"Childbirth is power in its purest and most natural form--it is wild and uncontrollable and takes us on a journey of surrender. Birth is about so much more than babies being born. It is about a mother finding her inner strength at her most vulnerable and powerful moment, which begins her unique and lifelong journey of mothering that child." --Brianna Kauer (in Midwifery Today, issue 103)
As I'm pregnant with lovely #3, I've felt the overwhelming desire to better document my first two babe's births. I loved writing down their stories and sharing them on this blog, but finding and releasing pictures from those special moments has definitely been harder for me to do. You see, not that I'm ashamed of the way I gave birth or anything, but there is definitely a more vulnerable side to myself that I found in these photos that haven't been shared with anyone yet before. My goal is to make a birth plaque-an announcement of sorts- in the form of a wall hanging to put in our home. I want to have the information about the birth, but also the meaning of my children's names and a picture from the birth along with their newborn picture. I also wanted to make a birth plaque of sorts on this blog though, to help remember and capture those moments right after they were born at home.
This picture says it all for me. Above, I had just been through a long labor, my husband faithfully going through it all with me. I had felt on the edge of death (in my mind) I had thought that we couldn't endure, but at last the dawn came! She was born! The lack of sleep, the relief, the tears of pain and joy mixed together are all seen in the picture above. I really love my husband's smile in this picture. He had been awake almost as long as me, had seen me drained physically, mentally, and emotionally, and yet, that smile, and the awe in his face is so amazing. He was proud of us...
The picture above is Wesley's homebirth. Even from this one photo, I remember so vividly the feeling of strength, and light that surrounded his birth. He was born in the daytime (Claire was at night) and I felt an immediate sense of peace and felt stronger than I thought I would after the birth! I think the whole setting of this picture really reflects how I felt. I wanted my family snuggled close. I had a peaceful smile on my face, and I already had my baby nursing within the first ten minutes, giving us the bonding that I so desperately needed with this new little one.
I've wondered lately why I've felt the need to share these photos, to recall these moments, and relive the emotions surrounding their births even more than I already have. I can say that as the time of birth for #3 draws near, I feel my heart and mind need to see the woman I was during these two births, to put at rest any doubts, to trust the Lord with any fears, and to remember that this is the most natural thing in the world. I think sharing these experiences also help me to remember to be thankful that I've been able to have happy, peaceful homebirths and healthy children. My prayer for this next birth experience, is that it would glorify the Lord and bring honor to Him, because He is the author of Life. He created the life in my womb, and has given me the special job of growing, nurturing, and releasing this life from my body. The same God who helps me to grow this baby is the same God who delivers this baby safely from my womb and into my arms.