A year ago today, I was waiting for a labor to start, waiting for a baby to be born.

In my life, there is nothing unusual about that; I am a midwife, waiting for babies is what I do.

A year ago today, I was waiting to meet a special baby boy, waiting to feel his slippery softness in my hands as I passed him to his parents’ outstretched arms.

In my life, there is nothing unusual about that: all babies are special, and my hands are often the first extra-uterine touch a baby receives. Sometimes gender is known, sometimes it is guessed at, sometimes it is a surprise that the baby reveals

A year ago today, I was practicing mindfulness, being in the moment, enjoying each breath as is came and left my body. I was working with the mother, father, to practice simple attention to embodiment, be here now…

In my life there is nothing unusual about mediating, praying or sharing moments of mindfulness.

A year ago today, my life was just as normal as ever. And it was much more normal than ever. March 2013 was intensely real, sometimes surreal. In hindsight, it is hard to remember just how hard, how awful, how wonderful a time it was…

Side by side with a loving family, I was waiting for a baby, a special, loved and precious baby. We were waiting for a baby that prenatally had collected a variety of dire diagnoses (Agenesis of the Corpus Calosum, Hypoplastic Right Ventricle, missing Ductous Arterious, hydrocephalus, Down Syndrome) and deadly pronouncements (incompatible with life, inoperable heart defects).

We had very real reasons to believe that this baby was going to be born normally and then die as soon his cord stopped pulsing. We had no expectation of this sweet baby living for more than a few minutes. And we wanted to be present, fully present, for every single second of that baby’s life, a life that would likely end just minutes after birth.

A whole family was waiting: mother, father, big brother, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins…

A whole community was waiting: friends, friends of friends, colleagues, church congregations…

A whole team was waiting: Midwife, doula, midwife assistant, filmmaker, photographer, counselor, priest, pediatrician, cardiac surgeon, and funeral director…

Now, a year later, I am waiting to celebrate a one year’s birthday.

In my life, that is not unusual; I get invited to a lot of birthday parties, I get a lot of sweet, slobbery, toddler kisses.

What is unusual is that this year, the baby that was not expected to live even an hour, turns one year old. Next week, on March 12, 2014, Baby Joey will have his first birthday, his first of many happy birthdays.

This Wednesday March 12th, I hope you will all join me in wishing Joey a very happy birthday!

May all babies be born into loving hands
If you want to find out more about this baby, his family, and the movie being made about their journey through pregnancy and birth, you can read prior blogs posts. You can visit the Into Loving Hands movie website. You can watch the Into Loving Hands trailer on Vimeo. You can Tweet us. You can Like us on Facebook. You can follow Rebecca’s blog. You can offer financial support to the family. Also, you can support the telling of this story by donating to the Into Loving Hands Indegogo campaign.