Ask any married man what the best day of his life was and he’d better answer his wedding day. I do, and it’s the truth. But I have another good day that stands out.
Wednesday, December 2nd 1998 was a typical warm day with the ocean breeze mixing with the fragrance of the local flora in Kihei, on the island of Maui. I had taken the whole week off in anticipation. Harrison was at school and Prajna and I went for a walk with Naomi and Benjamin. We took our other little girl too, Prajna carrying her along as she had for the last 9 months. She had carried our little girl in Budapest, Hungary, through London’s Heathrow Airport and all the way home to Hawaii with a stop in Yucaipa for two weeks.
Despite the beautiful day, Prajna was anxious and uncomfortable. I, however was pleased as punch to be walking down the street with two beautiful children and a beautiful wife I had beautifully helped become with child. On our walk, we ran into our friend Iris, whom we hadn’t seen since the night Naomi had been born. Naomi’s labor had been intense, but quick. Benjamin’s had just been quick. So quick that the doctor didn’t even make it to the hospital that night in Budapest.
We anticipated this next labor to be quick too. Even though we had our obstetrician and our plan for Maui Memorial Hospital, we were prepared for another venue.
Maybe it was meeting Iris again, maybe it was the walk, maybe it was that our little girl was a day past due. But when we got Naomi and Benjamin down for their naps back home, Prajna went into labor. It was powerful, and we didn’t have a sitter for the kids yet. It occurred to us both that we might end up having the baby in the car on the way to the hospital. Why not stay put?
I called 911, because that’s what you’re supposed to do. I didn’t stay on the phone long because Prajna wanted to push. So we unpacked our home birth kit there in the back bedroom and went to work. Well, Prajna was already at work, I mostly told her how well she was doing.
Someone was at the door, I asked if it was the paramedics, but it was better. Prajna’s mom arrived. She had assisted in deliveries before. She coached Prajna, take a deep cleansing breath, and I took up the catcher’s position.
And I caught our daughter. It was more than a catch. I did ease her out, copying what I had seen our OB do in the past, and remembering what I had read in What to Expect when You’re Expecting. But the delivery was flawless. The paramedics arrived once it was done and bundled mother and child into their ambulance. Harrison got off the school bus in time to see it parked outside and saw him mommy and new baby sister before we left.
As we sped to the hospital, the paramedics wanted to write “Jane Doe” on the forms. Naomi really liked the name Sarah, so right there on the Mokulele Highway in the back of an ambulance, we named our Daughter Sarah Marie Faux.
I called my parents on the mainland from the hospital. Oh yes, we had a baby, but what was cooler than that? I got to play doctor and deliver her myself. You couldn’t have smacked the grin off my face for the rest of the day.
I told the story to anyone who would pause to listen. Folks said I would have a special bond with my little girl, being the first hold her and deliver her like that. And I do.
I look back on that day with fondness. It was a pretty cool day. But the thrill that fueled my pride has faded. In that hospital room, having a new daughter almost took second place to playing doctor. But now the best part of all of that this: my little girl turns 15 today.
Sarah has always been a face of quiet wisdom and happiness. No achievement I could ever accomplish could ever outshine the joy she brings to everyone. Now I consider it an honor to have been a part of her coming into the world.