3:06 am. I am woken with a strong contraction. No way. Really?
We planned to birth at the hospital with our first baby. I was, in all honesty, in a state of depression, and could not handle the thought of "failing" at a homebirth. Whatever that meant at the time. So when Jason called the midwife to update her and she overheard me in the background yelling "I feel like I need to push", she told us to get right in the car (or, in this case, a bench-seat pick-up truck) Oh, poor Jason and Sarah, who had to figure out how to get my completely unwilling, in transition, large labouring body out of that house and into the truck. I do believe it came down to some tough love.
And there we were: Jason driving, Sarah in the middle, and me leaning against her, all in the front bench of a pick-up truck, racing into downtown (thankfully it was 5:30 in the morning) and I was trying desperately not to push my baby out. Panting until I felt like I would pass out from trying not to push.
As we pulled into Emergency, I stopped focusing for a moment on trying not to push, and my water burst all over the cab of the truck. I was helped out, but didn't see a thing. I was in a wheelchair with my eyes closed. I don't think I opened them until I reached my room. Jason went to park and Sarah checked me in. When they realized how far along I actually was, I remember the feeling of the lovely breeze as the nurse ran down the halls, pushing my wheelchair.
My lovely midwife was waiting for me in the room, and she didn't even have to check for dilation - that baby was right there, ready to be pushed out. Oh, what relief. My favourite part of giving birth is the pushing. Talk about letting your body do what it wants and just going along for the ride. At 6:07 am, Faire Audrey was born and changed our lives forever.
At a year old, we discovered her brother was on the way. I had to return to work half time, and Faire spent those days with her Grandma Marilyn (I am sure that all the time spent with her Swedish grandma is what eventually led to the ABBA-love, but I digress again)
At two, she was long out of diapers, full of words (oh, my, how that girl could talk!) and overjoyed with her baby brother. She sat in our living room during his birth (in our bedroom) and drew him a picture as she heard his first cry. I still have that picture - just you try to pry it from my dead fingers!
At four, she was happily in preschool two mornings a week where I had two and a half hours break from our bickering. Did I mention she was still talking? Oh, she could talk!
At five, she went to preschool with her brother (oh, now those were the days I recall with fondness) and I was pregnant with her sister. She had big plans to be my "kid doula" and showed everyone who came over a black and white photo of a baby's head crowning. Said it was her favourite part of birth. Oh, she was so awesome. And still talking.
The "kid doula" didn't pan out, because I just seem to give birth too darn fast to give anyone time to wake up. But when she came into our bedroom at 1:30 in the morning and saw little Isla there, she ran back to her room, put on her Big Sis t-shirt, and didn't remove it for weeks. She took, and still takes, her job as big sister seriously. She calmed Isla down, or put that baby to sleep for me too many times to count in those early months.
At six, she was happily in Kindergarten, running the place. Her teacher adored her. Oh, and she was still talking.
At seven, she discovered ABBA (with Grandma Marilyn, of course, at a Scandanavian Fair). And we've pretty much lived in a seventies disco ever since.
This weekend, she is having a Disco Dance Party with her girlfriends. All the parents are thrilled that ABBA will be played at a house other than theirs.
At eight, Faire is Big Sister Extraordinaire, to the point where we have to take care not to take advantage. She is happy at school, still running the classroom. Her teacher says she feels like she should be paying her. She is thoughtful, cheerful, and puts up with a lot in this house of younger siblings who both want her attention all the time. She says she wants to be like me when she grows up, "you know, growing things and knitting things, and baking nice food, and making a nice home" Yup, I love this kid.
Happily trying out a recipe from her new cookbook.