Sunday, February 20, 2011

Breath of Life

To take that first breath of life is an important step for all of us in the human race. It usually starts with a cry, for having been a family physician for more than a quarter of a century, I have been present at many first breath experiences. [more than 800!] That breath fills the lungs, changes the blood flow through the heart, and moves us from a watery existence to the land side of life. Hearing that cry, the mother gets the first sounds of this new life that has been hidden in her womb for some 9 months, give or take a few weeks. All that morning sickness... long nights twisting and turning, trying to get comfortable from that kicking and movement...that big, big belly, and swelling in hands and feet...that reflux, those hemorrhoids, those stretch marks...all this to get to hear that first breath of life.

The picture to the right shows my wife holding our first daughter. Her arms did most of the holding and hugging. In spite of having delivered more than 800 babies, I can say that there is nothing like having your own! But, after 40 years of marriage, I have come to realize that it is the mothers that give the breath of life.

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