Sunday, November 22, 2015

to & from & me & you (toby)

In the midst of some pretty terrible tragedies, when suffering and fear took hold of the global stage once again, you arrived.

I am thrown for a second time by the magnitude of it all, this love made tangible. Is there anything more powerful than this?

Tobias Harold Joseph Kiger, born Sunday, November 15, at 2:40 AM

You kept us on our toes for over a week, but when it was finally time, you came fast and furious. Zero to 60 (or six to 10, if we're talking centimeters) in under two hours. Fifteen minutes of pushing, followed by what the midwife called a "textbook rotation," and then, somewhere in the space of my relief and disbelief: You. Tiny and perfect and dark haired and wailing. We'd waited 41 solid weeks, and yet it still felt so sudden. You cried and cried and kept right on crying. I guess you got it out of your system right then, though, because you've hardly made a peep since.

I'll admit, I was scared this time around. And it hurt. It hurt so much more than with Caleb, probably due to the quick progression. (As our midwife also said, "Faster doesn't necessarily mean easier.") I kept looking for an out, trying to find the off switch. It took everything I had to dig deep and keep faith during the brief moments of in-between. Yet somehow, we made it. You're here, I survived; there was no out to take. And despite what I may have claimed at the time, I'd do it again. Of course I would, and hopefully, eventually, I will. The ability to share my body with another human being, to be "home" for new life, is an honor and a gift.

I know so many people are walking around battered and weary right now. It feels counterintuitive and, frankly, a little bit subversive to look at the hurting world and choose to participate in this act of creation. To joyfully welcome new life in the face of pain and suffering. To choose hope and unabashed, full-throttle love. The newborn bubble offers one powerful forcefield. I look at you sleeping peacefully in my arms as your big brother gives you gentle, giddy kisses, and I think: This is it. This is all there is. At the same time, I am as aware as ever of our immense privilege.

We've been waiting for you, sweet Toby. May you always know how very loved and chosen you are. Or maybe it's you who chose us. Either way, I'm so very glad you're here, and so completely grateful.

There is nothing better than this.