by gillian claire: birth



nineteen months.

nineteen months.
oh my.
facing the reality that nineteen months has passed since asher's birth is simply unreal. just a moment ago i was folding tiny newborn gowns + reading spiritual midwifery in the sunshine on the back porch, preparing for a new little life. and now, over a year and a half later - our asher is almost a little boy. pushing his chair up to the sink so that he can grab my yesterday's coffee that sits inside. taking liberties to take his own diaper off when it's time for a change, singing the "mama" song that he composed himself, counting to three in his own little way. closer to two than one.

when the days were slower and asher was itty bitty, i often used to talk to him at night as he nursed to sleep about when he came into my life. i'd pet and kiss his sweet little head and apologize for not being there during that first week when he stayed in the nicu.  one of his doctor's told me during that week, that soon asher would be home and healthy and the time in the nicu would seem distant and brief. in a way that is not true to me. it’s true that one week is a short amount of time, but that was OUR first week. there is something so wrong about a mother and baby being separated at birth. even though i was able to spend much time with him, provide all of his milk for him, and was lucky that his stay was so short - there are still moments that we were robbed from. sometimes now at bedtime, i still go back to the beginning. i tell asher how much he means to me. nineteen months later i am still thankful that God answered my prayers and healed asher. that first week was hard, but for every first moment that was lost, i've now had nineteen months of asher in my arms each and every night to make up for it. and for that i will always be grateful.


one month.

well this little guy is one month old now. it's just as crazy as i imagined it would be. one day i'm pregnant, the next day he's here, and i can't imagine that he ever wasn't. i can't beleive 5 weeks ago he was kicking around inside of me. i can't beleive i gave birth already. i can't beleive i have two babies now.
i don't understand how these things happen. i'm married, i have a baby, i have another. snap snap snap. i guess i'm growing up.

today, as i drove asher and roman to asher's one month doctor check up, the song "Stronger" by Mandisa came on the radio. this song seemed to become really popular during this past spring, when i was pregnant with asher, and driving to school an hour away two days a week. the lyrics of this song have always made think of childbirth. i have so many memories of driving to school in the rain, tearing up as i sang this song. imagining pushing my baby out into the water, and meeting his perfectness for the first time.
so today, i heard it again. this time with my TWO babies in the backseat. asher's here, and he's perfect. i was filled with joy singing the words,

" The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger "

 thinking about asher's birth. how i got the beautiful uninvasive childbirth that i so dreamed of. this song means so much to me. it reminds me not only of the wonderful births of my babies, but of my place in life right now. my pregnancy was such a struggle in a lot of ways. both physically and emotionally. tears just poured from my eyes as i thought of the place i was 2 months ago, and the place i am now. God has answered so many prayers in my life. i still have so many struggles, but God is so redeeming and this song reminds me how he has worked through my life:

"Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares"

Stronger by Mandisa.

first week.

asher's first week of life in the hospital
 was one of the longest and most fleeting,
most beautiful and most terrifyingly exhausting,
most memorable
weeks of my life.

laying in that gorgeous birthing tub, looking out at the beautiful afternoon sky,
realizing that no, the water is NOT going to take away the pain of my baby coming out.
slippery, purple, tiny, perfect baby on my chest grunting for breath.
the sadness and worry of having him taken away.
seeing him so little and sweet in his warming bed, covered with tubes, breathing too fast.
finally skin to skin again with my baby at one day old.
moving to a new room in the nursery.
waiting to see roman again with butterflies in my stomach,
 he looked SO big.
watching his eyes twinkle, and seeing the most real smile i've ever seen as he saw his baby brother for the first time.
finally getting to bring my baby to my hospital room for little bittersweet moments at a time.
wrinkly peely newborn skin.
breastfeeding again.
evenings in the nursery with my husband.
watching asher mimick my husband's faces.
bumblebee blanket.
finally going home.

due date.

well, yesterday has come and gone. my "due date". such pressure surrounding that day, and such pressure i've felt, feeling like the countdown is on.

my midwife appointment today was very emotional, but ultimately refreshing. i finally felt like i really got what i wanted when i decided to switch to midwifery care for this pregnancy. we spent a lot of time talking about my feelings about this birth. and about my decisions on how to handle this last stretch of pregnancy.

afterwards, i had a nice long hour drive home through the countryside with my husband and son. i drank my mcdonalds coffee while unloading a lot of emotions to my husband that have been building up as this birth approaches me.

right now, i feel good. i feel much more peaceful. i feel content with the decisions i've made, to deliver with midwives, an hour away. i feel blessed to have had a good discussion with my husband and to have his love. i feel good about my decisions. oh, and i finally got my aden + anais swaddling blankets that my mom bought me in the mail :) so yeah, it's a good day.
july 20
my due date.)


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