It seems like it’s been a lot longer than a week since our little Bird joined the family, and there is far more that could be told than I shall end up telling. But life just doesn’t stop, even though I feel sometimes like it should, and if I spend too much time looking backwards I miss what’s happening now, and lose the scant threads of my hard-won rhythms in the chaos of this season.
The days leading up to her birth felt slow and were punctuated with sporadic contractions that just wouldn’t get rolling, and I confess I was very frustrated and impatient. We got out for walks and outings as much as we could – Haslam Creek suspension bridge, Transfer Beach, Ladysmith, and Cable Bay again with Naomi. The strait was full of seals and sea lions at the end of Cable Bay, which was equally exciting for us as it was for Bean. The sea lion bark was one of her earliest animal noises (thanks Auntie Naomi) and I think she would have walked right into the water to see them up close if she could. She’d also have walked the whole trail if we let her, but her pace was too slow and we ended up distracting her with bubbles to keep her in the backpack on the way back up.
When Baby did come, at last, labour was as quick and uncomplicated as I could have hoped for, and I feel no small amount of chagrin that I had been so impatient earlier. Our midwife was amazing, and I felt so much more confidence in the experience of birth this time around. I am thankful, so so thankful, for how things went, knowing that very little of it was within my control, and the bit that was, was better because of all the lessons I learned from Bean’s birth.
My mom was able to stay with Bean while we were in hospital, and took care of us and everything around the house until she went home a few days later, succeeded by Auntie Naomi for the weekend. Both were so incredibly helpful, I really don’t know how we would have managed the first week without them. Bean has mostly been a model big sister, and Bird is more in danger of being loved too much than of any jealous feelings on Bean’s side. Thank goodness babies are so much more resilient than I tend to believe, and put up so well with all the crazy antics of the world outside the womb! I’m in awe all over again at everything to do with babies and birth.
Now, we are trying to be gracious with ourselves as we transition into a new family dynamic, feeling humbled by our wonderfully supportive friends and community, and looking forward to learning more about this little person who has been given into our keeping for a time.
P.S. My talented aunt made the baby overalls, and they might just be my favourite thing ever. I’m also only half certain that she’s wearing them the right way round with the buttons at the front.