"Hey, I think you should head our way, mama is in labor and has been doing this since 3am", says papa
"okay, is your midwife there yet?"
"Nope, not yet but on her way" says Papa
"Okay, I'm heading out."
"Hey, this is different than the trial run, she has had some blood and been at it all night" says Papa
"Okay, on my way"
This really is a great morning for a birth, I think as I am driving from my home to see the most beautiful lady I know give birth. The sun is shining but it is 6am and is a little chilly. Keeping the window down to give me some cool air perspective, yes indeed, what a great morning for a birth-I still see the moon hiding amongst the clouds and while the sun is peaking through, letting us know it's greatness.
I hear her before I see her. I peek through the window by the door and see know one and hear her again. She is near completion, I think. I take a deep breath of the morning air and let myself in. Drop my bag and follow the guttural, primal moan to the bedroom.
I see her, bent over the birth ball and take in the scene, slowly, quickly, surreal. Baby niece laying by her legs, had been stroking her hair I am told. Sweat soaked hair, birth rags and protective coverings abroad, women trusting in birth and encouragement, Papa coaching, midwife assistant taking notes, baby girl sister playing and in another room, outside the birthing room, trusting birth as well. Dark window coverings, lights low, dark purple wall paint, flashlight gleaming.
Papa giving encouragement and love, in awe, in love, in attendance.
I stand in awe, not sure where I fit, where this woman would have me. I smell the most magnificant smell that is eminent birth. I could bottle it, I am thinking.
I look with eyes wide at birth assistant, we make eye contact, she says "she's complete"
I know it. I feel it. She is complete. Complete in the birth sense and in the family sense as well. She knows what is happening, trying to stop it, trying to make it happen, trying to bring life. Stuck between logical brain and primal brain. Trying to be in control. Trying to lose herself to the pain, the greatness, to birth.
She says that she wants to move, change positions from the birth ball, to another area, another fresh deep breath, another way. She moves to the bed and lays flat on her back. Not a position that I would recommend but she knows what is right, what is real, what is needed for her and her baby. I jump on the head side of the bed, knowing she doesn't fully know who is holding her hand, who is holding her leg, that I am even here. Who Cares? She is giving birth.
She says she can't, says she can, knows she can, knows it hurts. I tell her that her body is working hard to release this baby, she doesn't hear me, I think. It doesn't matter. She is in her zone, her own time, her own release.
Baby is bulging, she wants release, breathe the baby out she is told, I can't, I can, I am strong, I am weak, someone take this pain from me, grab this baby and run, I can't do it anymore, I am not strong, I am the strongest on the planet, Papa says I love you and you are doing it, I am so proud of you, darkness, shades of blue and gray and light from the flashlight, praises to the King, prayers to the One, you are the only one, she hears it, doesn't hear it, accepts it and pushes, as the rushes come over her, she is brave, she is strong, she is out of control, in control, she does it...she pushes with the rush.
Baby boy has curly black hair descended, we all praise her, baby sister girl climbs up with her and cries, with her, doesn't want to see Mama in pain, doesn't understand, understands, doesn't care, doesn't fear, goes on about her business being barely 3 years old. Beautiful sister. Riding her horse and listening to "Every Little Thing, Gonna Be Alright" on Noggin.
Mama calms, rests, looks around, can I push now?, not yet,, take it easy, it burns!, not yet, just breathe him out, we see his hair, tears, tears, Grandma wanting to get her hands in there, wanting to stop the pain, wanting to see the grandbaby, wanting to help, she doesn't, she waits, like the rest of us, midwife twists and turns and grabs and pulls, and gently releases the cord, twice twisted around baby boys' neck, his life line still pulsing, still giving him life, thank you Jesus, it works, it always works, gentle hands and prayerful hearts also descend, just as the baby does. Grandma and I seeking each other's eyes. We catch, we hold. We tell Mama not to push in gentle voices, not to frighten but to let her understand the need. She does. She holds strong. Her body comprehends. Grandma's hands are itching to get in there, she tells me later, which I already could see on my own, anything to the get the throat untangled, the midwife had it, was competant, knowledgable and prayerful.
Thank you sweet Jesus, your timing is right on! Mama is surrounded by Papa, midwife, midwife assistant, daughter of age 3 jumping/loving/being 3/trusting/caring/beautiful, doula in awe/silent/thankful, grandma (mama's mama), sister/best friend, baby niece, parents, believers in Christ, believers of Mama's body, believer's of birth, trusters, caregivers, people only wanting the best, advocates but not knowing we are so, trusters, lovers.
Papa jumps in, grabbing baby boy under the pits, half of his body out, head and neck released, lower body released, legs and perfect toes released and pulls him gently into the world and onto Mama's body. Mama's inherent, ultimate, perfect body, ready for all the world, empowered quivering, in awe, in love, in relief.
She cries. We cry. Papa rejoices in his own way. He is radiant and loud and glorious. He exclaims that "Baby, I just grabbed my son, in his own home, in the home he will grow up in, in the home he will school in, in the home that we will raise him in, right here!"
Grandma eases back, thanking the Lord, blessing the baby and daughter now Mama twice again, takes a breath and let's the tears flow. Thank you Jesus. As always you are near, here, amidst the pain and amidst the love.
Mama smiles and then glances on baby boy, crying, wanting to eat, not sure of what is going on but knows he likes it.
We watch his body turn from blue to pink to red to tan as he gets his last pumps of oxygen, his formost, respectful, needed, rightful inheritance. His last rush from the placenta. Now time for it to depart. Jokes go about diggin holes, burying placenta, not really jokes but aspirations, as they know that this organ, job has been fulfilled is ready to nourish the land, the garden, the apple tree. Who knows, maybe a blueberry bush for each child?
Papa knows the fold. He knows the drill. He knows what is right, what his wife wishes, what he wishes. Everybody out! Now! We will call you in as needed. We need this time to bond, to love, to embrace this new boy into our family, our life, our dymanic.
Midwife exclaims that nursing is priority but smiles at me at the kitchen table where Grandma has provided sandwiches and tater tots, none of us really hungry but eating anyway, a way to numb the senses, to keep our mouths full instead of screaming at the top of our lungs that THIS IS HOW BIRTH IS, HOW IT SHOULD BE!! and how in awe of this mama and family for accepting that, knowing that baby boy will nurse soon, when ready, when Mama is ready, and he does, right, delightfully, hungrily, needed.
Tea, alfalfa tincture, vitamin K, iron, toast with butter and honey, replenishing, smiling on Mama and baby, big sister 3 years old pretending to be a dog named Pongo, eating eggs and ham on English Muffins, the world turns, yet stops but only for the moment. Forever for us. The secret is told, proudly, abundantly, knowingly, rightfully.
Arnica, tearing, blood-but not active, Staphysagria, happy Mama, Ecstatic Papa, giddy Grandma, calling the family, the friends, the secret is out. Mama gave birth, in her bed, by herself, raged against the birthing machine, swam against the current, polished the wrong way on the grain, told you so, you non-believers, the not willing to see, the uneducated. I did it! I gave birth to a baby, in my bed, I am proud, we all are proud, we boil herbs, soothing tintures to add to bath, to smell lovely in an already awesome smelling bedroom, to soothe the swollen, 8 lbs 6oz, healthy tan baby with an apgar of 9 at 1 minute, 10 at 5 minutes. Papa doesn't know what to say, I love you and I am sooooo proud of you, 100 times, over and over, the moment is so complete, so real, so ready, so natural, so Godly.
Baby sister, 3 years old barely, says "Papa, he is handsome just like you" and kisses Papa. What completeness. What an experience. She doesn't know she is going against society but knows it is right, complete, baby brother, 3 years senior, but is 100 years ahead of society. Knows nothing of incomplete episiotomies, nothing of the cesarean rate of 35%, nothing of pitocin and rushed, vacationed births, nothing of Mama not holding baby for 2 hours or five days, nothing of breastfeeding, it doesn't occur to her that this is not the norm, she is concerned about penis, knows she doesn't have that but confident that it will grow. Laughter comes from us, innocent is truly innocent. Love is truly Love, God is truly God!
This family is not what society would exclaim to be radicals, advocates, ole hippies, ones to go against the grain, but complete, whole, trusting birth, getting what they want and knowing what they get. They are ecstatic, loving, real, normal, happy, trusting birth, feeling what they know as love, is love, feeling what they know. This family, I hope, is shouting from the rooftops that birth is normal, is love, is trust, is God, creation, that rare is mammal that needs intervention, that the birth machine is simply that, a machine. This family now knows love, unfiltered, uninhibited, unreal, unheard of, and will make it heard.
Thank you for sharing your birth, I am forever grateful, in love and inspired. No words can I express for allowing me to be a part of this undying, selfless birth and love.
Shine on, my friends!
Friends, I thankfully and humbly bow to you for allowing me to be a part of this experience. We all learn something, mainly that God is in control, never-the-less that birth is a rite of passage, not something that needs intervention. Your babies thank you and trust you and you are loved!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Last night I couldn't sleep. I just couldn't stop the ole brain from cranking. I was thinking about delicious babies being born in mama's bed (my last client was a home birth), I was daydreaming about paint colors for my bedroom walls and organization in my home-yes, that was a true daydream-hee hee, I was thinking about the moon and the stars and how they are the same no matter where on earth you are viewing them.
I was thinking about how this baby boy lying next to me, sleeping so soundly, was going to have a birthday in another month and some change and will be turning 7 years old. How his eyes seem so beautiful, even when closed. How is hair in perfect locks of nutmeg brown are growing down in spirals, long and soft and the little fine baby hairs on his ears and in between his eyes are diminishing. He is growing up.
So I got up and decided against all of the odds to write his home school curriculum in a spiral notebook and really take a look at what our year beholds. I don't put them in pen, as it always changes but wanted to see what we are working with. Since we school during the summer months as well, I am not sure what grade he really is in. Some K stuff but according to our state and his age, probably 1st grade. He learns something every day, every minute, every second. He blows me away with his words. He whispers prayers at bedtime that crack me up and then make me look at my own heart. His is honest and pure and really expecting God to answer him, no doubt. I teach him, life teaches him, his brothers teach him, my friends teach him, books teach him, toys teach him, his imagination teaches him but oooooooh how he teaches me!
He teaches me to slow down, he teaches me to speed up, humility, softness, hardness, faithfulness, patience, fun, dancing, singing, drumming, guitar playing, painting, how to look and marvel at bugs, how to eat certain parts of plants, how to dream how to play and pretend. How to be true, not worrying about bills or friendships or love.
So, the curriculum I choose seems shallow to say the least as life teaches us so much that cannot be bought or chosen or perfect.
Here is my attempt to give him an education but his is greater than mine
STEWARDSHIP: Various outings and gatherings to help people in need, food banks and vegetable storage and sharing and too much to list...this boys a "giver" for sure
The Nature Hour blog
Anna Comstock Handbook of Nature Study
our own nature study
Anna Comstock Handbook of Nature Study
our own nature study
Nature Journaling (walks, books, camping, etc)
Poster Picture Study ( I got some really awesome vintage posters of nature and on the back is some really great info, for instance the life of a grasshopper and what one eats, how it lives etc...-then he draws a picture of it in his Nature Journal and shares a sentence or 2 about what he's learned)
My Father's World curriculum
Christian Light Math
Cuisenare Rods and activity book
READING, SPELLING, PHONICS AND LANGUAGE:
Explode the Code
My Father's World curriculum
Queen's Language Lessons for Little Ones-I SUPA LOVE THIS ONE!!
Queen's Copy Work
My Father's World curriculum
Our Father's World 1st Grade
Apologia Kids Explore Creation Zoology 1
GOAL: HUMAN BODY, PLANTS, ANIMALS
Tons of Library books
History for Little Pilgrims
The Pioneer Sampler
My First Study Bible
Sing the Word from A-Z
Wee Sing Bible songs and stories
Queens Homeschool supply (can you see a pattern here? I love Queens!!!) http://www.homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com/ blog
Geography Songs: Sing Around the World
Leapfrog World Map Fun Facts
These are just the ones I recall. We visit the library weekly and he helps me cook, make tinctures, rose beads and tell stories. He helps me with chores and harvesting from our gardens. He learns most things, as we all do, during life.
Waking up with mom at his side even seems to teach him something about family and love. We dress up, go camping, read books, play games, do puzzles, take naps (occasionally!), go to Royal Rangers (like boy scouts at church), fish, watch the stars, take rides, make jokes, pray, just life...really, and I have faith he is learning all the while.
We talk about birth and babies and nursing and nurturing (placentas and perineums are no strangers at the dinner table!!) We have many many gatherings and our house is usually filled with friends and their children. We have parties and visitors and music most days. He has grown to love live music (like mama and pappa) and he sees everyday melt downs and joys and hardships and victories. I try to keep nothing from him. So...now I am geared up for the new school year and hope that I have the courage to turn him in to the state as a student-hee hee-I will- but haven given thought to keeping him a secret..hee hee again!
Pray for us if you will and know that in all things, we give glory to God. When we forget, may we have a reminder. When we fail, let HIM lift us up and dust us off. Our lives are so filled with ups and downs (all of us, right?) but my prayer is to get the knee pads on and give it to the ONE that can fix it. Nothing is perfect, especially when trying to teach our children so know that this is just a trial run, most learning will come as the year unfolds.