On Monday, we celebrated a first birthday at our house!
(Excuse the many photos, but one of my big regrets about Fiona's first birthday is that I didn't put many up online and then we lost all of them to a computer crash.)
I can hardly believe it's been a whole year with this sweet, sweet boy. Oh, he is just the sweetest, most darling baby. He charms everyone he meets. He has brought so much joy to us even during what has been a really hard year.
I've been reflecting some on his birth the last few days. I was planning my third homebirth after what had been a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, and just days before my due date, we discovered he was breech. We did everything we could to encourage him to turn, but there just wasn't much time left, and when I went into labor, my midwife hurried over to our house to check his position. She realized that he was coming feet first which meant that even a vaginal breech delivery in the hospital was out of the question, and so it was a c-section.
Having a c-section was my worst fear. I had done everything in my power to avoid having one with each of my children. And I loved my quiet, cozy homebirths. But I had an immense amount of peace about this decision, and I still do a year later. Although after he was born, John ended up experiencing a cascade of interventions that left us in a horrible situation of a 10-day NICU stay (interventions that our own pediatrician was appalled by later), and even though knowing the time in the NICU was not only the worst time in my own life but could probably have been avoided, I am still very much at peace with his birth. More than that, I am glad that I had to face my worst fear and overcome it.
Although I wouldn't wish a traumatic birth experience on anyone, I do think that facing a fear is actually a powerful thing and I do wish that everyone would have the opportunity to face a fear the way that I did. There is incredible strength in knowing that you got through the thing that you most feared. I actually view it as a gift.
And here we are a year later, with a beautiful, healthy boy to celebrate, and all that is in the past.
Happy birthday, dear John Peter. Thank you for making your mama strong.