Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Birth

We always had animals growing up. Puppies and kittens were born just about every year in our
house. Human beings are, you know, we’re animals.
When a dog is giving birth you leave the mother alone in a dark, safe place away from noise.
Can you imagine making a dog in labor lie on her back to push her puppies out, then sticking
those wet puppies under lights and poking them?
When I was little I’d watch a dog in labor all day until she moaned and groaned so loud it
sounded like a whale giving birth... a howling chant. Her hips swayed back and forth with
smooth rhythm. I loved that moment, when the dog knew she was ready and we knew it and the
babies started coming out. The dog looked so beautiful.
You’re beautiful!
We told her she was doing such a good job.
You can do it!
Nobody was scared. The dog was in pain, but everyone knew it was going to be alright. One by
one the wet puppies appeared and snuggled up to their mother. Some fell asleep. Others sucked
on her nipples.
I wanted to touch those puppies so bad, grab one to make sure it was alright, but then I’d
remember my mother’s words: You never take healthy puppies away from their mother. Never.
A mother needs to feel her babies next to her after they’re born. A mother giving birth needs
some space. Give her some space... love... touch... words of encouragement. This is her moment.
I wanted that same thing preserved when I gave birth.
I wanted what my dog got.

If you told me a year ago I was going to have a home birth I would have laughed. I appreciated women who chose that for themselves, and all 5 of my nieces and nephews were born at home, but it never appealed to me. I loved being waited on, having food brought to me, not having to think about much, not having to care for my house for a couple of days. That is what appealed to me. For the most part I have shared my birth experience with Ella. I went into labor around midnight but slept until 3 a.m. Arrived at the hospital at 7, my water was broke and she came out with one push immediately following the water. She was born at 7:41. It was a "great birth" in the sense that is was ridiculously quick and easy. What followed was everything contrary, as we know.
 Upon finding out I was pregnant with Alida, Drew was set on the fact that we were having this baby at home and he was delivering our child. This is not something that he was ever passionate about, it was not something we dreamed about, it was actually kind of crazy to me. I told him he was crazy, he told me I was crazy if I thought we were ever going to purposefully deliver in a hospital again. I said if it was something he really felt strongly about, understandably so, I would pray about it and ask God to change my heart. I started to do A TON of research, ask A LOT of questions and watch A LOT of videos. I found myself growing more comfortable with the idea.
 A few months before Alida was born my good friend was in a play called "BIRTH." She was the opening act and these were her lines. It was these lines that really got me thinking that birth itself is quit simple, females were designed to bring forth babies, simple as that. God equipped every expecting mother with all that she needs to birth a child. I grew up with animals and spent a lot of time on my grand parents farm, I had seen birth. Nobody was scared and for the most part everyone just left the mothers and newborns alone. Now, that is what appeals to me, just being left alone. Not having to fight against the "norm" in my birth plan and doing things exactly the way we wanted. Cutting the chord when we wanted, letting go of my child when we wanted, nursing when we wanted, sleeping when we wanted and as long as we wanted, outsiders when we wanted.
After a day and a half of my water leaking I had my first contraction at 11:45 p.m. They started one after another, I woke up Drew by 12:15 and we started getting things ready, moving the girls around and laying down blankets. He called my sister Ana who showed up a short time later and Alida was born at 2:13 a.m. Nadia, my oldest daughter, woke up and came into the room just in time to watch her sister being born. She doesn't talk about it too much, she doesn't seem to think too much about it. We were very blessed to welcome our very healthy chubby fourth daughter into our home, into our bedroom that we had prepared for her arrival for weeks in advance. Because I had so little information to put in her baby book since we did not do prenatal care, I thought we could make a banner as a family to hang above our bed. We each had three pieces of fabric to decorate and for two of mine I chose scriptures that I really meditated on during the anticipation of her birth. The first was "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13 and Colossians 1 "... Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness..." I leaned on His strength and His might daily for the past year and longsuffering and joyfulness were an understatement! My appreciation for God's creation grew along side with my faith in my own bodies ability to do what it was designed to do naturally.
 I thank everyone who has supported us from the beginning and especially my husband who  stayed "strong in faith, giving glory to God" Romans 4:20.

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