Straight from the fragility of life to childbirth...
No, I'm not pregnant. But I am helping out the friend who has cancer, whose wife is also a friend and is due at the end of March.
She, not surprisingly, hasn't had a lot of space or energy or time to think about the details of having the baby. She has an OB, and a location (hospital), but hasn't really had time to think about what she wants, how she wants it, what is important, what is not.
It's a strange twist, going back into that state of mind, thinking about this stuff again four years out and done. It's the done that is probably the most relevant, I suppose. I'm really done having kids. And enough past the grieving over never getting to experience labor and birth again that there isn't even a whiff of wanting to be in her shoes. At least not at the moment.
There is, though, the underlying passion for the process. I do love childbirth. Having been raised on the stories of the power, potency, and intensity of birth, of the core essence of humanity that is found there, I never had a fear of it. I wasn't all racing into it, but I had an underlying assumption that it was a good thing.
Having helped another woman in childbirth, I know that helping is a humbling experience, just as birthing is. There's an amazing transformation there.
My friend should be able to make it to the birth - the medical team is hopeful that he will be functioning well enough (immune system-wise) to be there. But he will still need an assist because he may not have the reserves he'd need, especially if labor is long. So I'm playing backup.
It's good. Life and birth and new baby, all good. A good reminder of the stubborn persistence of life, even in the face of its fragility.