if it was time to race to her house. And yesterday, it was.

When I tiptoed into her house and up the stairs, I saw her in that all too familiar dance of labor. The clenched fists, the whispers of pain, the streaming tears. I watched through the lens as her husband held her through the contractions.

And as they met their new baby.

While she whispered, “I love you,” and left kisses on soft skin.

And as big brother watched over her, curiously and protectively, she was examined by the midwife.

Watching her being weighed, and thinking…this looks like the stork just brought her in.

And seeing the Daddy steal her away for a moment or two just to sit, and to examine her for himself, and to lose his heart once again.

Watching it all, I kept hearing the words spoken while the Momma was in labor: “Just breathe her here, just breathe her here.”

And here she is. Welcome, little bean.