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Damian Enters the World - Livin' the Good Life

Mar. 28th, 2008

10:02 am - Damian Enters the World

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Thirty years ago today, at ten until three in the afternoon, I gave birth to this little guy.

It was a beautiful spring morning on our Westfield, Indiana farm, and I loved the warm, filtered sunlight as it fell across my bed while I labored peacefully in the early hours. By late morning I felt I needed some extra support, so I had Steve call Mary Katherine to come over. She was a La Leche League mother with nine children who sometimes attended births for friends of hers. Many of her own babies had been unassisted births at home, come to think of it, but she never made a big deal out of that fact. She and her husband were very religious people who trusted God implicitly. She had many fascinating stories to tell about her births and how she had been led to do exactly the right thing at the right time to have beautiful birth outcomes. I was in awe of her, actually. She seemed like Earth Mother incarnated. She came and sat with me, with her youngest child on her lap, and said such soothing, calming, and helpful things that I was able to just slide very quickly through the toughest part of my labor. She was not there as an authority. She was more there as a witness. She affirmed the magnificence and perfection of the birth process with her every word, touch and vibe. She emminated trust in me and my birth. She smiled and softly laughed at every good thing that happened. She treated the birth like it was just a normal part of a person's day. "Oh look, there's the head. Here comes the body. (*laugh*) "Oh, he's a big one, Mama!" My doctor had wanted to come and "sit on his hands and watch" as he put it. But, he didn't make it in time. Steve met him at the door with the Damian in his arms. The doc, Dr. Ferguson, was disappointed because he had never seen a homebirth before. He was a relatively new doctor, so he was still quite open to new ideas. (I heard years later that he wouldn't dream of attending a home birth anymore.) I have the most precious audio tape of the whole thing, including hours of Nathen and Ely talking afterwards. They were excited and happy. I'm going to have to listen to it again and sink into some blissful nostalgia about the days when my sweet children were the center, and the purpose, of my life.