There is nothing like the birth of a new baby to remind us of how radiantly we all come into the world. As I entered the labor recovery room at Kaiser’s Sunnyside Hospital in Portland I saw this first image of my new grand daughter, little Alice Opal Sibbet. She was only 10 hours old, nestled up against her father, my youngest son Phil. My whole being filled with light.
“Do you want to hold her?” Phil asked. Did I ever! As she came into my arms, just a little 7 lb 11 ounce handful, her eyes opened wide and looked all around – seeing only dancing light I’m sure. She opened and closed and her little fingers, stretching out into the huge world she was entering. She could probably feel my heart, bursting open in her presence. Her little mouth quivered with life.
Emily Carlson, Phil’s wife, gave birth early this same morning at 8:57 am. Susan (Phil's mom and my wife) had arrived several days earlier to help take care of Reid, her older brother, now two and half years old. I flew up on the 11th and took a cab straight to the hospital. I didn’t want to miss this miracle.
It’s amazing how soon the energy patterns of a new life reveal themselves. Alice Opal is named after a beloved grandmother and a great aunt, both powerful women. As I held her in my arms I thought about the world she is entering and how this strength will be needed. I also had a very deep feeling that she had chosen to be among us for special reasons, and the magic of these next years would be to discover why. Already I felt touched.
On Saturday Susan and I returned tot he hospital for a third time. I was completely opened up from playing trains for hours with Reid. He is a bright light himself, so full of energy and fascination with everything. He’s a very aware little boy, and as we rode home Thursday he volunteered from his car seat in back “you know, today is Alice’s birthday!!.” What a thing to put together at that age.
Well today little Alice had been sleeping a lot, and was just every so slightly jaundiced. I found that baby’s livers don’t start working fully for a couple of days, and sometimes their ability to process the biliruben in their system turns their skin a little yellow. Tests showed Alice was only on the threshold, but probably would benefit from some extra milk, and a “light blanket!”
I’d never heard of this, but soon found that someone has invented a set of light pads that fit front and back against the baby inside a swaddling blanket, and this light helps the baby process the biliruben! The same nurse that showed Phil and Em how to wrap Reid came and helped them wrap Alice in the light blanket. I couldn’t believe the look of peace and contentment that spread on Alice’s face as the light turned on, and the warmth of the pads surrounded her. How wonderful to begin life literally in the light, to experience this oh-so-fundamental soul food.
Little Alice Opal, you ARE light. May all blessings be with you.