The Big One

On this day one year ago my son was born. Today I find myself nearly as speechless about the moment as I was then, which is why I think I'll just re-post the events as I documented them last year. I do think it's worth mentioning that the indescribable, uncontainable love I felt for Simeon the moment he was born has grown 365 fold.

Words Fail

4:56 a.m.

"Ryan! Wake up!" I sit straight up and look around the room for an intruder. "I think my water broke!," Sarah exclaimed. She wasn't lying. There was a pool of evidence right there on her side of the bed.


The car ride – 6:00 a.m.
Sarah's contractions have started in earnest. I don't know what I was thinking. Every time she began a contraction, I wanted to chat. That is when Sarah made the first of two rules – so far.
  1. Do not ask me questions.
  2. Do not tell jokes – I guess laughing makes contractions hurt extra bad
  3. I'm still waiting for the third rule.


Hospital arrival – 6:30

I dropped Sarah off at the door with the bags, and a nice lady asks, "Are you okay, miss?"

"Oh, I'm just having a baby," Sarah replied calmly.

I swear, she's Wonder Woman.


We're in our room now.

It's so strange to me that you ask a woman in labor to do a bunch of admission and insurance paperwork. I suppose it has to be done.

We're playing some music from the birthing playlist. Among those on the list, "Between My Legs" by Rufus Wainwright and "Here Comes The Sun" by George Harrison.


A friend of mine texts me, "Go Horny (The Noel Boy's in utero name), it's your birthday." I show complete lack of judgement by reciting this to Sarah mid-contraction. Dammit, I already forgot rule number 2.


Sarah quickly squashed the music with lyrics. There goes my dream of the head coming out to the sounds of "Here Comes The Sun (Son)".


Sarah is a superstar! She's endured most of her contractions while sitting on a birthing ball and digging finger nail marks into a wooden chair arm.


She's moved to the bed, laying on her side and focused intently on a photo of Charley Young Beach in Maui, where we were married. I've never seen her so focused.

By the way, our doula, Brielle has been a total Godsend. I'm good at the motivational speeches, not so good with the breathing part. I lack focus!


11:15 a.m.
Doctor Hurry is in the house. Sarah's getting ready to push!


I've never seen Sarah like this. I'm turning white and tearing up, not because of witnessing birth, but seeing Sarah in so much pain (no epidural).


Dr. Hurry is doing an amazing job. She said to Sarah, "You were made to birth babies, it just took us a while to get you pregnant." I think Sarah tried to laugh, but this is serious business.


Dr. Hurry apologizes to Sarah for blocking her view of the mirror that shows the birth site, Sarah amidst furious pushing says sweetly, "oh, that's okay."

11:52 a.m.
40 minutes of pushing, and less than seven hours after Sarah's water broke, baby Simeon David Noel arrived. He wailed as soon as he came out, as did Sarah and I.

Words fail.


  1. Teared up reading that again. I remember this day last year vividly, and talking to you outside my office after Simeon was born. I love that boy!! Thanks for making me an Auntie.

  2. My heart was pounding with excitement all over again! I'm a sucker for a good birthing story, and you and S have got a doozy.

    Congratulations again on bringing lil' Horny into the world, and 365-fold huger congratulations to him for a whole year of growing and learning and Coming To Be.

    Goodness, do they ever accomplish a lot in those first 12 months.

  3. Happy Birthday Little Neighbor! Not sure anyone really knows what love is until they have a child.

    (sorry that whole thing came out sounding a little Mr. Rogers.............awkward)

  4. Grammy and GrandpaJuly 30, 2009 at 6:37 AM

    We'll never tire of reading that precious story. We remember sitting in that waiting room with the other grandparents,and anxiously waiting to hear the great news of our first grandchild's arrival... and then to meet Simeon for the first time, well, words do, indeed, fail. We love him so much and enjoy and treasure every second we spend with him. God DOES hear! Love, His Grammy and Grandpa