Monday, June 19, 2006

What day is it?

It's amazing when there is a new baby in the house, that even the sanest of adults lose all concept of time. We literally are marking our days by how many wet and poopy diapers we've changed. Consequently, we don't know whether it's Sunday or Monday. The smallest creature in the house certainly takes over in a big way.

In between the diaper changing, I've had some time to reflect on the experience we've all just come through. My job during labor and delivery was one of support and encouragement, although we had an excellent doula who was the primary support person. I was the photographer which I greatly enjoyed doing. I've come to realize that at this juncture in my life, what I really want to do, is to do exactly what I observed Maria (the doula) doing for Jennifer during labor and delivery. I want to be there to support and encourage. To bring a calmness to the whole affair. I want to become a certified doula. Along with that, I want to be certified to teach Lamaze classes.

I've been really wrestling lately with what comes next in my life. I have given up teaching, even though I considered myself a really good teacher. It's just too much for me now. But I love the teaching moment and have continued to teach in the church arena. But I really needed a direction to go in. I think now I've discovered that what I loved 30 years ago when I was a La Leche League leader, is what I still love now. I want to educate women in this powerful process of giving birth. I want to be present when new life comes into the world and feel the way I felt that Wednesday when I was priviledged to see Clare enter the world. I know that 30 years ago, the educated childbirth movement was just getting started. A push toward breastfeeding heralded by La Leche League was really taking off. I had hoped that things had improved in these areas and that women were making more informed decisions. And I do think it's better, but I still think the same need exists to inform. I'm really excited about pursuing this and contributing to this cause.

But more exciting than that, is my new granddaughter. There is something so pure and innocent about babies. I've missed that. A new person who is totally living in the moment, not worried about anything, but counting on the fact that her needs will be met. It reminds me that we should all strive to be that way in life. Living in the moment, trusting God to meet our needs and therefore not worrying. Thanks Clare for reminding me about this most basic lesson that God wants us to learn.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Clare Madalyn Thweatt Bates

Clare Madalyn Thweatt Bates
June 14, 2006
4:09 P.M.
9 lbs. 4 oz.
21 inches

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

...and away we go!

We just got back from the appointment with the midwives, and they recommended that Jen go in tomorrow to be induced. They are going to break her water and hope that that will tip her over the edge into active labor. She is 4 cm. dilated, completely effaced, and having sporatic contractions. So, it could be that she will go on into labor tonight herself. Whatever the case, I'm thinking that we will have a baby tomorrow that we can see!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Well, my bags are packed...

I now know what troops must feel like when they are waiting for their orders.

We've watched every episode of Battlestar Galactica, which I highly recommend by the way. It has great theological significance. Something I would never have picked up on if I were not watching it with a theologian. In fact, she did an excellent post on it if you are interested. We've knitted. We've read books (mostly searching for ways to kickstart labor). We've played Settlers of Catan and I still have not won. We've gone for long walks, even walked the mall (UGH). Gone to a movie to see Akeelah and the Bee which is really, really good. We've gone out to eat to have spicy Mexican. In short, we've about exhausted our entertainment resources.

Jenny and Brent have had their hospital bags packed for a while now. Check out her blog for her unusual list of items she's packing. But, Nana also has a bag. Mine is not filled with symbolic items, but the practical. Number one on the list is of course, my camera. I'm a tad bit obsessive about this. I've even had nightmares of being at this birth and discovering I've left my camera or my batteries are dead. I also have a large square piece of black velveteen to use as a backdrop for pictures of mommy, daddy and baby. I have a list of photo poses that I want to take in case I totally lose it and become so distracted that I don't get the pics I want. I'm also packing pictures of Jenny as a baby to compare. I have my knitting, my current book(s), and a Real Simple magazine to distract Jen if she needs distraction. I'm going to throw in some snacks at the last minute and change to buy coffee. My cell phone of course, to keep everyone in the loop and my well-worn copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. That's about it for me.

I'm so excited about viewing this birth. I have never watched a birth besides by own childrens' and to be included in the birth of my granddaughter is worth more than I can express. It will be a holy moment. A worshipful moment. A moment of extreme joy and raw emotion. I'm not exactly sure what to expect, I just know that we will all feel the presence of God that day in a way that will impact us forever.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Waiting, waiting, waiting

This waiting is really hard. Especially when you are waiting for something as wonderful as a baby. I'm actually glad that we made it through the weekend though. I love my daughter and son-in-law dearly but they can sure pick out some funky names. Since they are all theological and everything, they got this wild hair to pick out a saint name to go with the day she is born. I'm not exactly hip to all this saint stuff, but apparently there is a saint for every day. Who knew? Last Wednesday, the 31st, was The Feast of the Visitation.If she had been born that day, the saint du jour was Elizabeth, (you know, the angel visiting Elizabeth). Anyway, that one was pretty normal. Thursday the 1st of June brought us to Justin Martyr. We morphed that into Justine, also OK. But with Friday came The Feast of the Martyrs of Lyons. So that became Lyona. Not so good. Saturday was the most challenging with the Feast of the Martyrs of Uganda. We had a choice between the names Alexander and Ambrose. I voted for Alexandra...but they both really like Ambrose. Ambrose!

Then, Sunday arrived and we were hoping for a little Pentecostal delivery. For Pentecost, all we could think of was Peter and that can hardly be morphed into something feminine, so we went with the theme of the day "flame". This translated into Italian becomes "Fiamma" which uncharacteristically, we all liked. However, Sunday came and went and no "bebe". So, here we are on Monday still in anticipation. I'm about to order a trip to the drugstore to obtain a bottle of the oldest labor inducer I know...castor oil. I just hate to do that to my daughter. I suppose we'll wait a little longer before we resort to that, but it's good to have a back-up plan.

So, thankfully, we've bypassed the strange names so stay tuned for the default name that we all really like!