Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Birth Story

Ten years ago, this very day, I witnessed my first birth.

Thomas Edward Grant Blackwelder was born to his mother, my mother, at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in Laguna Hills, California.

My parents and I had planned for months that I would go with them to the hospital to see the baby born, I was really excited. My mother fed us dinner, while her contractions grew stronger. She cleaned up dinner as they grew more consistent. She paged my dad as they grew longer. She sewed a quilt as they became more intense (she doesn't sew). My mother stopped during each contraction to catch her breath and write down the start and stop times. I tentatively ventured into her space and observed.

After some hours, dad came home. He gathered some this-and-that and choked down some dinner, but my mom was already in the car. He said, "Are you coming?" I got in the car too. A fast drive in the rain (dad's specialty).

We marched right in. Nurses came at my laboring mom with a gown, an IV, stirrups, everything. She said, "No."

She sat on that transformer/table/bed, I held her leg, she pushed. Dad cried through photographing at the holiness of the moment, and mom labored on. The doctor tried to communicate with her, there was no getting through. Then, coming up briefly from the deep-inside she said, "I'm working here."

The myriad instruments freaked me out, they were wheeled in on vast tables, arranged on long, shiny trays and on sterile drapes, stacked, gathered, laid-out, and all around us.

Silently, the little prince slid into life without a cry, the peaceful son of a peaceful mom. All in tears we watched that perfect one, overcome with his presence, and the very real knowing that this being came to us from somewhere else.
Doctor clamped and cut, baby gasped, and his eyes were full of fear.

I'll never forget that look. I have learned so much since that day, but I don't know anything more than I did at that moment.

Happy birthday little brother.
I love you.

The sibs:


homegrown said...

What a beautiful birth story. Thanks for writing that out. Happy Birthday Thomas!

cathmom said...

I love you and love your sweet mama for knowing that you needed to be present at your brother's birth.

lovely lindsay said...

i love this. thank you for sharing this piece of who you are. what a giant/important seed that was planted in you that day.
i have always admired in you {and been a bit jealous, too} that you've discovered your true passion and have tackled midwifery full on. and so early in your briana years.

may i link to this on my blog at the end of the week?
love, lindsay

Briana said...

Oh thanks. Lindsay, you may use it :)

Kate said...

Wonderful story to share. Plus, I love the overalls! ;)

Briana said...

Thanks Kate, I'm glad you called those out!

Ellen said...

That is such a sweet story! How amazing that you got to experience that!

DramaMomma said...

That made me cry. Thanks for sharing that. I love your website and blog, you are doing great things.

Michelle Scharf