Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Born by Breakfast"

The birth story of Bethanie Kerala.

Late on March 2nd, the contractions started. Typical. Both my previous labors began soon after bedtime. Once I knew they were for real, I called the midwife. I'd had the thought (expectation?) that this third baby would come so fast I'd have to deliver her myself. I'd even had Karen, my midwife, prep me for an unassisted birth. That remains the most brilliant piece of comedy in Bethanie's birth.

After midnight sometime, I sat in my pajamas watching "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and Karen sat nearby filling out paperwork. Kevin must have been snoozing in the recliner. And taking occasional photos, since I have a shot of me and my belly near the TV.

There was enough textbook progression that Karen predicted the baby would join us by breakfast.

Breakfast came and went. Again, there is a photo of me sitting (on a chux pad) in the recliner eating a bowl of cereal. At 6:00 a.m., I called our long-time friend Barbara, who now happened to also live in Yucaipa. She had earlier agreed to take care of Joe and Cayna while I was in labor. She came over sometime in the next couple hours and settled in like the rest of us.

I got a discount on my homebirth by (happily) agreeing to let some of Karen's students attend the birth. Three of them showed up, and someone went for Starbucks. By that time, I went upstairs to try to get some sleep since baby wasn't interested in the morning arrival.

Lunch came and went and it became a trial to avoid looking at the clock. After my attempt at a nap, I stayed upstairs. Labor was long and slow. As it turned out, Bethanie was turned around the wrong way, so I was having some pretty nasty back labor. Later, the midwife said she actually witnessed baby's head (and therefore body) "corkscrew" before she was born. She labored screwy-louie, but presented just fine.

Moments after her birth (and just before dinner - NOT breakfast!), Barbara brought Joe and Cayna in and they were so enthralled. It was a beautiful time, and I was beyond relieved to have that difficult labor over. Mind you, I am sparing the details of the complicated hour or two preceding the pushing. Fast forward to the weighing of my new baby girl. Eleven pounds, three ounces!

Barbara went out to get Subway sandwiches for everyone for dinner. I sipped grape juice and got a couple shots in the leg to slow some extra bleeding.

And that was five years ago today.

Bethanie is named after the town of Bethany in scripture. Much prettier than, say, Galatia. And in keeping with her sister who is named after Cana in Galilee. I like that Bethany is the town where Jesus' good friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. And where he was anointed. We pray Bethanie will be a good friend of Jesus herself. And that she will worship him extravagantly.

Kerala is one of the states in India where I spent time during my Global Projects trip in 1995. It was beautiful. And I guess you could say it was where I became assured of my calling to go into student ministry. May God lead Bethanie to places where she can hear his voice quite clearly.

I'm honored to be Bethanie's mom. She is a ray of sunshine, has an adorable laugh, and ready hugs. Happy birthday to my Bethanie!
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