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Friday, May 2, 2014

Different: A Birth Story (Part 1)

To set the scene a bit:

It was maybe six weeks after my mother passed away. More grief. More sadness.

More baby?

Yes. Pregnant.

Ready or not, we were going to have a new baby. I wondered if my mother was laughing somewhere about it all. She seemed to have hinted at it more than once when she was sick. Perhaps she knew the future better than I did. And yet, it was hard to accept. Another child borne through grief? I guess that's what we do around here. Looking forward to new life forces you to make steps ahead, too. No waiting around. No stagnating.

Then I realized when this new little bundle would be due. Early April, maybe mid-April if the babe made us savor pregnancy like its siblings. Great. April. The month we lost our son. The month we lost an uncle. And, most recently, the month we found out we'd probably lose my mother too. 3 out of 4 years made me, well, a bit superstitious. I started to assign more significance than I probably ought to a month that generally symbolizes rebirth, resurrection and regeneration. A good month, right?

My pregnancy was fairly standard for me. I have been incredibly blessed to have had healthy pregnancies. Incredibly blessed. This time was a struggle. Life seemed in tumult. Things that I have had before in pregnancy were gone. The floor felt like it had been pulled out from under me and I had to find a way to gain some stability on my own and with the help of my little family. Without too much detail, it was hard, but I am grateful for those wonderful souls who stepped in to support us.

This time was different indeed.

I contacted C. She had assisted with both of our boys and now she was my primary midwife. The familiar face was comforting and I enjoyed some great chats with her.

Still, there were moments that gave me pause. More than one thing happened in a similar manner to what had happened in my pregnancy with Phineas. There were moments that I felt like I was treading ground that was all too familiar. For whatever reason, I felt more nervous, less self assured and less trusting than I had during my previous pregnancy with Freddie. I thought that it would be the other way around. Still, I prayed everyday. I prayed for the health and safety of my baby, that I would bond, that I would be ready for whatever happened and that the baby would arrive safely. I felt reassured that these things would be granted to us.

The day we had the ultrasound was a turning point. My midwife wanted to check the position of the baby because he had chosen to be in an unusual one, not unlike his siblings! Though, I didn't know he was a "he"! I was 36 weeks and I had convinced myself that this baby was a girl. I think I wanted a daughter to name after my mother. It would be poetic, right? I had guessed correctly with 4 out of four of my other babies, how could my intuition go awry? Very quickly, though, we discovered that I was completely wrong! Nope, another son! There was something exhilarating about having a complete surprise. It isn't that I really cared about the sex, but I could not wipe the smile off my silly "but I'm always right!" face. On the drive home, Freddie held the ultrasound pictures tightly and Nate and I named his little brother.

The final weeks went smoothly and while I was still nervous (hey, I know what unmedicated birth is like!), I finally accepted the pregnancy and could prepare to meet my third (third!!!) son.


Monday, April 21, 2014


Long time, no blog. But....

This is Raphael Joseph.

He is now 11 days old and is perfect and cuddly. He had a pretty wild entrance into the world (which I do plan to write about), but he's doing great.

I spent a good deal of my pregnancy with the notion that we'd have another girl. (Hey, I've been right 4 times before!) Now that he's here, I couldn't imagine anyone other than my new little redhead.

As for our name choice (we had a name picked out for a girl, but not a boy!), the conversation went about like this-

Him: So, what do we like?
Me: Well, my favorites haven't really changed. Abraham?
Him: I'd prefer Gabe to Abe. Gabriel?
Me: Well, I've always liked a different angel's name. Raphael?
Him: Yes, that's it. That's his name.

This is only a slight exaggeration, believe it or not. We decided over about a 10 minute conversation.

Raphael means "Healed by God" and we definitely could use a bit of healing in our lives. Joseph is Nate's middle name as well. It means "God shall add (another son)" and it felt quite appropriate for our third son.

Birth story soon, but for now, I am just soaking it in.


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