Friday, February 25, 2011

5 months, 5 days

Aren't I a sweetie :)
Last week I held a brand new baby. Brand-spanking new, barely a day old. Ruby was almost exactly Lydia's size, just a half ounce heavier and a half-inch longer. Holding her made me feel nothing short of giddy; I nuzzled her neck, cried over how perfect she was, and marveled to no end how much Lydia has grown since she was born.

A friend of mine has asked me to participate in her upcoming birth. I'm so incredibly excited for the opportunity to help her bring a new life into this world. Eventually I would love to dedicate my money and time to becoming a certified DONA doula, but right now it's not in the cards; it would be a business venture better suited for when Charlie and I move to a more populated location. There are a few doulas in SW MN, but I'm not sure how many mamas each doula supports over the course of a fiscal year. The process for getting certified is lengthy and expensive, and I see it being the culmination of lots of birth and breastfeeding experience in the years to come.

All of my feelings, my energy and passions have left me surprised at how quickly I became a birth junkie. After experiencing such a positive, empowering birth, I have been loathe to leave the subject and its associates of breastfeeding and child rearing alone. It's my fervent belief that people don't explore the field of childbirth as much as they should before having babies; we are so quick to take what doctors say at face value, and leave our control and parental concerns/wishes at the door when we enter that hospital. Sanford Luverne is one of the only hospitals I've heard of in the area (and experienced) that has staff who follow birth plans, and really work to make parental hopes a reality. Fortunately, Charlie and I were able to convince our friends (the mama whose birth I'm attending) to go there for their prenatal and delivery care.

I look at Lydia and realize she is a very, very lucky and beloved little girl. She entered this world with grace and pizzazz, and was given to me almost the instant she was born to cuddle, feed, and heap love on. No one took her and said she needed to be "warmed"...they just tucked blankets around us as she lay skin-to-skin with me. No one said she needed to be weighed and measured in a cold plastic tray right away...instead I fed my daughter and counted her eyelashes with Charlie.

Ours was a normal, healthy birth. No need for delivery room drama, no need to whisk baby away, no need to stop the cameras from recording our sweetest moments. No need to kick out my supportive birth posse. Just us and our brand new little one, and visitors when we couldn't keep them out anymore ;)

We're eternally grateful, and that's why I'm moved, no, compelled, to advance my training in the realm of all that is birth to something outside having given birth myself. So far a certified doula position is a ways away...we don't have the resources for it.

Lydia is 5 months, 5 days old today. She is making Wookie noises and playing in her baby gym at the moment after eating breakfast. How much my life has changed in that short amount of time is unimaginable. New passions, new love, new drive, new motivation. And it all came in an 8 pound, 7 ounce bundle. :)

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