This morning brought the first frost of the season. Walking to the car, the sight of my breath surprised me and the suddenness of the cold made my eyes water. I started the car and as the defroster ran I scraped the windows, my fingertips throbbing before long. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the curtains in our living room fluttering, the girls no doubt running circles around the chair as Sean sipped his coffee. I tried to bite back bitterness, I wanted to run back inside, sink back into the blurred lens wonder of our early morning routine.

Driving to work I took a different route than usual. I was at a traffic light stewing, the roads were nearly empty and my thoughts were consumed by what I was missing. Two cars ahead of me I saw a white Subaru exactly like our own. More annoyance gripped me as I imagined Sean driving the girls to Jen’s without me. I ached for them as if it were my first day away from them. The light turned green and I stepped lightly on the gas. The road began to curve and I saw the license plate on the Subaru: MIDWFE. I recognized it as belonging to one of the midwives from my doctor’s practice.

I smiled thinking about our two incredible deliveries, returning to the room Briar was delivered in to welcome Avery, and having our doctor with us both times. I remembered Sean taking my hand, music playing in the background, and dancing me through contractions. I put my hand on my belly and smiled, Sean was home with our girls and I was headed to work with our next baby. I moved through another light and watched MIDWFE up ahead. It occurred to me that she might be heading to work, off to stand beside another woman, coaching her, holding her hand and using her voice and warm eyes to guide her from expecting to embracing.

As the red light on the right side of her car began to blink I teared up. She turned into the hospital parking lot and made her way to another new life. Once that baby is placed in her mama’s arms they’ll ring a bell, patients will ask what the sound is and the nurses, so often drawn and cold, will brighten, “That’s a baby!” they’ll chirp and for a moment nothing will matter but the knowledge that a new life has begun, and that somehow the miracle has been shared.

I arrived at work feeling as if I’d been dusted with a little bit of magic.

Welcome to the world, baby.