We write in this blog about community existing everywhere. At home, at work, in temporary locations, etc. Our daughter arrived early, Saturday February 2nd (yes Groundhog Day got a whole lot more meaningful), at 8:48am. She arrived at home, a decision Jody and I made about 4 weeks prior to her arrival. A decision based on strong beliefs and values behind the way we view child birth…what unfolded was a lesson not expected.
Noticeably in active labor around 2am, Eliot’s journey began. We called our midwives, Jamin and LaShel, to inform them Eliot was on her way. Jamin and LaShel are the owners of San Diego Midwife, a midwifery practice comprised of just the two of them.
They believe in partnering with people, in strong relationship, to help achieve the birth parents desire. This isn’t a soap-box rant on home birth, rather, I feel compelled to share my gratitude to them, for their willingness to take us on at 35 weeks of pregnancy, and to do so with love and respect.
Throughout the wee hours of the morning, the gifts of doing everything at home steadily emerged. Grandma Cass picked up our dog at 2:30am before traveling back at 5am to be here and tend to Rhiannon and Kade when they woke up. Grandma Lorrie and Papa John, called at 6am to alert them to Eliot’s impending arrival, so they could make the 2 hour journey. Copious amounts of friends and family, kept abreast along the way via text messaging. Eliot’s community thoughtfully rallying in different capacities, gathering momentum, power and love all the while.
Jody, focussed and calm, realized her vision of having a natural birth, at home, with people who valued her beliefs and honored her wishes. At 8:48am, Eliot found herself on the chest of the woman who carried her for 39 weeks. The moment beautiful. Love permeated the room and house.
Eliot, after a few moments of natural cries, gently rested with her mother. Peaceful and alert, Eliot bonded with mom, myself and being at home, I brought Rhiannon and Kade in right away to meet their baby sister. It made sense. It felt right. It felt as it should.
Eliot Dawn entered this world with an intentional community surrounding her. Not born in an institution, poked and prodded by professionals, rather, with the support of whole-person-based midwives and perhaps more importantly, with the people who will comprise her circle of support beyond the days of her birth.
Family, friends and neighbors all able to see her on the day she was born, in her own home, in the community she will grow up in.
Community exists everywhere, and for us, Eliot’s birth was a lesson in just that. When we are mindful of being connected with those around us, in every moment, we realize our humanity. Thanks to everyone for the love and support on that day, in days past and days to come. I am grateful for this latest lesson. Bravo Eliot Dawn…bravo!