Early Wednesday morning, Ryan gave birth to Nathan. It was a long and difficult labor that ended with a C-section. Both she and the baby are doing fine. You can tell how much she and Jon love their new baby. John and I have had a chance to hold and rock him and marvel over the perfect little person he is.

It’s made me think a lot about when I had our kids. Last night we got out the old pictures and oohed and aahed over how cute they were. But what a lot of work it is bringing them into the world! I’ve talked to many of my friends about their experiences having their first child and, wow, it is amazing that the world is populated. And that people have more than one child. It’s a good thing there is no compendium of first labor and delivery experiences as required reading for people contemplating the leap into parenthood. Most women will only go so far as telling an expectant mom that it is really hard work having your first baby. The classes you take warn you against “discomfort.” But until you do it, even if everyone told you the unvarnished truth, you wouldn’t believe it.

But I saw it in Ryan’s eyes yesterday as she held Nathan and I remember it well myself, the boundless love you feel for this little baby who has just emerged from you. Is all the pain and mess worth it? Look around. Look at all the people out here in the world. It definitely is.

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