For ten years, Thanksgiving has been a magical time for me. Ten years ago on the day before Thanksgiving, something wonderful came into our lives.
He was born as an answer to so many prayers. He came at a time in my life when I desperately needed miracles. An unexpected traumatic cesarean when Ethan was born had left me feeling broken. The difficulties of 17 months of severe post partum depression and breastfeeding challenges that went on for 8 weeks only served to reinforce my feelings of self doubt. When I learned I was pregnant again, I knew things could be different.
It was during that pregnancy that my life began to change in a ways that would impact the rest of my and my family’s lives forever. I learned about birth, about food, about health and spirit. I learned about what it would take to get my baby here safely, and began to pursue a homebirth.
The day Adam was born was the most powerful day of my life. My body worked! Birth worked! He was amazing and perfect and I was transformed. On top of the world.
Adam turned ten this week, and in many ways, so did I. I will never again be the woman I was before he came.
And he is wonderful. He is a tender, kind child. He is so tapped into my emotional state that with a glance he can tell how I am feeling, and one of his best gifts is the capacity to make me feel uplifted. Whether it is a headache or the blues, he can chase them away. He is hysterically funny (am I allowed to mention the old water bottle he filled to the TOP yesterday while we were on the road and a million miles from a bathroom?), a hard worker (he is tougher on himself than I could ever be), and he loves life.
When I think back to that Thanksgiving ten years ago, the memories it holds are some of the most beautiful I possess. I remember looking into his eyes when he was just hours old, and seeing him stare back with such clarity and intensity that I think I have ever known. The next day my sweet friend Melissa brought Thanksgiving over to our small apartment and our little family gathered around a lovely table to share our gratitude. The prayer that was offered that night, amid tears of joy, was of the most thankful ever uttered.
I love what Adam has done for my life. I love him so much, and I look forward to seeing how high he will soar in this life.
The following was written just after Adam was born and is a portion of his birth story.
In the wee hours of the night, the room glowed by candle light that I caught in brief snatches when offered a sip of water, or when an unwelcomed whisper needed to reach me with a question or information. Otherwise, I disappeared behind my eyelids, and moved to my body’s call. As each swell came, I did what my body asked, and with low moans agreed to this ride. No fighting, no argument, I was carried on the waves and shuddered at those which hit mercilessly despite my compliance. But still, no fight.
I rested on Guy’s chest between surges, and he held me and breathed out a little if I needed reminding. Upon being checked I was found to have only a lip of cervix remaining on one side of the baby’s head, and the suggestion came for me to switch my position to encourage it’s retreat. I felt suddenly stubborn about it, but did as had been suggested. Baby was then checked, and found to have some slowing heart tones. "Mama knew best" someone said, and I returned to a position that felt right. "That's better, baby likes that." Constance said, and we resumed our chant of moaning and resting.
Suddenly there was a sensation I had only before read about, and I knew what was happening. The ring of fire, burning and stretching, and amazingly, my very bones coming apart. With each forceful swell, my body opened further and further. "Here comes baby!" Came an excited and calming voice, "Reach down and touch your baby!"
My fingers never felt anything sweeter than the downy fuzz of the top of a tiny soft head. With his body still inside me, I touched my baby before he was even born! With Guy's hand reaching over mine, we stroked the little being that was ours through a union of incredible love. In a moment and an eternity, we met, and though there would be joy and love in the hours and days to come, there would never again be a moment when we would be so fully eclipsed in each others existence.
He came, then, in a whoosh, and I brought his slippery curled body up to my belly in such astonishment as cannot be described in mortal words. With the blue light of dawn just creeping through the windows, we welcomed our child to the peaceful place we had created for it. No birth could have been more perfect, no dream more gratefully realized.