Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dreamy Gavin

Some things you just know. My first visit with Ali in February was one of those "knowing things". I knew she was a good mama. I knew their home was a peaceful haven. And Sebastian, I've known lots of dads like him; excellent providers, protectors of their family's space and happiest in the periphery during birth talk. I knew my heart was already filling with love for the Z family. I knew I had to be her midwife. It was hard not to cry as we heard the bitty babe's heart beat right there in her living room during that very first visit. Grandma was there too adding to the celebration of that moment of knowing. And so our story began. . .

My connection with Ali came easily, naturally. She shared so many things with me during our months of prenatal visits. I was open to learning about her faith and she was willing to teach me. Every visit I was treated to something delicious. Fresh berries from the market or over the top pie baked by Sebby; always something good. Soon to be big brother, Blake, became my good buddy. Without saying a word he went straight for the tools, every time. He measured mama and listened to his own heart beating as well as tiny brother's.

As Ali's belly grew, so did my love for our experiences. I looked forward to the solitude of my summer drives over Parley's Summit and what would greet me when I arrived in their Park City home.Ali's first pregnancy had gone well beyond the estimated due date. Her first labor was long too, very long. With that in mind, we didn't expect this baby to come on August 7. Nor did we expect a short labor. Still, the ultrasound suggested the baby boy was truly on target for an early August birthday and changes in Ali's body got our attention in late July. Maybe this would be a much different story. We got ready. The birth kit and pool were in place. Midwife Briana made some visits to their home and we waited. And waited. And waited some more. One afternoon, Ali and Sebastian came to my house for a prenatal. She was 42 weeks and 5 days. I had to acknowledge that even though I trusted this baby to know his birthday, in 2 more days I would be required to make some hard decisions about transferring her care. We talked a lot about many things. We talked about surrendering, about filling hearts with love so that the necessary oxytocin could start the dance. I know I expressed my admiration for them and my belief that this baby would be safely born soon.
Just as I was waking up the next morning, I got 3 phone calls, bing, bing, bing!
First it was Sebby. "I think Ali's in labor."
Next Ali. "This feels different. I think it could be it."
And then Grandma. "Ali's in labor, You better get up here!"
Ok, OK! As I was grabbing my keys and heading out the door, my phone rang again. Alright already. I'm coming!
This time it was Sebby, again and very calmly:
"Don't hurry. He's already here."
Just like that.
I was stunned. Jumped in my car and took off. All of a sudden my mind filled with a zillion questions and all of the immediate postpartum concerns. I called them back and instructed them to leave the cord alone and be prepared for Birth Stage 3, the placenta. I called Briana to give her a report and asked her to please follow me up the canyon.
When I arrived, I found Ali on her bed curled up around this beautiful baby boy.

There were some Stage 3 challenges still ahead and I was grateful that Briana walked through the door soon after me. I nodded to her and softly said,
"Set up the O2 and prepare the IV."
Ali sat right up and said,
"I do not need those things."
She was right. The placenta delivered, the bleeding stopped and all was well.
The short story, the very short story as it was told to me is this.
Soon after calling me, Ali felt that her baby was coming, quickly. There was no time to set up the birth pool and she so wanted a water birth. So they got in the hot tub on their back deck. The deck opens right on to the golf course. It was there under a blue morning sky with golfers passing by that Sebastian caught his baby boy. They calmly climbed out, walked to the bed and that's the story.
Did I say Sebastian likes to remain in the periphery of birth stuff? I was misled.
This was not how I pictured myself welcoming this baby boy. It was even better. He will always love the retelling of a beautiful, sunny morning when a special mama and a special daddy went outside to bring their baby home.

It's still hard not to cry when I remember this family, this summer of 2009 when I left a piece of my heart in Park City, Utah. I miss you.


jade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jade said...

cute post, that they look like a sweet family.

Marilyn said...

I love reading your birth stories. What a cute family!

Ali said...

This birth story is a gift to our family, just as Cathy was a gift to me, the pregnant mama in this story. Our little Gavin is a treasure and smiles and laughs with the greatest joy. We were so grateful for Cathy's confidence in us during the pregnancy, for rejoicing with Gavin's unique arrival, and for loving this little boy from the first sound of his heartbeat. He's just as responsive now as he was in the womb. Thank you for being part of our lives Cath. You're going to love seeing this little boy again -- come visit soon!

Alisha Stamper | Photographer said...

oh my! so beautiful and wonderful. Makes me so excited for March! I knew you were mine when we first met, Cathy, and I just love you more and more the more i see you!