Monday, April 13, 2009

The day she was born

Four years ago, we had just had twelve trees felled around the property. 
Doesn't that sound like we have a lot of land?
Actually eight of them were a tangled line of various volunteer trees, planted by birds perched on the power lines. Over the years, no one bothered to remove the saplings from growing up through the chain link fence dividing our property from the neighbor's. 

Three silver maples across the front tree lawn were dying thanks to carpenter ants. 

One was a badly splitting pear tree in the back yard - a highrise for termites and ants.

Our arborist (uh, husbandman . . . uh, tree doctor . . .?) hauled away most of the tonage, but neighbors and family members had spoken for some fire wood. So that morning my boy, my mom and I were carefully making piles of firewood and loading her truck. 
By 11:30 we were done and came inside for drinks. My water broke - two weeks early- and immediately hard and heavy labor set in.
I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up because I was not going to give birth smelling like a sweaty lumberjack, while mom tried to get Josh out of a meeting. 
With work only 7 minutes away, and the hospital only 5 minutes away, we still barely made it. I was creeping along the hall ways to delivery while nurses asked if I wanted a wheelchair. 
Who wants to sit down when such radical things are going on where you're supposed to be sitting? I made it to the room and remember waiting bent over the bed trying to get on top of the contractions while nurses fluttered in and out asking me to 'sign this' and 'please change into this' and 'move so they could get the monitor around my belly to make sure I was in labor.'
At this point I couldn't even speak, so I was very grateful that my mom was there. She had someone filling the tub to prepare for the water birth while having the other nurse get on the floor with me if she really needed to strap that monitor on.
I think we were only in the hospital 30-45 minutes when my baby was born. Only 1 hour and 50 minutes from the moment my water broke at home.

I cradled the babe for several minutes in the still, dimly lit room. Everything was finally quiet and calm.
My midwife, who had left another mother in labor to attend to my fast delivery, finally broke the silence and asked, "well, what do we have?"
I loosened my grasp enough to look and then announced, "She's a girl!" 
And that's my boy telling me what a good job I did.


jodyfoznot said...

I love the retelling of Bronwen's birth story. Each birth story is sacred and beautiful. Thanks for sharing it again here! I remember visiting you in the hospital with your daughter. She was so beautiful my heart ached. So were you! I cried all the way home, longing for my own daughter. Little did I know that we would find Lily just two short weeks later!

Elizabeth said...

I love hearing the story! What a tender moment shared with Noah! ;-)

Jayme said...

What a precious picture of Noah! I bet he wasn't even aware of the camera. Are you going to let him be a part of this next birth? I didn't remember you not knowing Bronwen's gender until the midwife asked!! Could you tell just by looking at her face? Or were you surprised?