B officially arrived Earthside last week. 2:11am on July 12th, 2022.

It's been a whirlwind since. Time is air, has no meaning and yet means everything. Is measured in naps, in warm meals brought by friends and neighbors. The three of us just sleeping, eating, pooping, repeating. We've been out twice—for pediatrician appointments, for bread, bananas, almond butter, Clif bars. Man. Thank God for Clif bars.

There was a moment, in the birthing room:

E was gripping my hand, knees at her chest, pushing, pushing. Me and two other nurses were counting to ten, cheering her on. The doctor was on a stool at the foot of the bed, blue gloves, shiny instruments. But something was off. I remember hearing, Baby is too high, he's still too high, should we try a different position? He's angled outward. Okay, just keep pushing, mama, you got this, you're doing great, just keep pushing, ready? And PUSH, 2, 3, 4...

And I remember thinking: this isn't working. This is taking too long. What's going on?

And I look up, searching for reassurance, and I see seven nurses standing around us, all women, all covered in fabric and plastic, like nuns, each holding tools or towels or each other's hands, watching, waiting, ready. And I realize: this... this is it. This is how humanity gets through. The Sisterhood. Women, together, sharing an unspoken, sacred pact that men can only envy, that men will never understand. It may be just another day at the office for them, but in this moment, with us, their presence feels ancient, primal. Feels like everything.

Then I'm looking back down and there's his head, cresting, his ears, then his shoulders, then his whole body is slipping out, grey and pink and slick and limp, and then half a dozen blue hands are on him, wiping him down, wrapping him, putting an ID bracelet around his ankle. Then he's on E's chest, suddenly right here, this little person who was inside for so long, out, out in the air, out in the open, with us, in the world, with a little beanie pulled over his weirdly domed head. And his face, his fat cheeks, they're scrunching up and his mouth is opening wide, WIDE, and he's inhaling and then, and then, then he's crying, he's screaming, squirming, filling the room, filling us all with new breath, with new life. The sound of his newness.

And his voice, man, his little loud voice. Nothing will ever be the same.

There are moments, yeah, when E and I have quietly wondered, What have we gotten ourselves into? How do we give this screaming red thing back to the hospital?

But then there are all the other moments.

The other night we played him music for the first time: Mr. Wendall by Arrested Development. I held him in my arms at midnight, swayed him around the living room, sang along to him and watched his eyes light up with... something. Wonder? Confusion? Nuerons firing, synapses wiring, his map of textures and experiences and feelings massing, expanding. Bliss. Magic. Or...

I felt his diaper. Nope, just poop. More poop.

We'll get there, together.