Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon
I shall start a beginning. Though of course
the beginning is never where you think it
is. Our lives are so important to us that
we tend to think the story of them begins
with our birth. First there was nothing,
then I was born...yet that is not so. Human
lives are not pieces of string that can be
separated our from a knot of others and laid
out straight. Families are webs. Impossible
to touch one part of it without setting the
rest vibrating. Impossible to understand one
part without having a sense of the whole.
from: The Thirteenth Tale
by: Diane Setterfield

Im eating crow.
And Im happy to do it.
Learning something about myself and my daughter  has caused me to munch old crow and its  all a good thing.
Baby Benjamin is 20 days old now.
And its taken me this long to formulate a post about his birth.
I've been able to tell  a lot of people about it!
But putting it into words has been difficult.
It was a sacred experience.
The experience was an eye-opener,humbling and I learned a great deal.
The eating of crow  is due to the fact that my daughter proved to be more powerful beyond my wildest expectations.
I confess...mostly to her...that behind her back I was terribly skeptical  of her ability to 'tough out' a natural childbirth.  Especially for the first time!!!  Anna has been known to complain about a hang nail and headaches.
I was very apprehensive and a bit nervous about her attempting something called hypno-babies on her first attempt to give birth. VERY, VERY NERVOUS!!
But I was supportive and encouraging and I believe I hid my trepidation well...
Of course  I was praying mightily that the birth would go well or that the hospital wasnt going to be an expensive ride across town while she was screaming for an epidural!!
Now old crow is tasting mighty fine.
I'll have you know that  my Anna turned out to be the toughest, most determined, and extremely  well trained first time laboring mom ever!!!

I dont think its my place to go into the nitty gritty details of Benjamin's birth...
But I will try to tell it from my point of view as well as I can.
Contractions began... earlier than she first let on.  Some time in the morning.  By evening, after Clark arrived, the "pressure waves" began in earnest.  And it was then that I believed that my concerns for her lack of "toughness" were valid.  She complained of the pain.  "It really hurts!!" Anna said.   uhoh..."I think we're in trouble if you think these beginning contractions 'hurt.'  Big trouble!!" I said to my worried self.
So we packed the car with food, suitcases, and plenty of pillows to cushion and pamper sweet Anna.  She got in the front seat, snapped on her headphones with the hypno-baby tapes playing softly in her ears, and honest to pete, we didnt hear a peep out of her for the LONG hour drive to the birthing center! Not a peep!!
Chris, the amazing midwife, was there to greet us when we arrived. Next, Anna's dula appeared ready to encourage and support.  We had 2000 square ft to pace through  and to feel at home in, and we settled in for a long night of labor.
But I'll have you know...I think back on it now and I wonder if it wasnt David and I that 'felt' the anxiety of the night more than Anna.  From the get-go she was in her zone!! All the many, many hours Anna spent practicing her hypno-baby stuff at home definitely paid off in the end!!  She had her 'bubble of peace' around her and she handled all and I mean all that natural childbirth deals out!!  David worried, and fussed over her, while Anna didnt furrow her pretty brow or break a sweat through each pressure wave. It was a sight to behold!! Such relaxation!!  When she spent a few hours in the warm pool...her arms floated like al dente whole wheat pasta on the surface of the water.  David was her hero and coach along with the highly skilled dula.   I did my very best to lend a hand but to stay out of the way.

 I did my very best to remain calm, with many a fervent prayer when it was time to push and push and push and nothing seemed to be happening.  Chris is a exceptionally qualified midwife...( 3000+ babies delivered!) I trusted her with my daughter...and I would I never let myself get too worked up...for somehow, someway the Spirit whispered to me that all was well.
So we watched dear Anna push, and push and push..for two and half hours!!  Never in my wildest expectations would I have guessed or even dreamed that my daughter had the strength and determination to do what she did...done with near silence and the total composure of a woman who had done this before!!!  My pride and awe of her grew by the minute!! Not one word of complaint or  defeat passed her lips that night! Not one!!!  Who is this woman I have so wrongly labeled as a wimp!!?? Where did the wooz go!!??

 I know now what she has become ..
a powerful, can-do anything type of woman and mother!
For when Baby Ben finally arrived it was immediately apparent that Benjamin was no lightweight like we were all expecting from her.  Ben was hefty!! He had rolls of fat on his arms and legs!! He had a large head!! He was 9 lbs 12 oz and 22 in long for heck sake!!! Way to go ANNA!!!  No wonder it took 2 1/2 hours to get him here!!
Oh the joy! Oh the ecstasy and jubilation!!
I've felt this bliss 5 times with the birth of my own kids...
And I've been privileged to witness 2 of my grandkids births
and even the birth's of a niece and nephew...
and there is just nothing like that feeling...
I've heard it described as  having that veil that keeps us from seeing heaven, split open for a few moments..when heaven lets us take one of theses sweet children into our arms and into our lives.  What a gift I have been given.  Its yet another one of the many blessings of being a feel that sweet spirit at each birth.  To know that Heavenly Father has just given us custody of one of his precious children to watch and care for.
I am so incredibly proud of my daughter.  Words cant express how I feel about being a part of this sacred experience.  I am so grateful. I am awed and humbled by the things I witnessed as I saw my daughter become a mother.  Feb 5& 6th brought miracles, inspiration and a perfect little baby boy!!  Anna has earned my respect and my humble apology for questioning her strength....she wanted this and she got it!!! It was perfection!!!




Dixie Mom said...

Wow! What an experience! I am so proud of her! I think you're right that witnessing a child being born must be a glimpse into heaven.

Pam Hill said...

Beautifully said. I got a little teary reading about the whole thing. Anna is amazing and I'm going to have to check out this hynobaby thing.
Its kind of wonderful to have our daughters amaze us, isn't it?