Our first Sparrow House occupant who took up residence with us was sixteen year old Tiffany and her baby girl Ava. Tiffany was a sweet person with too much knowledge of the world and a wonderfully naive view of all other matters. She was a complete novice at child care but we have always held that if a young lady is going to get herself into this mess, she's going to be the mom. We don't bail her out at 2:00 am (at least not the first week), bathtime, butt changing time, engorgement, doctor appointments, diaper rashes or any other awkward moment. Tiffany really struggled through her first few weeks of being a mom and we were there to offer advice, answer questions and be her cheerleaders - but not to do it all for her. So I distinctly remember the day she came to me holding Ava up in the air with two hands. Ava was naked down to her little diaper and Tiffany had a trail of tears rolling down each cheek. She looked terrified. "Miss. Mary," she said, "I think I broke my baby."
I took a look at the "broken" baby and I noticed the hard, purple stub of Ava's umbilical cord laying disconnected on her belly. It took me a few moments to calm down Tiffany and assure her that she had not, in fact, broken her baby - that her baby had shed the last bits of life in the womb and this was a good thing.
In fact, I personally love the day this happens for my babies. I don't know why, after all these babies, I am still squeemish about reaming out the naval beneath that umbilical stub but I am indeed. So today I am celebrating the fact that I have broken my baby.