Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Anticipation of a Birth Story (of sorts)

I know this is old news. I mean, she's 8 weeks old already. But I thought this was something I could share. The night I went into labor with Caroline, as I was waiting to see if it were the real deal or if it would prove to be a false alarm, I wrote some of my experience from the day. I couldn't finish as contractions became too strong, but I thought I'd share with you, my reflections on the day and anticipating the birth of our daughter.

Will you rest safe in my arms tonight? Will I feel your new, damp and naked body against my chest, your lungs filling with oxygen for the first time, your eyes opened to the world you will grow to know? Will I get to look into your eyes and hear your voice tonight, the`first of so much more? Here I am, a fruit tree, ripe and ready for the picking, ready to be called mama by another, my daughter.

I have felt the squeeze of labor all evening - this painful pulse –this growing groaning from within.

Walking this afternoon, down to the park we usually avoid, the boys make their rounds: up the play structure, down the slide, up the structure, down the slide, up and down, up and down they go as I, likewise, walk. ‘Round and ‘round, keeping up the movement, anticipating your arrival. And the pain comes in and out, taking my breath away, building, my heart beats stonger as I enter a world out of my control. I am an ocean: peace accosted by the power and pulse of wave, my body squeezes, in and out, in and out the pain and power builds and crashes. And I am taken.

I stopped writing to call KC home from a meeting and call the midwife. KC was home right away and called a friend to watch the boys (thanks, Gina!) and we headed to the hospital. We arrived in time to answer a few questions, sign a paper (or two), and deliver our daughter, Caroline Grace.

When she was born, It took her quite some time before we heard her cry. She was so peaceful and wide awake as I held her against my chest, staring at her for a long time. This has foreshadowed her personality even still as she is very calm, easily soothed, content, and exudes peace.

Giving birth is among the most incredible experiences I will ever know. I feel it is such a privilege to carry these children; a great and overwhelming responsibility and gift. Already, meeting Caroline has enriched our lives abundantly. And to think this is only the beginning.

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