I am a homebirth midwife that recently moved to a new state and joined a wonderful practice that I am really enjoying. Come ride along with me as I drive from house to house reliving the miracle of life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

10/11/09 Birth # 6 for me with this group of midwives.

This time I actually got the call in the day time. It was around 4:30pm and I was out shopping for quilting fabric with my new friend. We had been out to a few different shops and thankfully we were at the last place and just ready to check out. As I get home I notice that Robert had just fired up the grill and he had some beautiful looking steaks ready to go. Then inside he had salad ready and veggies all wrapped up in aluminum foil sprinkled with olive oil. I was devastated that I was going to miss this dinner.

The call came in saying one of the clients was in labor and could I come to the birth center. This particular client wanted to birth at the clinic versus at home. She and her husband live out of the country and they decided to come back to the states for the birth and they are staying with her mom. I think this was one reason that they wanted to birth at the clinic. We were just happy to have her and her family as clients and we don't care where they want to birth.

So I grabbed some quickie drive thru and headed up to the clinic. Sometimes it's hard to decide if you should stop on the way for something you might need or just go at godspeed. I would hate to miss a birth because the 17yr old at the drive thru window was being slow. I had been out all day shopping and was going home for dinner when I got the call so I decided I had to eat before I head to a birth that could potentially last for many many hours.

I arrived at the clinic and when I came rushing in I see the mom, her husband and one of the other midwives sitting there laughing and talking and sharing stories. I was shocked thinking this doesn't look like labor or anything that I should have rushed here for. I got there around 6:00 and decided to eat my dinner realizing that I was in for a long night.

We all settled in and continued to chat while the mom labored. She was tolerating the contractions so well; sometimes it was hard to tell that she was even having a contraction. I was quite impressed with her. I started to learn her pattern, it would seem that all of a sudden she would get quiet and press on her lower back. Then just as quickly as it would start it would be over and she was back to laughing and talking again. We continued on in this pattern for what felt like days, but was really only quite a few hours.

Finally around midnight the contractions were getting a lot stronger for her and there was no more laughing and smiling during them. She decided to get into the tub to relax and help her with the pains, she even considered birthing in the water. After 45 mins of that she wanted to get out of the water. That was fine with me as we were all having a hard time fitting in the bathroom anyway. She got out and went to the bed in the birthing suite.

We have a metal tray set up with all of our supplies on it so we are able to just move around to where ever the mom is when she starts to push. She settled into the room and into her new labor pattern; often time changing positions can change the labor. We worked with her on each contraction and then determined that she was 10 cms and could push. That was an exciting moment for everyone. I'm sure it was more exciting for the mom. She knew that she was that much closer to meeting her baby after all this time.

She started pushing and breathing deeply. It was quite a hard push and took a long time, especially because she was a second time mom. We did everything we could to try to help her push more effectively and follow her body's clues. Finally after more than an hour we could start to see the top of the baby's head. It felt like forever before we got to see a little bit more of his head. We just kept working together with her taking one contraction at a time. She was working so hard!

Finally the head was out and then one shoulder and then the other and then the chest...abdomen...pelvis...thighs....knees...ankles....feet. Oh man, I felt like I was pulling that baby out for days! Normally once the head is out the whole baby just flops out of the mom in one big gush, well not this baby. We found out later that it was because he was ten and a half pounds. Wow! She didn't tear at all and was such a trooper. She handled it very well and we were all so proud of her. After a few hours they went home and all was well.

Score another one for natural birth and midwives!!
Just barely 10/1/09

This story will be short because I missed the birth. I got a phone call in the middle of the night and in my ear I heard the familar words, "We have a client in labor. Wake up and come join us."

Woo-hoo! I was really excited and jumped up and got dressed and was out the door in record time. I am usually really fast, but this time I was trying to break even my own record. The reason you ask? This was baby number 8 and those babies don't wait for no one!

As I'm off speeding down the road I have a gut feeling that I won't make it. She lives too far and her contractions are coming one on top of the other on top of the other. I said a quick prayer to the birth Gods for this mom that her birth would go smoothly and if it needs to be fast that it would be fast but not so fast that no one is there with her.

Next thing I know I get a txt message from the other midwife who was attending the birth and I already knew what it said. Can you guess?? Yep, you're right. "baby born".

Shit!! Oh well, I'm already half way there (45 mins), there's no turning around now. The good thing was at this point I can slow down knowing baby is born and mom is safe.

When I got to their house I was greeted by a few of their older kids and one very beautiful helpful girl who appeared to be 12 yrs old. She lead me up to her parent's bedroom and when I walked in I saw mom, baby, midwife, dad and the rest of the siblings. It was about 3am and by the looks of things you would have thought it was 3 in the afternoon. The house was so lively and buzzing with kids.

I wasn't there very long. We cleaned up, helped mom take a shower, started a load of laundry, got mom some food to eat, tucked all the kids back in bed and left quietly. As I drove home I was kind of sad that I missed the birth but I was very grateful that things went so smoothly.

The other midwife later told me that she walked in the door and ran upstairs just in time to see the mom was pushing. Less than 5 mins after she got there the baby was born. Whew! This makes me wish sometimes that we could teleport or fly to our destination.
12:45am (forgot what date 9/17?) phone rings....rings....rings.

On the other end is the senior midwife calling to tell me that one of our clients is in labor and could I please go to her house and check her. Could I check her??? Silly question! Of course I can go check her.

0.4 nanoseconds later I am dressed and out the door. I have an address, a GPS, few medical supplies and a loving heart. What else do I need? I am making my way to a location I have never been to before to see a client that I have never seen before. All I know is that her Apt. # is 911 and I'm really hoping that doesn't mean bad news for her birth.

I take off for the big city and the GPS tells me that I will be there in an hour and a half, 2:30am is my ETA. There is not much to see on country roads late at night with little than moonlight to show the way. In fact the stars are about the only thing I can see, they are so pretty and I realize how much of them you can see when you are away from brightly lit towns.

As I make my journey in the midwife mobile I start going over emergency protocols as a way to practice and stay current on them. This is the first birth that I am going to as first responder, so far the senior midwife has always been there first. I take this as a good sign that she thinks I can handle the responsibility. I will not let her down.

So at exactly 2:30am I pull into the large parking lot for the apartment complex. I gather my belongings and head towards the front door. As I enter I notice that you have to be buzzed into the main part of the building. I get out the client's info and call them so that they may let me in to their apratment...their lives...their birth experience...their sacred environment.

The father of the baby answers the phone and says he'll be right down. As I wait for him to come downstairs I wonder what he looks like, what does the mother look like and then finally what will their baby look like? As he approaches the vestibule that I have been waiting in I realize he looks nothing like I thought he would and yet exactly how I thought he would.

We get into the elevator and start our ascent; meanwhile I'm hoping baby is making her descent. I know the apartment number is usually indicative of the floor number but he pushes the 12th floor and I don't argue. As we arrive on the 12th floor we get off the elevator and walk down to the end of the hallway and he reaches out for the handle of apartment # 1211. I assume that my paperwork has a typo. He then notices the number and sheepishly turns to me and states that we are on the wrong floor.

I start to giggle and we talk about how funny that would be for the people who do live there. Can you imagine two random people standing at your front door at 2:45am one in pajamas and barefoot and the other in scrubs with various medical equipment? That would be quite a scene!

Finally we end up on the 9th floor and at apt# 911, we walk in and although I've never been to their house or met them before there is something very familiar with this scenario. It is quite dark in their house, there is a pregnant woman sitting on the couch breathing deeply with every contraction. The vibe is peaceful and inviting. I can smell the residual of incense burning and it is a nice earthy smell.

I do a quick exam and find her to be about 3 cms dilated and having regular contractions. Baby's heartbeat sounds great and mom is stable. I tell them that I will be here with them until the birth and for them to do whatever they feel that they need to do.

The time passes slowly and mom keeps on contracting and breathing with each passing hour. They switch between resting in bed and getting up and walking around. I suggest at one point that they take a shower and try to relax. I had a feeling this was going to be a very long day.

Around 7am the senior midwife joined us for this birth day party and so now there are four of us total sitting around talking and concentrating and praying and hoping that this sweet little baby would just come on out. Mom is definitely hoping to see that light at the end of the tunnel. I have explained to her that first babies are typically slow and take a long time. She was doing everything perfectly and I don't think that there was anything that she could have done differently.

Now it is about 12:30 pm and we were starting to get rather hungry. The senior midwife decided to go out and get lunch for the two of us. I was in desperate need of energy and food. I had only been asleep for an hour and a half before I got the call to come to this birth. We ate some yummy food and almost immediately I felt rejuvenated.

During this long process we encourage mom to continue eating and drinking. I don't understand how the body is expected to run a marathon with no energy to assist it. That is one thing that has always perplexed me about hospital births. She has had some food and lots of water and juices; however this is also a sign to me that she is not in heavy labor. Most women in active labor do not have an appetite and really don't want to eat or drink. We often have to really encourage them to eat and drink.

Hours and hours have gone by and now it is almost 4pm. I am exhausted and running on 1.5 hrs of sleep. That sleep that is now failing me and calling me to come back to it at the same time. It is really funny the things that your brain does when it is sleep deprived. It truly is an altered state. I am trying not to complain about being tired because I can only imagine how the mom is feeling!

The senior midwife tells me to go lay down for a little while and she says she'll sit with the client. Of course as soon as I lay down I hear a commotion and dad comes running in the room to get a towel. I ask what is going on and he says her water broke. I was so excited that I jumped up! I know that this can often be a sign that the baby is going to be born soon. The contractions start coming faster and stronger and all signs are pointing to yes at this point.

Around 6pm she starts to push and she pushes and pushes and pushes. We tried lots of different positions and lots of remedies...nothing seems to be working. This baby does not want to come out. After 2 hours of that the decision is made to go to the hospital for some help.

We are so blessed to have a wonderful back up doctor and such a loving hospital at our disposal. A phone call is placed to let them know that we are on our way and off we go. The mom and dad are disappointed but at that point they are so tired and they just want their baby to be out and healthy.

We are admitted to the hospital around 8:45pm and by 10:30 the baby is born. She's a big baby! Almost 10lbs and she got stuck coming out, the doctors had to work pretty hard to get her out. It was tense there for a few mins and I found myself holding my breath and saying a quick prayer.

Mom and baby were in great hands and I trusted the staff throughout the whole process. The final joy for me was being able to hold that beautiful stubborn little baby girl. I stayed in the hospital with the new family for about an hour or so and left shortly after 12 midnight. I got back home just after 1:30am and realized I had been gone for 25hrs.

Needless to say I was exhausted and hungry. I ate a quick sandwich and fell into bed. I was alseep before my eyes even closed. My husband found me in bed with some of my clothes on and one shoe still on that afternoon. I was able to sleep for about a good 13 hrs.

Birth is such a time warp. In this story I left my house at 1am on a Thursday, got home at 1:30am Friday and woke up around 2pm Friday afternoon. There is no job like this in the world!

Monday, October 12, 2009


This date came and went and there was not a baby born in our group of clients. Boo. I was really hoping that someone would birth on that day and it would be such a special birthday. A lot of cultures believe that 9 is a powerful number and anyone who is born on such a day with all nine's was sure to be blessed.

Did you know that the sum of any number that you multiply by 9 will equal 9? Ex: 9x7=63, 6+3=9. Special, huh?! See the nine is nothing to mess with. Woooooooooo, the power of the 9.

Ok, well since this is a birth blog and not a math blog I shall move on to the point of this post.


I was relaxing at home early in the morning, I'm sure I was on the bump with my friends and I got a phone call from one of the other midwives in the group. There is typically only one reason that she would be calling me early in the morning....someone's in labor!

Me: Hello?

MW: Hi, so and so is in labor and I'm on my way to her house to check her.

Me: Alrighty, I'm on my way.

MW: You might want to hurry.

Me: Ok, I'll be out the door in 5 mins.

And so I was. No shower, no bra, socks that don't match (but they were clean) and a few noms for the road. I shouted to the hubs that I was on my way to a birth day party and I'd be back later. He just said all he could say which was, "Ok, drive safe and good luck."

Thank God we got a new car a few months ago because I have no worries about having car trouble on the road. I swear one of these days I'm going to jump in thru the window all Dukes of Hazzard style. Oh man, give me a second, I just got the mental picture of that. LMAO! That is too funny. I bet I would get stuck half in and half out like Winnie the Pooh.

I start heading for the highway and my adrenaline is pumping and I'm getting all excited already. Funny thing is I have almost an hour and half drive there so there is no reason in getting all worked up; the laboring mom lives in OKC.

I always think that I'm going to take advantage of the long drive to get centered and practice all of my emergency protocols in my head, but really what ends up happening is everything but. I tend to make grocery lists, think of things I need to do when I get home from the birth, do the math to my destination using the mile marker signs, try to beat the time my GPS gives me for arrival and wonder if anyone will ever be speeding down the road to come to my birth.

Sometimes it is so surreal that I am actually going to births again. It has been 2 yrs since I was active in birth and I have really missed it. I mentally thank MLL for everything that I learned while I was there. I also often reflect on past births that I have attended and laugh at some of the funny stories.

After I did all this thinking I was exhausted but the good news was I was getting really close to my destination. The GPS started talking to me and ordering me around the highways of OK. Her voice tends to get a little annoying and I have often thought I would rather hear a deep man's voice. One of my friends says she would hate to be told what to do by a man...I'm thinking I don't mind since for once it would be a man that actually knows what he's talking about.

There is this one particular part of the highway where about 943 million ramps all come together and there are signs everywhere telling you where to go. My anxiety is starting to rise, I can be directionally challenged at times and especially when I'm already under stress. Next thing I know the female voice is telling me to take such and such ramp on the right and I was already passing it as she spoke. Then I hear the familar word "recalculating", I'm not sure why that word upsets me so much but it does. I immediately feel like a failure when I hear that, like I have let "her" down...whoever "she" is. I really need to know her name, then at least when I yell at her I can be consistent.

So meanwhile I have missed my turn and she is in the process of redirecting me to the next exit, I was starting to get really nervous but I just took some deep breaths. Hmmm, oddly enough that is our advice to the laboring moms. Does a deep breath really fix everything? I always hear people say that anytime someone is upset and I wonder if we have developed a fear of being upset. That is a whole nother topic that I'll save for another day.

I made my way around to the next exit and was back on track and only lost a minute of time, not bad huh? As I was coming around this round about I get a phone call from the other midwife asking me where I was. I told her that I was 3 mins away from the client's house and she said that the mother was pushing and I better hurry.

I got there 3 mins later as promised and found myself in a beautiful historical neighborhood full of very old houses. I walked right in the front door and found my way to the back bedroom where the scene was the most tranquil and beautiful thing I had seen all day. There was the mom, her husband, their doula and the other midwife. I quickly sat down on the floor at the foot of the bed and took in the birthing vibe.

Well I was only there for about 10 mins and inbetween the pushing I grabbed the doppler and listened for the baby's heartbeat. The first time I did that the noise that came back at me from the doppler was a very slow sound that is not the typical baby heartbeat noise that we are used to hearing. We told the mom to take long deep breaths and give the baby some oxygen. After the next contraction the tones were still really low and we decided that it was time for us all to meet the guest of honor at this birth day party.

The mom pushed with all her strength and out popped a little boy who was not very happy with his party so far. I'm guessing getting squeezed like crazy and having a ton of pressure on your head has got to be uncomfortable. It took us some work to get him to come around, but he did respond and then he looked happy to be in mom's arms. We ended up putting him on some blow by oxygen and some homeopathics to clear up his lungs. I believe that his APGAR score was 6/9 so not bad but not great either.

He was such a little trooper and did his best to let us know that he was going to be ok. We did our postpartum work and cleaned up, examined the baby and then we decided to leave the family that was one less just a few hours before.

Oh and oddly enough he was born on 9/10/09 at 9:09am. Yeah, we discussed how cool it would have been if he was born 24 hrs before.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Labor Day!

How appropriate would it be to have a baby born on that day? Well guess what, we did. I got a call around 12 noon saying that one of our clients was in labor. She was having contractions but she was still two weeks before her due date. The other midwife instructed the husband on how to time the contractions and advised him to call her back in about 20 mins. He began to do so and quickly realized that they were coming pretty close together.

She called me back to say that her contractions were coming about every four minutes and she was going to head over to her house to check her. I told her that I would jump in the shower and then be on my way. She said, "You might want to just come without the shower." I thought to myself if you had a smell-o-phone you might not agree, but who am I to argue with her.

I quickly got dressed, kissed my husband good-bye and ran off to fire up my midwife mobile and hit the road. The tricky part of this situation is that I am at least one hour away from any birthing action in this state. Depending on where the clients live I can be up to an hour and a half away. This geographical situation is not ideal for birth because I found out that babies that are ready to be born are not going to wait for anyone...not even me!

So I jump on the highway and away I went at break-neck speed. Luckily it was a holiday and by 12:30 pm most people were where they wanted to be already and the roads were pretty vacant. This was a good thing for a speeding midwife that did not want to have to contend with heavy traffic or people out for a Sunday drive. There are times that I am whizing down the highway trying to get to a birth and I am envious of the person next to me on the road who is out for a casual stroll.

About 30 minutes after I got on the road I get a text message from the other midwife saying that the mom was 8 cm and going really quickly. It was then that I realized that there was no way I was going to make it in time. This did not slow me down however; and I perservered on down the highway. Maybe 1o minutes later I heard the familar chirp of my phone alerting me to another text message. I was afraid to even check the message because I was pretty sure I already knew what it was going to say. Of course curiosity finally got the better of me, I think I held out for about 15 seconds, and I checked the message. It said, "BB out" and I still was 45 minutes away from the house.

One really nice feature of my GPS is that it tells me what time I am going to arrive at my destination and I like that added bit of knowledge. Eventhough I had missed the birth I decided to continue on. When I arrived at the house it was nestled in a beautiful neighborhood and the front door was open as if to invite me in.

As I walked in I saw the most precious tiny little girl. She was absolutely beautiful and petite at 6lbs 2oz. I think my favorite part of her was her little button nose, it reminded me of a doll. The parents were equally cute and excited. The birth had gone so fast that they barely had time to adjust to the idea. And of course the baby being 2 weeks early didn't help that feeling of being rushed.

All in all it was wonderful and despite the fact that I missed the actual birth the postpartum period and the hours that I spent with them made up for it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Most important baby born in OK on 8/30/09

So I woke up early that morning on my own and as I returned from the bathroom I opened up a bedroom window and thought to myself, "What a beautiful day for a birth!" The day was so nice, it was picture perfect in fact. The weather was cool and the sky was bright. It was as if they had talked the night before and arranged for this day. Kind of like, "Hey, what are you doing tomorrow? Want to meet up and hang out?"

I got a call from the midwife around 7am Sunday morning. It was so nice because I had a full nights sleep and was ready for some excitement. She informed me that she was going to go to the client's house and check her and she would call me back.

Of course I spared no time in jumping in the shower and trying on three different outfits until I got it right. Well I shouldn't really say outfit, scrubs are more like it, but that is the birth outfit. While I was waiting for the phone to ring I went to the kitchen and pulled out the midwife lunch box that my mom gave to me a week or so earlier and filled it with snacky goodness. I have been at a birth before with no food and it was not fun.

I got the much anticipated phone call about 30 mins later and the word on the street was that the mom was 6cms and if I was gonna come, I need to come now. She said it was my choice, but I couldn't imagine NOT going to the birth. Especially after my obsessive wardrobe changes. I put all my faith into Mapquest and headed out the door.

I was going to use my new Pike Pass for the first time and I was really hoping that it would work properly. I did not have enough mental space to deal with toll issues. I already had my first one of those and it was quite humiliating. You can find that story coming soon in my regular blog. (http://www.allthingsangelica.blogspot.com/)

As usual I was worrying for nothing because when it came to the first toll I held my breath as I sped (legally) thru the Pike Pass designated lane. I heard a beep and a "Thank You" sign lit up to let me know that this was going to be a smooth day with no problems. I took it as a good sign for the baby that would be making a huge transition today. All of a sudden I got this funny feeling in my stomach and figured it was birth nerves. Upon further assessment it was determined to be hunger pangs and I was so relieved to have my lunch bag, thanks mom! I reached in and pulled out a very firm banana, not my fav, it definitely hit the spot and I started feeling better immediately.

whoosh, whoosh, whoosh was the sound of me passing other vehicles on the road. As I went by their window I would look in and wonder if they were going somewhere as important as I was. I figured that unless they were a midwife there was NO way anything could be more important than this. It gave me a nice feeling to know that I was out on the road that particularly beautiful morning for such a solid reason. I mean really, who can beat that? There are no egg, sausage and pancake breakfasts that can hold a candle to a Birth-day.

I continued to sail successfully thru each toll plaza and as I would pass by the sensor I got this feeling that I was fleeing from someone or something. It made me feel like a rebel to not have to stop and put money in the bucket. It was liberating! I giggled everytime it happened. There are three tolls each way and it adds up to almost $8 roundtrip. One time when the long 80 some odd mile journey was getting to me mentally I started counting all the cars that I saw on the toll roads and tried to do the math to see how much money they bring in montly and then annually.

It went like this, ok the trip is $4 each way and so far I've counted 28 cars. Now what is 28 times 4....well 4 times 8 is 32 and 4 times 2 is 8- plus the 3 that was carried over, so that makes.....crap, I forgot what the first number was. Oh yeah, 2 and 8 plus 3- that makes 112, I think. So now that I have the number, what was that number for again? Right, $112 for all these 28 people who are on this same road as me. Now if they all go back the other way later today then it's another $112, so that's $224 for a round-trip for these 28 people. If they were to travel this way five times a week, such as a commuter, it would be...$1120 per week and $4480 per month and $53,760 a year. Ok, so I used the computer's calculator to figure out the last number but you get my point.

Geez, by the time I did all that math in my head I was half way to my destination and had missed numerous tracks on my book on CD. However the counting-distraction method (CDM) had done it's trick and I was happy. I do some of my best thinking and list making and organizing various things in my life on those lonely country roads. Every now and then I will lose my attention span to a cow or beautiful horse or even road kill. Do normal people look at the kill and try to figure out what type of animal it was? And then when they identify it or think they did, is it normal to rate the importance of the animal or the magnitude of their death on some sort of sadness scale? Normal or not, this is what I do.

I was getting near my exit and decided I better start paying attention to what I was doing. I hate when the directions say turn on so and so street and then the sign on the highway says, "So and so street. Eastbound- left lane, Westbound- right lane." Well the directions didn't say which bound to take...oh and not to mention since you are driving 70mph you have to make this decision really quickly and hope for the best. I always get all anxious about it because I'm afraid I won't remember how to get back to that location again if I did it wrong.

Funny how after all that worrying about directions and different bounds I usually seem to pick the correct one. There is just something scary about being in a brand new town and unsure of your directions and knowing that some woman is in labor and with every contraction you are closer and closer to missing her birth. Talk about a nail-biter. I wonder if midwives' have a shorter life span than the average person? It sure would make sense to me if they did.

I sailed right down the main road and went right in front of the university. Again I wondered if any of the college kids were doing anything today remotely as important and meaningful. I turned left on the correct street and then the third right and like a moth to a flame I was attracted to her house. As I shut off the car I congratulated myself on a job well done- out loud. Then I realized all I had done was drive to her house, there was still a lot to be done and more congratulations would be in order.

I was let into the house where I joined the other midwife and we conversed in our own language about all the specifics of her labor thus far. "What station is she?", "What is the status of the membranes?", "What does she want to do with the placenta?", "What were the last FHT's?", "BP stable?", "Oh, she's 6/70/0 and a 2/1, perfect!" It was then that I noticed the husband standing there looking somewhat bewildered about the whole process and the secret language.

First the mom wanted to be in bed, then the toilet, then the birth stool, then back in the bed, then in the shower, then back in the bed. The bed is where she delivered in and that was nice for all of us. It is easier for us that way, but we really want her to be comfortable. She only pushed for a few minutes before I started to see the familar wrinkle of baby head and sparce hair. Her total pushing time was 16 mins and then a beautiful baby boy stepped into the world. At first his favorite color was purple, but it didn't take him long to discover that a pink body and purply-blue hands and feet were a better idea.

Dad was not interested in giving the baby his freedom from mom, so I asked if I could do the honors. I realized that for the first time in this baby's life he was no longer attached to or inside of another person. That's got to be a weird feeling for the baby. After the whole ordeal dad was so tired he went to lay down and get a nap in before we left them on their own to handle this new life that they created.

We all relaxed a bit and let mom take a shower, this gave me the perfect opportunity to hold a 1 hr old baby...such a gift! After her shower we got her back into bed and asked her if she was good and comfortable, really this is a trick question. I'll tell you know why right now. When she says that yes she is comfortable then we tell her, "Good- cuz this is where you are going to be for the next 7-10 days." The moms never really like to hear that part, but we make sure to say it loud enough for dads to hear. The dads usually don't like to hear that part either.

Then we tidied up a bit, ate a bunch of Wheat Thins, talked about all baby safety precautions, oohed and ahhed over mom's new garden and left the family to fend for themselves. It felt weird to just leave after we had been there with them for such an intimate occasion. All in all everyone did great, especially the baby. He totally had the hardest role. Before I left I said good bye to the baby and mentally thanked him for letting me attend his birth-day party.

As I pulled out of the driveway alone and headed for some lunch and family time I looked at myself in the rearview mirror a few times and smiled and nodded my head. We knew what we meant by it and that's all that matters.