The Birth of Jetsun Yudra
It was a beautiful, crisp, and clear Thursday. The sun shone bright in the Nova Scotia sky. Around 5:30 in the afternoon, I went into the family living room to see how the Sakyong Wangmo was doing. She looked at me and said, “It has begun.”
My wife had begun feeling mild contractions. I immediately informed her sister, Semo Palmo, and Ms. Blessie Selvig, her nurse, who began timing the contractions. Then Dr. Mitchell Levy and our midwife, Ms. Kerstin Martin, arrived. They both saw that this was indeed labor, and said that we should proceed to the hospital. Ms. Molly McCue, the Sakyong Wangmo’s attendant, began packing her belongings, and Mr. Glenn Austin, the Gesar officer, brought the cars out. My continuity kusung, Mr. James Milani and Mr. Brian Duncan, prepared my personal items. Everyone was surprised because the due date was still four days away. By 6:00 we had headed to the hospital.
We were greeted by Dr. Barbara Parish and the IWK nurses, who were incredibly accommodating and helpful. As we entered the birthing room, I checked with the doctors about how long the labor might take. They said it could take up to two hours; however, it quickly became apparent that it would end much sooner than that. Only about twenty-five minutes later, at 7:32 PM, Jetsun Yudra Lhamo was born. She gave out a good cry, after which both Khandro-la and I held our newborn daughter, who is beautiful, with thick black hair and big eyes. I was amazed by the quickness of the birth, and by the strength of my wife.
I gave Jetsun Yudra a purification blessing, after which members of the family arrived. The Sakyong Wangmo’s mother, Mayum Chime Dolkar arrived with Jetsun Drukmo. The most delightful moment was when Jetsun Drukmo greeted her new sister, after which she immediately wanted to hold the newborn baby.
I then informed my mother, Lady Konchok, and Lady Diana about the birth. Semo Palmo informed members of the Ripa family, including His Eminence Namkha Rinpoche. Then I asked Mr. Richard Reoch to announce to the community that Jetsun Yudra had been born, and to let them know that the Sakyong Wangmo was doing well.
The next day, the Sakyong Wangmo rested as a light snow fell, which brought a feeling of calm and peace. On the following day, Mr. Benny Fong took our first official family portrait. Then we returned to the Kalapa Court, bringing Jetsun Yudra home for the first time. Family, friends, and members of the Shambhala leadership had gathered. Lhasang smoke billowed and people shouted the warrior’s cry. We then presented katas to our newborn child and took her to the shrine room for blessing.
After the blessing, everyone was invited in to enjoy a wonderful welcoming tea prepared by Mr. Mack Wilding and Mr. Marvin Robinson, the machens. The Court felt full, with a sense of warmth and delight. With the birth of our new child, the Shambhala lineage had expanded and grown, bringing tremendous joy in the community.