Despite the fact that I am trained as a photographer/filmaker, I just could not bring myself to photograph the birth. In retrospect, I am kind of glad.

Gita called me at work to tell me that contractions had started. No rush yet as they were pretty far apart. When I got home we called our mid-wife and were informed that she was off that weekend. Her backup would fill in. We called her and she was not thrilled. It seemed that she had a scheduled birth for six a.m. the next morning and did not relish the thought of being up all night with a couple of rookies. We finally convinced her to meet us at the hospital as the pain was getting stronger.

Despite what you may read or hear, the birth process is pretty loud and disgusting. At least if you have my mate and you use a mid-wife 'au natural'. Yet even with all the screaming and myself not being very useful, I am so glad to have been there. Gita was in labor for only about six hours. Maxine came forth around midnight.

The hospital had a neonatal specialist on hand to inspect Max before her trip to CHOP. "She has Down Syndrome", she told me as they cleaned her up and checked her vitals. She then started to point out the details. She showed me her simian crease on her palms and how her fingers were on the shorter side. I remember not being upset, but a little let down. Despite all the ultrasounds results, I still held out that the du0denal atresia was the only problem. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

So we got to spend about an hour with her before the transport team from CHOP arrived to take Max. I could not believe that I helped make this little blob. She wasn't cute yet. But you could see the potential.