There can be a quiet, quiet moment in childbirth between the head coming out and the next contraction. In this moment, the baby’s head is there, turned, covered in goop, eyes closed. Skin purple-greyish. In this moment, you could think that the baby is never going to open its eyes and never going to take its first breath. You remind yourself that the cord is still there and blood and oxygen are still coming from mum. Then the contraction comes, and the torso follows, and two legs, and everyone exhales. Everyone except the baby, who inhales for the very first time.
Welcome to the world, Baby ‘Claire’.