Aletheia Vangelis ~ Born June 29, 2006 ~ 7lbs, 7oz ~ 19" longI was the first to see she was a girl, and I was shocked, but immediately certain that I had really wanted a girl all along. Of course. What would I do with a boy, anyway? All through my pregnancy I had been told by complete strangers and acquaintances alike that I was having a boy. I'd had boy dreams, had been given bags of boy clothing, and had pictured myself as a boy mama. Theia was such a beautiful baby and I loved her immediately. It was so amazing for Jessie and I to see our firstborn after so many months of wondering what a child we made together would look like.
My experience with Theia's birth was difficult and emotionally draining. I felt shell-shocked for a few days. But it was oh so fulfilling, and what a sense of accomplishment I had! Even so, for some time I could not imagine ever subjecting myself to such a thing again. Fortunately (in the long run), I did not have the chance to "decide" to do it again, since my pregnancy with Eliza less than four months later took me by surprise, and Eliza's birth was about as easy as you could ask a birth to be.
Patrice and Barb, our wonderful midwives who have attended all three of our children's births.
In retrospect I've been glad that I had a hard labor with Theia. I'm grateful that I have experienced how difficult birth can be so I can be more understanding of women who have difficult labors and opt for pain medication in the hospital. If I'd been in the hospital, unable to have the freedom of movement and no inhibitions like at home, and it had been freely offered to me, I think I very likely would have taken it. If I had only ever had Eliza or Ingrid-like births, I'd never understand what all the hoopla was about (So, if you've ever had a labor like this in the hospital and did not have an epidural, you are my new hero. Send me a picture and I will make a shrine to you in my basement). In addition, I surmise that if I had been decently rested before my labor got to the intense part (after my water broke), I would have been much more prepared to cope through it. Besides, Theia is such a blessing and is of course worth every minute of time I spent laboring for her birth. She has such a sweet, sensitive spirit. At two and a half years old she already senses so many things and has a true desire to make others happy. She never misses an opportunity to express appreciation. She has lately started to pray on her own when we tuck her into bed for the night or for naptimes. Today she melted my heart when I had finished dressing her after her bath. She climbed into my lap and put her arms around me and said very sincerely, "Mama, I love you so, so much." Yep. Worth every minute.