Ten years ago today I stared down fear and gave birth to someone who loves me more than the world.

There was something wrong. Ten years ago this morning, my nine-month pregnant self and husband, Dave, were peacefully pacing our neighborhood, in spite of our fear.

My pregnancy had been uneventful if you don’t count, constant “morning” sickness for the first four months, weight gain so great you stop looking at the scale, and being crazy old according to clinical wisdom. But birthing has been eventful for me three out of four times, to include this birth.

When my water broke early that morning and contractions didn’t begin, from past experience I knew something was wrong. I called my midwife, Mary, who came to our home right away. She told us a litany of possible problems from benign to serious. Serious is frightening even when it hasn’t been realized. Together we drew up a plan and timeline for how long we would labor at home and at what point we would transfer to the hospital, if needed.

And so we paced.

Our three children slept, awoke, ate breakfast, did chores, brought me water, played, applied pressure to my back, and took turns pacing with me. When I retreated to my bedroom closer to the time of birth, I posted this construction paper wisdom on my door for my children. Be not afraid 🙂 .

be not afraid blog

Thirteen-year-old daughter, Devin, made what would be the most delicious chocolate cake of my life. I could smell the cake cooking and hear my children laughing as I stared down my fear. My husband’s strong arms gave me strength.

The rest is a blur, as it usually is, but what isn’t a blur is this. I held John Paul in my arms and all was well. The problem was his positioning, which needed time and care to finesse his entry. Time and care not impeded by fear.

John Paul’s entry into the world was extraordinarily ordinary. It was as if he had been with our family all along. Within minutes of his birth he was greeted by his siblings as if they were all old friends. My husband, for the fourth time in our marriage, beamed his happiest smile, one of fatherly pride and husband relief. As for me, shortly I would be sitting on my couch, nursing my sweet baby, watching Lord of the Rings, and eating chocolate cake in an extraordinarily happy state.

JP Devin birthday blog

Fast forward to now. The “Be not afraid 🙂 ” reminder still hangs on my door. John Paul is still sleeping. I’m struggling to enjoy this fleeting and bittersweet moment. He’ll awake soon and the birthday festivities will begin.

Tonight, as every night, the last thing that John Paul will tell me is, “I love you more than the world.” Son, I love you more than the world, the moon, the stars, and the infinite love beyond. Thank you for your love, for forging my bravery, and for making the world a better place, Little Man.

What events have challenged you to stare down fear? What were you doing ten years ago? What are your favorite birthing or birthday memories?

Happy birthing anniversary to me ❤ ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc

32 thoughts on “Ten years ago today I stared down fear and gave birth to someone who loves me more than the world.

  1. Such a sweet memory and so well told, Angie. My most vivid birthing memory…my second child, minimal labor, felt some pressure and he was ready. The Dr. could not be found. His pager wasn’t working. They sent a messenger to his home nearby. The nurse made me wait until he arrived, running in the door, with gown and mask barely on..my son was set free. Almost 9 lbs. of him ! ☺ Van

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautiful memory, Van! Yay for big boys! That sounds like my 3rd birth, the 1 out of 4 that wasn’t eventful. When my midwife told me that he was going to be born *now*, before my second midwife arrived, I couldn’t believe it! I was one happy girl ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. aww I loved that story! So well told, too. I felt like I was there. Those weeks right after the baby where your only responsibility is holding and feeding the baby, watching Lord of the Rings and eating chocolate cake is the absolute best!! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Happy Birthday to your beautiful boy! What a loving, and lovely, post, Angie. ❤

    Let's see, ten years ago I was … 7 months along (and feeling like 14 months!) with the pretty princess. Sounds like 2005 was a banner year for both of us! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It would definitely be, 23 years ago, in the delivery room, giving birth to my only child. 19 hours of labor didn’t frighten me, but upon entering the delivery room, I was so frightened I just wanted to evaporate or disappear by osmosis. It was the kindness of my nurse that coaxed me into comfort and bravery. Her voice was gentle, yet firm and encouraging. She held my hand as I wept that started off as hysteria and wound up just being tears escaping from my naive eyes. After the birth of my son, I knew I’d never have another child, as it would take all the bravery I had to simply love, respect, honor, support, cheer, embrace and discipline him unconditionally and as he deserved. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, John, your reply makes me so happy! And I’ll mention, poet friend, that I’m dabbling in the art and have posted two. They’re more like love letters, so I’m counting on the love making up for my lack of poetry writing skill! Thanks for your inspiration ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Angie, this brought tears. I’ve never heard of a birth like this. I love that the rest of the family was around, going about their lives. The cake!! And your sign – I am so impressed that in *your* moment you had the thoughtfulness and wherewithal to be looking out for the feelings of the other kids. Wow. Do people really live like this?! (that is rhetorical!).

    10 is a *great* age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colette, I woke up to your kind comments and they just made my day! Your opinion matters to me ❤ Do people really live like this? Yes. Yes! While your question was rhetorical, asking it filled my heart. You and I have talked about family and friendship, about how it can be instead of what it was. People who choose to spend time together in a kind and supportive way, *is* how people can live. Thank you for your kind support, friend ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww, thank you back! And for your generosity in saying my opinion matters. I am cheered and encouraged once again by the sheer purposefulness by which you (and Dave, yes?) chose to raise and live with your family. I don’t doubt you – you have credit in my bank too – but I continue to be taken aback (in a good way). Picturing this birth leaves me a little saucer-eyed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Saucer-eyed is a great way to describe how I go through life, LOL! The cool thing about really working this family thing hard is that the principles of healthy relationships work across the board. Kindness, respect, generosity, boundaries, all that good stuff. But it definitely takes time to learn these habits of attitude and behavior. Something new to learn every day.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, this is wonderful, Angie. What’s that saying — Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the mastery of it? (Something like that). I’m so happy everything turned out well, that day and since! The title of your blog says it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Courage as the mastery of fear, oh Jim, goodness knows I get plenty of opportunities to practice mastery of fear! Thank you for your high compliment. I’m just so happy that you can connect my blog title with me and what I’m trying to do here 😀 Hope your weekend is terrific!

      Liked by 1 person

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