Thanks to all the family and friends who have been sending well wishes and words of welcome to our new little C. Since we live in a digital age, I prefer not to put her full name on the blog, but most of you already now her name who will read this.
Life with a newborn is a tremendous gift. The only deprivation I know is sleep. Otherwise, the cup runneth over with delight and wonder. My partner and I often gaze in awe at her, wondering how she came to be. “Andy, we have a baby!” And the real gift of this time is to try to enjoy each moment. All those who are parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties, tell us that she will grow and change quickly.
Already, C has changed so much since birth. Her eyes are more active and she responds more to my voice. Her face has changed and her natural childbirth conehead quickly went away. And of course, I suppose I am changing, too, as I come into the reality that I am forever a mother. When pregnant, I knew this, but C was contained and safe. Now, out in the world and in the air, I have a more concrete sense of responsibility. I have to remind myself how strong she is- how vigorous and vital- even while she is vulnerable and fragile. I find myself getting teary eyed when I think of babies who do not have the bright start that our little C has- and I am reminded of how, now more that ever, I have to stay in the struggle for justice and peace. For now, my world is small. But it won’t be long that C will be at her first community meeting or faith witness or held in the arms of church people who also want to be the change we want to see in the world.
A note on the birth:
Labor was roughly seven hours long and it was the joyous, special, transformative experience I knew it would be. We used techniques from Hypnobirthing, after having taken a month long course and done lots of self-prep at home through relaxations, breathing practices, affirmations, and self-hypnosis. My body and the baby knew just what to do, and I just surrendered to the experience. The last part, when I knew she was coming, was so fabulous. What could be labeled as pain or discomfort, I experienced as relief, release, and power! I am so grateful to Babylove Birth Center for making space for this beautiful experience. After the birth, I felt relaxed and baby C and I napped together. It was delicious!
Some lessons from our newborn:
Just as our little baby is learning and growing each day- so must each of us learn and grow each day. Forge new neural pathways- learn something new, even if it makes you tired and fussy. And don’t forget to ask for comfort when you need it- whether it be for food, snuggles, or just good company. Know that what may bring you discomfort and challenge is most liekly temporary and may lead to new phases of development. And know that you are a unique and beautiful being, instilled with inherent worth and dignity, held in a larger web of relationship and connection that calls us to Greater Love.