Monday, January 17, 2011

a birth story

the house is quiet. the big boys are out with andrey and charlie is swishing away asleep in his magic swing. i am listening to the playlist my mom made for charlie's birth. i didn't get to use it then. i am using it now.
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charlie grey just happened to me one day. there were no plans for him in the works. and then - just one day - the evidence that he would be - consumed me. the news of babe overwhelmed all of me.

i am not ready.
he is.
and now that i know him - i see the bigger picture.
:: the perfection in his timing.
:: he is a blessing.
:: he is wiser than me.
:: he has a work to do for this family.
:: he is my boy.
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my recollection of growing charlie is sort of a blip. these months of time that just passed right on by. while i know that the facts are that i felt achy and sick and tired and oh so very pregnant. i can't really remember.
the preparations for new babe weren't a big production. he would come and that was that.
this i knew:
:: that he would be peaceful.
:: that he would have a wild, good heart.
i gathered his nest and wondered of him.
:: a handsome boy bassinet.
:: a blanket crocheted with the colors of the earth.
:: the brightest, whitest, softest babe clothes.

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this i knew:
:: that she would be there and there would be time to prepare.
:: that it was going to hurt. but that i was capable.
:: that gavin and lucas would be ok.
:: that i would hold him first.
i was reminded daily for months that my body was getting ready to give birth.
so many braxton hicks. sometimes long nights full of them and false alarm. i had found myself awake at three in the morning for weeks.

and then my midwife came. two weeks before his due date.
i made her. i needed her to be early. she knew that.
this i knew:
:: that she was my midwife.
:: that she was in tune.
:: that she was also my mother.
:: that i was safe.
october eighteenth. it's monday. andrey is 30. i am sick. soooo sick. but we have cake. and i take a late night drive with cathy to help gavin find some sleep. we explore old richland neighborhoods and contractions are constant. back at home i tuck myself in and wonder if tonight we will meet boy.
morning comes. and i am still pregnant.
i do everything on my list:
:: i swim.
:: i float.
:: i nap.
:: i go to the chiropractor.
:: i get a massage.
:: a pedicure.
:: i walk. i mean - waddle.
:: we wash and fold baby clothes.
:: i love my husband.
:: we eat good food.
:: listen to good music.
:: i know this babes song.
:: a blessing. one for me and one for my mother. for wisdom and for peace.
we wait. but not anxiously. he would eventually come and that was that.

october twenty-second. well hello there, mr. moon! lucas and i howl at it's fullness and yell to the birth gods, "WE'RE READY FOR OUR BABY!" it's now friday. due date. still pregnant. that's ok. i am still spending my nights with my other baby, gavin.
saturday: morning.
andrey is fishing and catches so many!
i make myself feel pretty. curl my hair and wear cute boots. cat and i are off to the grocery store to prepare for a feast. dad is in town for one more day - we will feed him good. i declare, "today is a Blitzen Trapper day!" and we turn it up loud.
saturday: evening.
jeff and andrey are making his catch-of-the-day into fish tacos. mom is making soup (spiked with cayenne pepper) and a baby-be-born-soon-sugar-pie. dad is asleep on the couch. cousins are making puzzles. i am taking pictures at the counter. my camera is not capturing how i feel inside. i am so full of love.
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this i knew:
:: he would come tonight.
i hadn't been feeling him wiggle much. i tell my midwife/mom. she tells me to drink some juice and start doing kick counts. i am not worried.

after everyone has left for the night she sets her guest bedroom up for a prenatal. candles and the moon for light. his baby heart is fluttering just right. he is in a good spot. she will let me be. she packs her backpack to spend the night at the hotel with dad. she tucks this family in and sneaks out.
andrey and lucas have made a bed on the couch and have snuggled up to watch a show. putting gavin to bed is a chore. he is finally sleeping. i am so tired! i am drifting off. i hear lucas cry out. then andrey yell for some help.
lucas has thrown up. fish tacos. all over his dad. andrey starts a shower for the both of them. i start the laundry and scrub the couch. i shake my head. i can't believe this. then i laugh. we tuck ourselves back in. round two. try again.
whoa. i am awake. belly is tight. i sit on the edge of my bed and breathe through. the contraction is familiar. i want to sleep. i walk to my bathroom. another one. i crawl back into my bed.

i text my mom:
Me: contractions that hurt.
Mommacat: cool!
Mommacat: i will take a bath and then head over.
another one. hmmmm. not going back to bed.
i gather up my red blanket and head for the couch. the clock: two-fifty-eight am. ah, three in the morn. figures. just in time for full house. i imagine i'll make a little nest and wait a bit to wake andrey.
another one. i'm hoping my mom skips her bath.
Mommacat: i'll come now.
i decide to find andrey instead. he's snuggled into the guest bedroom with lucas.
i whisper, "hey - i need you." he jumps up and holds onto me through a contraction. i make my way to the bathroom, again. he waits for me outside the bathroom door. "are we having a baby tonight?!" his voice is excited. it does not match my nerves.
"yes. and its hurting." i say. i tell him to start setting up the pool.
my house is quiet. there is no rush. it just is what it is. we find all of the pool stuff. it pumps up fast and he starts to fill it.

i am kneeling with my knees on the couch, resting up against the back cushions. his arm around me. i am already loud. i hear my mom come in. she goes straight for the phone. lukey wakes up and wanders into the living room with sleepy eyes. he is carried back to bed. he comes back out.
"he is ok" i say.
i am walking and leaning into the couch on contractions. i sway my hips. i am already lost in this.
a quiet knock. it's amelia. i think that she is here to take the boys. she has been called to help me. gavin is awake and andrey goes to him. i kneel down against the ottoman. my face buried into my hands. my mom gives amelia the job to push on the small of my back. the contractions are rocking through me - straight to my core.

i am praying.
another quiet knock. my brother.
andrey leaves with him to walk the boys over.
i’ve since learned that my dad was also called to help jeffrey with a crying gavin. that the two of them drove around in the wee morning hour rain. waiting. and holding the space for me.

back in my living room:
the pool is barely filling. i ask if i can get in. i do.
and my water breaks.
the rest isn't very clear in my memory. it happened so quickly. there are just bits and pieces:
:: amelia's reassuring words. she is sitting right next to me.
:: feeling scared.
:: wanting it to be over.
:: not knowing how to get a grip on things.
:: looking up at the sky light and i remember hearing the rain.
:: the lamp on in my mom's room. her sign and peace flags.
:: asking where andrey was. i do not remember him coming back.
:: holding onto his hands while i pushed. and yelled.
the pushing is taking longer this time. it hurts. i want my mom to "JUST GET HIM OUT!" i am worried. they are not. mom tells me that there is no cord around his neck. it's ok to push. she knew i would need to know that.
and i push. and then i am quiet. and still. and i hear that she's turned on my music. and andrey is there. amelia is there. i am looking right at my mother.
i can feel the peace that was blessed to me days earlier. and i push again.
charlie grey is born 001   ...and then he is in my arms. and it's only five-oh-five am.
another quiet knock. it's ginger. she takes over and my other midwife becomes my mother. the sun is just starting to rise. i am helped into the shower and then into my warm safe bed. we weigh boy. nine pounds! we study him. and wonder of his name. and that was that.
this i now know for sure:
:: that he is peaceful.
:: that he has a wild, good heart.
:: that he has a work to do for this family and came quickly.
"…the moment i saw you, i wanted to hold you and keep you warm
on a cold rainy morn.
the moment i held you, i wanted to kiss you and welcome you here
on the day you were born…"

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charlie grey just happened to me one day.
and he is magic.


  1. I wish i could see Charlie more. I love your happy little birth stories Lin. You've got three boys.

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  3. this is written so perfectly :). Inspires me to write my own stories.

    ps~ sorry about the deleted comment, signed in with an old account.

  4. you make me want to do this. Thanks.

  5. Sweet tender words. Oh how the memories of Nicholas Gray's birth dance in my mind after reading that. Thanks for sharing your heart. There is something so special and peaceful at that moment when heaven and earth seem to touch. Time almost stands still.

  6. Lindsay, this is a perfect Charlie birth story. I think Charlie waited because he knew you needed special time with your mom, so he gifted you that. He's full of blessings.

  7. you are amazing at capturing your feelings into words. i loved every piece of this.

  8. You have an amazing way with words! Thank you so much for sharing such a meaningful, special part of your life.

  9. Thank you for sharing a beautiful experience. :o)

  10. That Charlie boy is magic, no doubt about it. And so is his story. I could read over + over.

  11. I can see why your mom loves her work, there is a feeling there that you don't feel anywhere else, I loved it.

  12. the way you write is magical...
    your family is beautiful...
    your stories are magnificent...


  13. I loved reading that. Congratulations!


  14. Your words are like pure magic to my soul. I have been anxiously awaiting this post, and I loved every single word. I love you and your sweet Charlie.

  15. tears, sweet tears! I love you sweet friend! thank you for sharing! so precious!

  16. Lindsay, I don't even know what to say. Your writing and ability to invite us into your heart is one of your many talents.

    I could read your words all. day. long.
    Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us.

    Charlie and all your boys are lucky to have a woman like you in their lives.

  17. You have a gift pretty lady. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  18. Magical indeed. Thanks for sharing the innermost parts of yourself. I love every nook and cranny.

  19. What a perfectly written account of a beautiful moment[s].

  20. beautiful words...
    for me this week.
    it will happen, it will be ok, i am strong enough to do this woman's work.

    thank you for this, at this time, inspiring

  21. Giving birth is such a beautiful labor and you lay it out perfectly. I love reading your birth stories. Will you have eight more so I can cry and be so grateful I am a woman!

  22. Sniff, sniff....brought tears to my eyes. What a heavenly moment. So sweet, so tender.

  23. Thanks for sharing that Linds... Very beautiful! Can't wait to meet him!

  24. that is not just a birth story...that is a love story right there. what a beautiful gift for your son someday. your words were put down in the most lovely way.