On Saturday night, I checked my cell phone before going to bed and got a voicemail from my Aunt M, telling me my Aunt J was in labor and inviting me to the labor with her. Aunt J had planned a home birth and thought it would be neat for me to see a birth. (They must read my blog or follow me on Twitter. Or they just sense the baby fever.)
Side note: I want no one at my birth aside from Mike and a midwife. Probably my mom, since she's been through five of them and attended at most of my aunts'. She's pretty much a champion birther. But! I could never imagine INVITING people to see me give birth. I'm already paranoid about possibly pooping (!) in front of people and groaning or crying or whatever pain will make me do. My aunt is insanely awesome and low-key, obviously.
Since I didn't check my voicemail until 11:30pm, I decided the baby might be already born and it would be far too late to call Aunt M. I went to sleep and called Aunt M first thing when I woke up.
A baby girl. Born at four in the morning. Marie Lucia.
You may have noticed I have quite a few little boy cousins. Nine under the age of six, in fact. My grandma has 26 grandchildren and the last nine have been boys. This little girl will have a LOT of boys around. It was amazing to hold a baby that was less than 12 hours old. It has been a long time since I've done that. There is something truly fascinating and magical about a tiny, perfect little human who has recently been through a great deal of trauma to get here. Seeing her open her eyes, overwhelmed by light and flail her arms around slowly, probably not used to being able to move so freely - it's just beautiful...
Also, my aunt gave birth at HOME. Which is crazy fascinating. If you want to read more about why someone might choose home birth, checkout Sara's great post here. I didn't even know they had considered home birth - but they were keeping it quiet, since people tend to be quite judgmental about alternative health choices. I'm currently reading Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Day Midwife and just watched The Business of Being Born (which I highly recommend to any pregnant or wants-to-be-pregnant-someday woman) - so it was really neat to get to talk to my aunt about her home birth less than a day afterward. (This was after a C-section, which is apparently a pretty big deal. Go Aunt J! She's a rock star - all 4'11" of her.)
From a visitor's point of view - it was fabulous to be able to sit and chat with my aunts NOT in a hospital on their king-size bed. And capture moments like this. And enjoy moments like this: