Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Four

Four years ago today, I gave birth to baby Eva on the sofa in my living room, surrounded by family and friends. Don't worry, the sofa was covered with a giant plastic sheet, so next time you come over for tea and sit on the sofa, you don't have to shift around uncomfortably, looking for unsightly stains.
We didn't know what gender the little one would be, so the first thing I did when she slipped into the world was to check. Since I did all the hard work, I had earned the privilege to be the first one to open that present: “It's a girl!!!!”
That was really, really good news, since we already had two excellent boys.  We really like our boys, but I kept wishing for a little more girl power around our house.  Kai and Lukas witnessed the birth, and five-year-old Lukas asked bewildered after seeing this new wrinkled, red skinned being, “Is she an Indian baby?”


My mother was present at the birth as well. She lives in Germany, but had spent the summer working at a ranch in Canada, and so she stayed her last few weeks overseas with us (mostly cleaning my house and organizing every nock and cranny, and when she was done with that, she attacked the garden to whip it into shape).
I remember her standing at the head of the sofa for the whole duration of my short labor, stroking my head and cracking jokes. I think she felt very uncomfortable and out of her element trying to support her daughter giving birth at home, with all these people present (my midwife, my doula friend Jenny, my husband Steve, my two kids and our two friends Deb and Kate, who were in charge of Kai and Lukas for the birth). My mother has four daughters, which qualifies her as an expert in childbirth. But her birthing experiences all happened decades ago, in sterile hospitals, were she, along with all the other women giving birth, were drugged to oblivion. Since I don't get to see my mother much, having her witness her granddaughter's birth felt important to me. It was wonderful listening to her broken English between my contractions, making jokes. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
I wish I could show you the only photo I have of her and myself at Eva's birth. The photo is sweet, but incredibly inappropriate for public view, if you know what I mean.  
Now, my youngest child and only daughter is four years old. She is fiery and sassy, just like me, but also incredibly easy, unlike me (she slept through the night ever since she was six weeks old).  She is obsessed with princesses and pink dresses, which stumps me, truly.  (I always hated wearing dresses as a kid, and my idea of fun was to climb trees and beat up boys. Really.)  She is so tall already, which is to be expected with a Daddy of 6 foot 4 stature. Oh, time goes by so quickly...

I can't wait for grandchildren.

Eva turns 4.

Eva in my tummy
















4 comments:

  1. oh, Eva, she is a bright light, like her Momma. What a beautiful birth story and the photos are so sweet. She looks like she is thriving as all your children. She has a sweetness and sturdiness about her. Happy Birthday to Eva!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Tuyet,
      Yes, she sure is thriving! We are blessed to have her in our lives!
      Much love to you!

      Delete
  2. Oh I just LOVE IT!! That is so wonderful your Mom was able to be there!! I don't think my Mom would have been able to handle it if she were present. I wanted to have a home birth, but went with the Bellingham Birth Center since my insurance would not cover the home birth. It was still just as perfect as ever. My Midwife, Doula, Best Friend, and Hubby were present. I had my special music CD I made going in the background on repeat so I could zone off during contractions. They took turns every couple of hours with me during the 15 hr labor. When my baby girl was being born, my Hubby was at my side holding my hand, or was it ME crushing his hand.... I am the first one in my family since my Great Grandmother to have a baby outside of the hospital. It was something I decided when I became pregnant and did not waiver from it. I am a German-Irish gal, so the stubbornness of sticking with what I wanted to do happened! No one could sway me from having the birth experience I dreamed of. I love your posts! We are so close to having a 2nd car so I can bring my Daughter, now 3 1/2, and myself to visit you all, including the animals:) I LOVE the pictures! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Melissa,
    I loooooove reading about other people's births! In fact, I weep when I watch other births, but never cried at the birth of my own babies. I was too focused on welcoming them, I guess!
    Let's find a time to meet, so I can finally pick up your wonderful products, and so our girls can meet! And us, too!

    ReplyDelete

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