Thank you letter to 2012 babies!!

Welcome to the first year of 2013!! What a year we are wrapping up – ups and downs and all arounds it seems. I am so grateful to all of the babies who we have seen slip earthside and would like to take a moment to reflect on each baby’s unique story. Thank you to the families who have invited us into such an intimate space!

Lillie – Sweet little girl – her parents’ first born whose mother exclaimed as you began to crown, “Am I dreaming?” It was a dream-like beautiful waterbirth that your mother gifted you with. Thank you for kicking off my 2012 in such a special way!!

Lucija – After seeing your big brother born and needing way more help than I want to have to give to a baby….I prayed your birth would be the smooth birth that your mama deserved so much. Your birth was even beyond my prayers! So gentle, so quick…my assistant almost didn’t make your birth! Heck, your daddy almost didn’t make your birth because he was putting your brother down for a nap!! But everyone who was going to be there was actually there and it was absolutely perfect!!!

Byron – Oh man…too much to say about your birth. I have some new grey hairs on my head named “Byron”. Coming out crooked, you made your mother work much harder than she should have had to – and yourself as well! Poor little guy scared the daylights out of all of us when he ended up in the NICU. I can honestly say that you were the most challenging and scary experience I’ve had as a midwife – an honor I don’t wish for anyone. But challenges thrown in your path be darned….you are a tough little fella that recovered and thrived under your parents blanket of love and have become an absolutely perfect (and adorable) boy who is about to become a toddler!! Enough drama for one lifetime – be nice to your parents from now on, you hear!!

Ivy – You were my healing gift in my darkest hour….under the glow of a computer monitor playing Family Guy over and over (it was my first time having ever seen the show…it’s what your mother wanted to watch and she’s the boss!) your mother labored so peacefully with the help of your daddy. Watching her birth you, her first baby, in the birthing pool in their bedroom renewed my soul, restored my faith, and brought me back to the core of why I do this job. Thank you thank you thank you.

Giles – Such a sweet family you joined that beautiful morning! Being born in the bathtub has sort of become a tradition to your mother as you joined your two big brothers as a waterbaby. This soft-spoken gentle soul that is your mother was a pillar of strength and inspiration as she quietly labored and then, with two roars, birthed you and brought you up into her arms. She was so peaceful that your daddy almost didn’t make it in the room as he was busy feeding your brother breakfast! (when we called for him because you were coming out, we scared him because the urgency in our voice for him to hurry made me think something might be wrong! Poor guy…) But everything was very right and you are a perfect little boy!

Sofia – Dear sweet Sofia…I watched your mother pray for you for years before her prayers were finally answered with her dear sweet Sofia. Laboring on her birth ball with a smile, sitting in her bedroom eating eggs for breakfast….all while laboring with a smile on her face. Slipping into the pool, clutching onto your daddy when things began to become more intense….her doulas taking pictures and all of watched in amazement as she roared you into this world, catching you herself as you entered this world….simply perfect!!

Lucius – After an unsettled pregnancy full of moving and uncertainty, stresses and question marks, I stood back in the middle of the room and watched as my student helped welcome you into this world. It wasn’t by chance – your mama had worked hard to set things up and prepared for this birth by hiring one of the BEST doulas in the world and preparing your birthing space…and you were rewarded with a beautiful early morning birth!

Suri – Your birth makes me giggle! Not your mother’s first baby, but her first girl! (all 4 of your big brothers are going to spoil you!) Under the glow of Friends playing on television, in the still of the night while the rest of the world slept, you were born in a birthing pool in the quiet calm of their bedroom. Ribbons and bows and pink and lace…your mother was so excited to welcome a girl into her life! We were all excited to meet you! And you are just as cute as I knew you would be…

Lilly – Turning a woman and man into a mother and father can’t be easy…but you sure made it look easy! Swimming into your mommy and daddy’s hands in the birthing pool while your puppy dog watched from inside the protective confines of the cradle (that made me laugh) – so peaceful yet glorious. Grandma was rushing to get to your home as fast as she could…but you were already nestled in and nursing by the time she walked into the room. Surprise…it’s a girl!!

Steele – It was a birthday party!!! So many family members were there to welcome you into this world we called it a birthday party! Cars lined up outside, pizza being served in the kitchen…and you, quietly being born in the bathtub by your parents bedroom. Good thing they have a gigantic bathroom for all of that love and support!!

Gray –GOOD GRIEF you know how to make an entrance!! From 4cm to you being born in under 10 minutes!! Your doula walked into the room just minutes before you were heard shouting to the world…shooting out into the birthing pool, nursing immediately…all things considered, a darn good birthday if you ask me!

Gregory – A first baby to this couple who never thought they’d have children….your mother made me giggle every time I saw her! She had some of the funniest nicknames for you, marveling at the fact she was actually going to be a mother – and then, one early morning while sitting in a birthing pool with her doula helping her, she lifted you up and out of the water and, before even cradling you in her arms, looked right at you and exclaimed, “Well hello there!” I actually laughed out loud – it was almost like I expected her to shake your hand. Tee hee…still makes me giggle. You chose an incredible mother and I can’t imagine a more perfect baby for her than chubby little Greg!

Sterling – Weighing in at a full 10 pounds 1 ounce….nonetheless your mother birthed you so fast we barely had time to catch! Into the waiting hands of your daddy you flew out – not in the birthing pool as they thought (the water was really REALLY cold!) but right next to the pool. Big sister adored you from before you were born and takes every chance she can to play with you and watch over you.

Julia – I watched as BOTH of your big brothers swam earthside (both of your brothers were waterbabies just like you!) – so it was an extra special joy for me to be there when you joined the family! To be there when all three of your mother’s babies were born is just something so special it brings tears to my eyes. What a blessed baby you are…

Kariya – I was there when your sister joined the family a couple of years ago, so the delight I had welcoming you was doubled! Your mother labors so sweetly and quietly, the joy and love in your family makes it obvious to me why you chose them! Born on the birthing stool just like your big sister…beautiful. Simply beautiful. I can’t think of any other word to describe your birthday other than simply beautiful.

Alejandra – I’m so glad your mother lives right up the street from me or I might have missed your birth! Your daddy was so glad that he was able to be home for the end of your pregnancy (being in the military) and for him to catch you as you were born was just incredible! From the moment your mother walked into my office for the very first time I fell in love with her – and was so excited for the day she was going to meet you, her first DAUGHTER! Peanut butter cookies, a gentle birth, and a very precise static ZAP made this birth one that will live in my heart forever. (I can hear her infectious laugh as she reads this right now!)

Conlan – The first baby for your mommy and daddy…swimming into the world in a birthing pool and into daddy’s hands! Doula perched by your side providing counter pressure….your mother used all of her strength to calmly welcome you into her life. It was a perfect night for a baby, and you were brought forth with anticipation and love! (I am not convinced that you have been out of your mothers arms yet since that moment!)

Mika – A waterbaby girl, your mother was still smiling during labor until right before you were born!! As a first time mother, she made that look way too easy! For such a petite little thing, she sure is a powerhouse! While her doula held your mother’s hand and took pictures, your daddy caught you and handed you to her. They cried tears of joy together as they gazed at your sweet and perfect little face. It was a magical birth!

Jayson – Your mother’s peaceful labor became a little more focused and intense as she was pushing you out. You didn’t like your little head getting squished and let us know you wanted to be born!! Your mother got out of the pool she’d been laboring, sat down on the birthing stool….and, with a determination that can only be called awe-inspiring, roared with all of her strength and birthed you into your daddy’s hands!! I still tear up when I think of that magical moment of seeing you in her arms, blinking, looking up at her like, “What the heck just happened to me?” We were so happy to see you pink and shouting your arrival to the world! Those few tense moments were all worth it once you were in mommy’s arms, that’s for sure!

Ethan – A first baby for your parents, we weren’t sure where you were going to be born because your mother had some concerns we were watching at the end of her pregnancy….but your gift to all of us was being born a couple of weeks before we expected you to be born so that your mother could stay healthy and so that you could be born at home! Swimming into the birthing pool and into your parents’ hearts….I wished breastfeeding could have come easier for all of you, but your mother’s FIERCE determination overcame it all!! She’s an incredible woman…but I’m sure you know that by now.

Jolie – Perfect in every way! With your doula offering encouragement, hypnobabies CD’s playing in the room, daddy excitedly taking his shirt off and reaching in to help your mother catch you, I watched from nearby as you slipped out into the water and into their waiting hands. I saw how hard your mother had to work for your brother, so to see the peace of this birth was all that much more beautiful.

Eden – I’ve never missed a birth while actually sitting INSIDE the house…but I almost missed your birth! We all did as your mother wanted privacy – and that privacy served her well! I’m glad I heard her first roar as you were crowning when I raced into the room!! Two more pushes and you and your mother were gazing into each others eyes….WOW! I think your dad was in as much shock as your mother was!

Rose – A beautiful birth of a little 7lb 9oz baby girl after sunset…it just doesn’t get any better than that! Peaceful, intimate…perfect. Your mother cried as she held you….we all cried!

Elias – There were moments when your mother doubted her own strength to bring you into this world….but I never doubted for even a moment! Even though your big brother needed to be born on the birthing stool, YOU slipped out into the warm water of the birthing pool just like she’d hoped you would! Before you were born your big brother walked into the room and said, “Keep pushing mommy!” It made your mommy smile and soon she did just that…pushed you out into her waiting arms. So much easier than your big brother, but still a lot of work – and always worth it!

Lucas – Oh my dear Lucas…you had to go and make things difficult by letting your umbilical cord get caught up by your head when you let your waters break! Your mother was rockin’ your birth, but unfortunately you had other plans. Quickly racing to the hospital, they were able to deal with that cord in a way we couldn’t at home – and you did end up coming out the way she’d hoped, just not where she’d hoped. Being born in the hospital wasn’t what anyone wanted, but it’s what you needed and I’m glad you have a mother that’s strong enough to do what is needed when it’s needed. You are going to have a life full of laughter and nerdy fun! Rule the world, little Lucas….rule the world!

Cole – Dancing with your mother in the bedroom as she breathed through her labor was such a special moment….feeling her arms holding me, the power surging through her body, the Devine presence in the room….just amazing! But to see her in the birthing pool lifting you up out of the water and into her arms under the watchful gaze of your brothers and sisters and daddy…..that’s a moment that will live in my heart forever!

Sage – Big brother and sister bouncing around saying, “It’s our baby! It’s our baby!”…smothering her with kisses while you and your mother were still in the birthing pool you were born into….perfection! I barely had time to get to your home because you were born so fast! I’m glad you waited for your daddy to get there! He would have been so sad if he’d missed it! Instead it was perfect!!

Lillian – the first baby I’ve ever missed because I was busy at another birth. Made me so sad…but I knew you were in good hands as I got updates in text messages. I was there at your sister’s birth, so it made it all that much more sad that I missed your birth. I heard nothing but glorious things about it, though!

Andrew – I didn’t meet your parents until late in their pregnancy (not until they were 35 weeks along!) – but they were so committed to giving you the best start possible! Your mother patiently labored through the night, and the next day, finally pushing you out into her bathtub just after sunset! What a triumph! Your daddy was overwhelmed with emotions when he saw you for the first time…they both were! I was so glad to be there…

Kaitlyn – Daddy reading scriptures to your mother as she labored in the birthing pool, big sister coming in and out of the room…to say that there was the presence of God is to understate what was going on in that room. He permeated every moment with His grace and protection….your mother surrendering to His will, trusting you and her body, freely giving of herself and her body to whatever you and God needed from her. As spiritual of a birth as I’ve been blessed to witness….she was granted a beautiful little girl as her reward. Another one of ‘our’ waterbabies, you were brought forth with grace and faith and I know your life will be blessed.

Nathan – Even though I wasn’t your mother’s midwife…I was nonetheless lucky enough to be asked to be there for your journey into this world. Your team was incredible, surrounding you with all of the support you could possibly need so all I had to do was witness…but what a journey to witness. Your mother overcame so much, and it was all worth it once you were in her arms. And a BOY! With all of those sisters before you, a long awaited BOY! So exciting!

Liliana – Your parents are so good at making little girls! While I couldn’t be there when your biggest sister was born (your mommy and I were pregnant at the same time)…I was there when the middle sister was born and was thrilled to be there for your birthday! Slipping quickly out into your mother’s arms while she was surrounded by her doulas and your daddy before sunrise….love it!

Raam – While I was there to witness your birth….I was not much more than witness as it was your parents that worked as a team and brought you, their first boy, into this world. Birthed into the water in a family birthing pool connected those members of your family in a special way. Thank you for sharing your special day with me!

Paisley – Birthing you into her bathtub, your mother triumphed with her first homebirth! You tried to be born sunny-side-up…but you did turn around the proper way and then came flying out! You joined a pretty fun family, little girl….

Olivia – Transferring to the hospital wasn’t the easiest decision, but you knew where you needed to be born! Thank goodness your mother listened to her instinct! Sometimes a c-section is absolutely needed…and this is one of those times!

Cora – I will never forget when your mother reached down into the water and said out loud, “I’m ready for you…” Moments later you would be lifted up by those same hands and cradled in those loving arms of your mother. She’s a special lady and you have chosen an amazing family! You will have years of laughter and cooking and sewing and prayer and joy ahead of you, that I know for certain!!

Aria – I wasn’t sure your mother was going to wait for me to get there before birthing you….but she did! Barely!! Catching you as you slipped out into the birthing pool….watching your mother reach down and lift you up….seeing her tears of joy as she looked up at your daddy….can only be described as magical! I bawled just about as hard as she did!! Thank you for waiting for me!

Evey – The first born, you were such a peaceful birth! A waterbaby who was caught by daddy…..your mothers patience and allowing you to be born in your own time definitely paid off for her and for you!! Welcome to the world sweet little Evey!!

Brielle – your big sister was the LONGEST birth I have yet attended!! It’s only fitting, then, that you come out lickity split fast surprising your parents with how quickly and smoothly it can be! Laughing even when getting ready to push, your family’s joy and love is sure to pave the way to an amazing life for you!

Cecily – Little backwards stinker! Finding out that you were breech when your mother was pushing was such a surprise! But your mother’s love for you was like a fireball inside of her that exploded and pushed you out quickly and smoothly! Her joy when she discovered that you were a girl was overwhelming! Not the waterbirth she’d hoped for – but it was what it needed to be. You have an incredible mother, Cecily….one day I’m sure you will truly understand that. Maybe when you have your own baby.

Ivy – in the still of the night, I snuck into the home of some friends of mine. I witnessed a miracle and shared tears with them as a new baby was pushed out into the birthing pool. A short while later, while the rest of the world still slept on unaware of the miracle I’d just witnessed, I slipped out of their home and drove to my own home with my soul bursting with amazement and joy. Thus was the night you were born, lucky baby.

Braxtin – not knowing who you were until birth was exciting…but what was most thrilling was watching your big sister catch you with her own hands and, upon seeing who you are, exclaiming to the world before your feet were even born, “It’s a BOY!!!” Makes my heart leap every time I remember that moment and I will treasure it forever!

Enzo – Oh man did your mother have to work for you!! But work she did, committed to doing whatever she needed to in order for you to be born! That commitment paid off the moment she was snuggling with you on her bed, exhausted from all of that work. There are plenty of mothers who I think wouldn’t have had the strength or courage to be able to do what she did….your mother is an extraordinary woman!!!

Ella – fast fast fast! I don’t think your mother had any idea until you were actually out how close she was to holding you! But oh my gosh how your siblings do love you!! You will never be without ample cuddles and snuggles, that’s for sure!! And it makes me smile to hear your nervous nelly family members who weren’t sure about this home birthin’ business….exclaim how wonderful homebirth is and that it shouldn’t be done any other way! We convinced them…yay! Welcome, Ella….

Phoebe – Walk in, see a baby born, clean up, walk out….that’s pretty much it!! Born so fast that my assistant didn’t make it – but with your doulas and husband, you didn’t even need me there as you caught your own baby in your own time in your own space!! You had everything you needed right there in the birthing pool with you…just you and your baby! You did it, mama… did it!! Thank you for letting me watch as you triumphed!

Ryder – I loved every visit with your mom and dad and brother, feeling you squirm under my hands. Watching your dads face as he held your little head in his hands as it was being born….watching your mother grip the rails of the chair as you gave her final push…seeing your dad holding you in his hands before handing you to your mother – UH-MAZE-ING! And having your grandparents there was just icing on the cake. Such a great birthday!

Alexander – I heard an angel sing! Your mother sang to you as she labored…the most beautiful and angelic voice I’ve ever heard! It rose above the birthing pool and splashed back down over all of us. You weren’t to be born in the birthing pool…you instead chose the birthing stool…but your mother’s angelic voice became power, determined, fierce….and brought forth the most peaceful boy ever!

Sawyer – I saw one of your sisters born, and you came slipping out the exact same space in the exact same way! I was just at your home long enough to get things set up for your arrival before you came out….I’m so glad your mother called me (even though she wasn’t convinced yet that it was time)! You will not only have a special place in my heart…but an extra special place in Rose’s heart as you are the first baby she got the honor of catching! (Rose was at both of your sister’s births!!) Special boy with a special day.

Liam – Man oh man….what a rough start you had! Squishing your head into that small space sideways and crooked….making your mom work extra hard with everything she had just to get you out – crazy! But she fought with a determination that left me amazed….blown away. She gave everything she had to you – mind, body, and soul. But, like your mother, you’re strong and put up with all of that squishing and pushing and finally made your way earthside and immediately yelled your protest to what just happened to you! In that moment, that cry of yours was the best sound EVER!! We were all so glad to hear it and to see your sweet face (and purple-bruised head!).

Gemma – okay little missy….did you not get the instruction manual? Not only are first babies supposed to come AFTER the due date (rather than at 36 weeks on the dot!)….you were supposed to come out HEAD FIRST!! Not surprise us moments before you’re born by presenting us with your gender side! But despite those curve balls, your mother was a warrior, birthing you quickly into her birthing pool with her incredible doula protecting her space.

Dahlia – I watched how hard your mother had to work to bring your big brother earthside, and I prayed that you’d be gentler on each other. Prayers were answered!! Your mother barely believed she was in labor when I heard her birthing sounds…I leaned in quietly and whispered, “You need to take your bottoms off.” Your mother looked at me, understanding that she was ready to birth you, and BURST INTO LAUGHTER and she said, “Already??” Yes, ma’am! And here you came…moments later….into her hands…into the water…and into her heart forever! Top the day off with baklava and it doesn’t get any better!!

River – Your mother waited patiently for you to pick your birthday…and you did! Finally! But as hard as she worked to have you at home, you also needed to choose your birth space, and that was not to be at home. Your parents were so brave, adjusting plans as the path unfolded before them – doing whatever you needed them to do to ensure your safe arrival. They met that challenge and were rewarded with the cutest little baby nestled in their arms. So challenging, but so very worth it at the same time. You will always be worth it!

To the special birth that can’t be included on this list but who will always be special to my heart…thank you for letting me be there in your special and private time. I hope your mama knows that even though I can’t include her birth on this list, it was one of the most special days of my life. She planned, she fought, she conquered! She experienced pretty much every possible thing a birth can offer – and to witness that was just profound to me. It changed me….and I will forever thank her and you for that.

And to the 11 babies who couldn’t be here with us, who had to leave before they could be held…..I will never forget you either. I shared tears with your parents who yearned to see you and hold you. Thank you for the gifts you could share with me, and I’m just sorry it couldn’t be for longer.