A few weeks ago, my brother’s baby was on the way. The baby was a week late, so it was time. By hook or by crook, this baby was coming. My brother Joe and my sister-in-law LizE were at the hospital, waiting, waiting on labor time. If normal time is tick-tock, tick tock, labor time is tiiiiiihck sigh breathe yawn tohhhhhck. It’s agony to wait.

So much of pregnancy is about waiting. You know the little one is coming, and you have an approximate end date, and so you count down the weeks until that date. When you find out you are pregnant, you wait to show. (Unless you are pregnant with your second, and then the burrito baby appears the moment you think you might be pregnant. I had a burrito baby a solid three months before I was pregnant with Vivvi. Then again, maybe it was just all those burritos I ate.)

And before you get pregnant, if you have been trying, you wait and wait for the symptoms to appear so you can be justified taking a pregnancy test. Then you pee on a stick, and set it down, and again, tiiiiihck sigh breathe yawn, wash my hands, OMW am-I-pregnant-or-do-I-just-need-to-stop-eating-burritos tohhhhck. It is all a lot of practice in waiting.

My brother and sister-in-law had done their fair share of waiting. And now it was time. I drove up to my parents’ house so I could be in the general vicinity when the baby was born. The plan made no sense, considering that husband Wally had a commitment so he couldn’t come, and my family planned to be at the hospital also. This left me at my parents’ house with my kids. But it felt good to be nearby.

My family has started a tradition of waiting vigil for the new babies together in the waiting room. When I told this story to a friend of mine, she said, “Like in the movies!” And it is like in the movies. We wait on the edge of our seats. Our hearts pound a little faster. We bond with the in-laws over the excitement for this baby that will be ours—all of ours.

So when my parents and sister left at around 8 because it was getting close to time, I teared up that I was so close but no cigar. (There is a “Congratulations!” pun hiding in there somewhere.) I was going to miss a moment, and I love a good moment. You see, Joe and LizE had decided not to find out if it was a boy or a girl, so this was bound to be an ultimate waiting room experience. Their not-finding-out at that time felt like a huge gift that I was going to have to turn down because I had my own dang rugrats to watch. Kids ruin everything. (There is irony in there somewhere.)

I stayed at my parents house and watched a movie and worked on my mom’s puzzle. I forced my sister to FaceTime me the entire time in the waiting room (although I didn’t require her to converse with me). I set up my phone so my family could watch me puzzle if they were bored. (As if!) I wanted to see my brother when he appeared and said, “It’s a…!” I wanted to be a part of that.

275 puzzle pieces later, Wally’s commitment was finished. I asked him (so nicely) if he would high speed (safely) up so I could possibly high speed (labor-in-progress, no-I’m-not-pregnant-officer-this-is-a-burrito-baby, I’m-offended, how-dare-you, don’t-give-me-a-ticket safely) to the hospital. 50 puzzle pieces later, Wally was pulling in the driveway to relieve me of my motherly duties and I was running out to hop in the running car and head (safely as imagined above but without being pulled over) to the hospital.

I blew kisses at the hospital when it was in sight in case the baby was being born at that moment. I ran up to the third floor. I bolted to the waiting room. And there was my family and LizE’s clan, waiting. I Facetimed Wally (because the more the merrier, right?) and joined in the serious task at hand, which was to wait.

After a short time (yay for me, enjoying a movie and a puzzle and arriving just in time for the best part!), we were shuffled from one waiting room to another, and we knew my brother would be there any moment. I manned the video, and Joe burst through the doors. It was everything I imagined. He shouted, “It’s a boy!!” and there were tears from everyone, and hugs, and the baby was brought out, and we shuffled forward as an excited, cooing, crying pod and we smiled because we couldn’t stop smiling, and my brother held him up for all of us to love, and we did.

Baby

But, maybe because I was taking the video, and maybe because I was so excited and relieved that this long-awaited baby was born, and healthy, and so amazingly cute—this was no little-old-man newborn like most…he was perhaps, the most attractive newborn to ever be born in the history of the world—because all of these factors took me aback, I missed the best part of the moment. Thankfully, my sister was manning the camera, and she caught the best part to be preserved forever and go down in history. She captured this:

Joy

Unbridled, rampant, unstoppable, runaway joy. This is how it feels when your little one is born.  This is what it feels like to be the person responsible for the newest life that exists on the planet. This is a person whose dreams have been realized. This is why we wait.

Some things are worth waiting for.

Wait