Wow - wow - wow... My first two births of the new year came 1 day apart. Luckily a day is made up of 24 hours so I was able to sleep in between but WOW. I am constantly amazed at this path that I am on. What a sacred work it is to attend births. Seeing and helping a baby come into the world is nothing short of a miracle from heaven. Watching the strength that a mother and father are naturally equip with I think surprises all three of us at the time but yet we can sense it's been there all along. I use the word amazed a lot when speaking of birth work and births but I can't come up with another that describes the sense of awe I feel. I hope that feeling never goes away and they never become just another task to perform(if so, I am in the wrong line of work).
Each birth takes me back to Finnie's. I would do it all over again. Her birth was incredible and most fulfilling. A most wonderful experience that has shaped all of our lives. Finnley has such a true soul. Her sweet spirit has gotten me through some of the roughest days I've faced. What a blessing from our Lord to allow her to remain in my home. I don't take a second of that miracle for granted and only wish that everyone had the opportunity to be with her as I am. You can't help but to be changed by it from the inside out. Her birth is a many level miracle, not just one event, but continual.
Maybe one should not utter these words like these to tempt fate but I almost welcome hard experiences now. Facing them, working through them is how we grow and become. Running from them only prolongs, drags out and hurts us worse. It can also hurt those we love. I don't like pain and hard things but I see the value in them. I appreciate the sweet, small moments in life that I took for granted in the past. I see that my scrapbooks reflect the little things now, not just the big events that take place. I keep track of the way things make me feel now - experiences that warm my heart or ones that tear it apart. They are all there for my growth and I savor them as wonderful learning opportunities.
I am learning to forgive myself and and others more readily and not to hold on to grudges and painful words. It's a process I am not perfected in - but I feel a change within me and I know the Lord is by my side. Heaven knows I have made many, many more mistakes than I care to remember and that I have hurt people in the past. I am so sorry for that and wish I knew then what I am learning now. If you are one of those people, I am truly sorry for any hurt or upset I have caused you. I have also learned that when people aren't what they seem, or when you are finally open to seeing them for what their actions are displaying, it is okay to let them go and move on with your life. Holding on to damaging relationships doesn't help either party.
I see my life on a path that is moving towards positive and healthy changes. My vision board helps refocus me visually on that road. It's a conscious effort on my part and I have to realign my thinking and actions daily. But I am working towards moving forward and daily change must be constant. You have to be open to it and embrace it. I can feel a difference in days where my heart and mind are not present and working together. I don't feel it is a coincidence that negative influences are being replaced with people whose presence I am astounded to be in. There is so much we can learn from one another. Getting involved with my Birthing work is bringing wonderful, open people into my life who are on a similar journey. I learn from them while they learn from me. I had a private class the other night with people that are nothing short of incredible.
...fastforward...rewind...I put my post on hold so I could take Finnie to her Dr. appt. Here is how the day unfolded...
After a very stormy night - wind, rain, hail and wind - Finn had her tri-annual
Neurology appt. Paul stayed home to get some rest since he was up most of the early hours with her, so off we went. The rain was horrible and driving made me nervous with my little yum yum in the back seat. Parking was a joke and of course all of the Handicap spaces were taken. We parked in the FARTHEST spot in the lot around the back of the building. I thought about getting the stroller out but it was too rainy and our umbrella wouldn't have covered the stroller.
As we get inside the building, the elevator is out. Our doctor is on the 5th floor. I thought - I can do five flights of stairs. Jumping in without really thinking things through has always been a problem for me. By the 3rd landing I was near a heart attack. My purse weighs about 15lbs., Finn weighs 24lbs., the diaper bag about 5lbs and we had a bulky blanket & long umbrella with us. Hmmmmmmmm. Yeah - should have rescheduled! But that brings it's own issues so I continued climbing. Finnley enjoyed the bumping and panting - she giggled most of the time. As I came to the check in desk, I had to take five minutes and catch my breath - or should I say find my breath. I considered passing out but who would take care of Finnie? I got a grip and asked them when the elevators would be fixed. They said they had been out all morning and most people had called and canceled before they attempted the stairs. Smart people...
After our appt. the doctor asked us to go to the hospital lab across the street to get a bagged urine sample. He could see how frazzled and tired I was and the weather was only getting worse - he apologized but said it had to be done. So, we packed up and began our descent down the five flights of stairs. I was surprised that it was almost as hard because her blanket kept getting in the way and I was really struggling with not falling to our death! As we got outside - the wind was everywhere! The rain was coming down so hard with the wind that I didn't dare open the umbrella so I threw the blanket over Finn and headed for the car. Oh - did I mention that I wore flip flops? Slippery flip flops that made the walk impossible. It still gets worse... As I was rounding the corner, my pants fell to the ground! To the ground! There I was, standing in my undies for all the world to see - rain, wind, baby, diaper bag, purse, blanket and umbrella taking up all of my hands! I knew if I let go of everything I would drop Finnie so it took a moment to think about how I was going to do this. I swore in my mind and then I began to laugh. If people were watching me - what a show!! I managed to transfer everything but the umbrella to my right hand and I slowly lowered myself down to grab my waistband. By this time(it seemed like forever)my legs and jeans were wet so it took a good 30 seconds to inch them up. My balance was off and Finnie was squirming all over the place and I was losing my grip on the lot of them. It was horrible and absolutely hysterical all at the same time! I scooted my way back to the car. We were all wet and soggy by the time we got in.
I was tired and crying by this time and knew we still had another building to tackle. You'll never believe that their power across the street was out as well - so NO ELEVATOR!! This building had an open stairway and rain was pouring over the drain-spouts in gallon sized dumps. I tried to keep Finnie from the brunt of it but we were soaked but the time we got inside. The lab was standing room only and there was just NO way I was going to wait for two hours like this! Oh - did I mention that Finn had been fasting? Yeah - she was not the most amiable baby by this point. I asked for the urine bags to take home and headed for the stairs - again. This time, I had to keep a hold of my pants while walking because they were even more heavy and stretched out from the rain. I guess I have lost some weight. I knew they were a little baggy when I put them on - but come on! When we got into the car, I paused for a minute to catch my breath before starting the car. My phone rang at 12:42- it was my last January mom telling me that her water had released and that she was waiting for the surges(contractions) to start. WOW!!!
I got Finnie home, dried her off and Paul started feeding her. I jumped on the shower so that I could re-group and be presentable for this next birth. I threw the pants into the donation pile...
I baked cookies for the midwives since her surges were just getting going. She felt relaxed so she said I didn't need to rush over. By 5pm, she said she was still doing fine but that they were about 4 minutes apart. We decided that I should call the photographer and meet there at 6:00. We both arrived and found mom relaxing to her CD on the bed with dad by her side. She was talking and laughing in between and felt calm and upbeat. We left for the birth center a bit before seven and baby was born just after 8pm. It was an amazing water birth and she and her husband delivered their own baby! To say it was incredible would be the biggest understatement of the year! The photos turned out beautifully and I am so excited that this mom is letting me post her birth story slide show on my website.
It was a sacred ending to a roller coaster day. I am very thankful that I was able to attend all three births in the four days, not missing anything - feeling very well rested and blessed to be a part of them. These women were/are so strong and while all three births were very different - they ended the same. Strong women, making the best decisions for their babies and bringing a beautiful beginning to their childrens lives. I love this thing called life!