In the room next to me there's a nearly 6 year old boy sleeping. He's my first born.
Six years ago this evening he was kicking inside me, preparing for his arrival 12 hours later.
Tonight at dinner we shared his birth story. Afterward we looked at his birth book as a family.
I love everything about that story. The people who were there to support me and welcome him are still some of my dearest friends.
I can still feel the intensity and newness of the experience, the calmness of the dark night in labor, the light of a winter morning to greet our son and the emotion of his arrival.
I was so surprised by the joy and beauty of his birth. I thought it was a fluke. I didn't expect labor to be that way.
I'm not saying it was easy or that it wasn't painful. I remember vividly early in labor questioning to myself if the whole idea of an unmedicated natural labor at home had been a good idea after all.
In a sense, this is still the question I'm asking.
- Is home birth a good idea?
- Under what circumstances?
- With whom?
- Who gets to decide?
There aren't always simple answers to these questions.
For me, I don't think I would have had the outcome I did if it weren't for the remarkable care and support I received from my birth team. I am eternally grateful for their love and support during my transition from woman to mother.
Every time I remember my son's birth, I also remember the hands of the women who attended to me and my family that early December morning. I can never say thank you enough.
To the doulas, midwives, nurses, and doctors who support women and families in birth across settings, thank you. It's a job that requires you to give so much of yourself. Your work does not go unnoticed.
Birthdays are for moms, dads, babies, and birth workers.
Tomorrow I'll be celebrating my son with 2 of the women who supported me at his birth and couldn't be happier about it.