A Toronto Transformation

Every Breath is Momentous


Two weeks ago I got the text I’d been waiting months for. One of my closest friends had gone into labour and delivered a baby boy.

I have no idea what went on the rest of the work day. I just fluttered around ineffectually, counting down the milliseconds until I could hop in a cab to the hospital.

Somehow, my magical friends had managed to turn their curtained-off corner of a hospital room shared with another newborn and his 25 visiting siblings singing wheels on the bus into a cozy little cocoon. It was as if there was nothing but the three of them in the world before I peeked in.

The love in that place was palpable and contagious, a visible glittery swirl through the shimmer of tears that kept welling up in my eyes when I stared at the gorgeous wee creature in my friend’s arms.

It’s strange how someone so teeny, who really doesn’t do anything can be positively fascinating.

Every tiny breath is momentous.

As I held him, he held me too – absolutely riveted.

I just stared and stared and stared, mesmerized by his perfect little lips and his fingernails and his amazingly full head of downy hair. My heart stopped at every tiny squeak he made.

He cried once, just after I whispered “Remember me? I’m the one always talking your mom’s ear off! You know all my secrets!”

But I like to think that was just a coincidence.

What an honour and a privilege it is to meet someone in the first 24 hours of their life, in the precious few fleeting moments before their world expands by leaps and bounds, then expands and expands again.

When every single wonderful thing in this whole wide world has yet to be discovered, we’re all born tiny adventurers.

I sometimes wonder if I were to adopt, (which seems like it might be my best shot at having children), if I might have trouble bonding with a baby not biologically linked to me or my partner, but if the way I felt about this little fella within ten seconds is any indication, it shouldn’t be a problem. Because guys?

I’m totally in love.

Well, who could blame me?

Well, who could blame me?

8 Responses to Every Breath is Momentous

  • Maggie says:

    this must have been a beautiful moment. I’m a medical student and my neonatal placement was by far the most emotional and memorable to date. I met so many babies in their first minute of life, the midwives would say “welcome to the world, little one”. life’s a miracle.

    • metamorphocity says:

      Oh I’d be a mess in your position! Partly because I’m a fainter and tend to hit the floor when I see needles or blood…but also because birth is such a total gobsmacking miracle. I’d be teary-eyed 24-7!

  • LaReesa says:

    So well-written! He is such a freaking cutie, and that is a lot of hair for a newborn! Isn’t it amazing how absolutely TINY they are? I can never get over a baby’s itty-bitty fingernails!! Congrats to your friend!

    • metamorphocity says:

      Thanks so much, LaReesa! It really is incredible. I also weirdly kept thinking that it’s amazing they just pop out fully equipped with things like ears and toes and that nothing has to be added on. They’re just teeny little whole people already!

  • Those first moments of life are some of the most precious, and such a joy to witness. I was present for my youngest nephew’s birth, and I cried when he entered the world and let out his first cry. I will never forget spending precious moments with him in the wee hours of the morning, watching the the snow fall on hat late March morning as my sister and her husband slept. I miss those quiet moments with him, yet am delighted with the loud, rambunctious boy that has replaced them.

    • metamorphocity says:

      What a gorgeous memory, Rachel! I think the last time I was around someone this new must have been when my brother was born and I was five. The love and joy that first day just about bowled me over.

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