Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birth Stories

The First Day I Met Ezra
By Aunt Effie

The following entry was written by Garry’s sister, Stefanie. Garry and I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that we wanted Stefanie and her husband Joshua (also known as Aunt Effie and Uncle Squash) to be a part of the birth. We are very grateful that they agreed to be a part of our birth team and so very glad to have had their loving support and calming presence at the birth.  

It was around 3:50 on a rainy, Friday afternoon.  Joshua was finishing up stonework on our fireplace, and I was finishing up some bookkeeping.  My phone rang, it was Amanda.  In a calm voice she told me, “Hey Stefanie, my water broke today at work.  It is time.”  I remember it taking a moment to realize what she was saying.  I then thought, “I have prepared myself for this call, these words, but auuggghhhhh!  Hurry, hurry, hurry.”

Joshua and I rushed to shower, pack up our van and take care of the pups before heading over.  We headed out of the house about 4:40.  As we were driving over to Garry and Amanda’s, I received a phone call at about 5:05.  It was Garry; he was very ready for us to show up.  I could hear Amanda in pain in the background and Garry very much wanting help.  We arrived at their house around 5:15.

When I walked in I was so nervous.  I realized it was just Garry, Joshua, Amanda and I at the house, and Joshua was going to leave to take Piper to the babysitter.  This was a scary moment.  Joshua and I frantically looked for Piper’s babysitters’ address.  Garry couldn’t leave Amanda and couldn’t help us. At this moment and at multiple times throughout the birth I realized I really should have been familiar with every cabinet, nook and cranny in their house.  I couldn’t even find the phone.  Thankfully, everything immediately calmed down and became very organized as soon as Amy, Amanda’s doula, arrived.  Amy had a phone number for Piper’s babysitters; she also helped Garry and Amanda relax. 

So, as Joshua rushed out with Piper, the midwives began to arrive.  The labor appeared to be progressing really fast.   I had expected from talking with Garry and Amanda that the birth would be slow; we would need to be quiet, relaxed; there would be a lot of time between intense contractions for us to sip on some coffee, perhaps browse through a book, and talk with Amanda.   Obviously birth is very unpredictable!

Even though the birth was unpredictable and a little faster than expected, it was amazing.   I was very worried about being a little overly nervous, or queasy!  I didn’t feel either.  The atmosphere was calm and professional.

As the contractions continued I learned a lot about birth.  First of all, Amanda is tuff (as are all women who have delivered a child - naturally, with no meds!!!)  She never complained, she never insulted.  She toughed out birth and was also very concerned with her helpers' needs.  I remember at one point she asked if I was okay. I know she probably realized because of my and my family’s history I would probably pass out during the birth.  She made me smile and relax even more by asking.  She was very calm.

Because of the midwives calming response to the process, Garry and Amy’s amazing support to Amanda’s emotional state, and Amanda’s pleasant and calm acceptance, the birth was one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of my life.  The support and abundance of emotions was beautiful.  I may have sat quietly aside and photographed the experience, but it was life changing for me.  I learned a little about life and a lot about relationships.

Then he was born.  What an amazing moment.  To see Ezra’s head was astonishing. I couldn’t stop looking. I couldn’t wait.  What was he or she going to look like?  Then he arrived. 

Joshua and I are both are so happy to have been a part of the birthing team and to have seen Ezra’s first breath and first interaction with his mother and father.  It has created for us a very special connection, one we hope he carries throughout his life.  We look forward to being here for Ezra and his parents.

In addition to this account, told by Stefanie, you can read about Ezra's birth according to Amanda, Amy, Garry, and Postilius

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