1 year ago, at 2 in the morning, the 3 of us became the 4 of us. (Or 5 if you include Dom.) And after only 6 minutes of pushing by the most fearless, tireless, medication-less mama ever. The resulting baby girl was 7 pounds and 8 ounces, born in the 9th month of the year. And by all reasonable metrics, she was a perfect 10.
Violet Skye Marie Wingert entered the world in a room that was incandescent with love and gratitude. If she had mail-ordered her parents from a catalog that encompassed all of humanity, there is no way she could have hand-selected a mama and papa more delirious with joy to gaze into her bright blue eyes. And if we had mail-ordered her from a catalog, there is no conceivable way we would have conceived any other baby. We would have stopped dead in our tracks as soon as we flipped to the ‘Vi’ page. And we would have paid any exorbitant processing fee or expedited delivery charge in order to have her in our arms even one day early.
But there is no mail order catalog, and there is assuredly no expedited delivery. Especially in our case. We waited 4 full years to get pregnant with Greyson, a grueling process that wiped us out emotionally (before it restored us, and then some, in one magical moment). And beyond that, both our sweet Greyson and our sweet Violet took their sweet, sweet time vacating their private womb (without a view) at the luxurious Hotel de Danielle. Clearly they wanted a late checkout time, but they never bothered to notify the beleaguered woman working the night shift — and every other shift — at the front desk.
Both of our snug, cozy babies emerged into the light of day (or the dark of night in Violet’s case) a full 8 to 10 days after their due dates, putting their decidedly un-snug, un-cozy mama through the ringer. Which led to Danielle’s classic one-liner: “I wish my womb wasn’t quite so comfortable.”
But all of that impatient waiting is forgotten in a heartbeat. And even more so with Violet, who unlike her big brother was thoughtful enough to make a beeline for the daylight — and her mama’s arms — once things finally started moving. Heck, it happened so fast that the doctor had to ask Danielle to slow down so he could get his rubber gloves on! I’ll never forget the incredulous look on her face when the doctor said this to her. Telling a woman in active labor to “slow down” is like telling Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 to “hang tight for a bit.”
Fortunately, Dr. Bucher’s gloved, skilled hands (rather than my sweaty, clueless ones) were the hands that caught our eager baby girl that night. But the hands that were most ready for Violet that night were the ones, shaking with joy, into which the doctor carefully placed her wriggling body moments later.
Two of my most intensely cherished moments on earth were the moments when I got to see Danielle holding each of our babies for the first time. It was like seeing a galaxy of stars and planets suddenly, in an instant, come into perfect alignment. To see a perfect baby placed into the arms of your true love, a woman who has dreamed of that baby not just for years but for decades — that is a profound sight to behold. No solar or lunar eclipse, no radiant heavenly body, could match the transcendent glow on her face as she looked at Violet’s face for the first time.
In that moment, our family became 4. The number of hearts we’ve helped bring into the world became 2.
And reality and our wildest dreams became one.