Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rowan is One Year Old Today!

This was taken minutes after
I got to hold him for the first time.
Last year on this day at 3:41 PM, I became a mother. The story of me doing so is long and complicated, but entirely worth it. It was a complicated pregnancy but a delightful and joyous one, and the birth itself helped me process past medical and birth trauma. For that, I am forever indebted to my child and my midwife.

Daddy, doing important skin-to-skin contact, too.
Rowan came out like a rocket, being born after only three contractions of pushing. His birth was not what I planned for or expected (I ended up in a hospital, with a baby in the NICU for 14 hours). I had wanted a spiritual birth, with ritual and altar and intention. Instead, Rowan needed medical assistance and we were rushed to a hospital. It is only because the actions of my midwife that I was spared a dreaded C Section. When he was born, I did not get to see him right away. I had planned to having him placed on me and breastfeeding and bonding immediately afterwards, but instead, he was taken to a small room, glassed off from me to be cleaned up (he was covered in meconium) and evaluated (he was breathing funny). My partner went to be with him and supervise the medical team while I was tended- as I had ripped quite a bit from the birth.

Judi, my midwife, with Rowan.
I was brought upstairs to my room to recover and was assured that once I was stable, I could visit my baby in the NICU. I was impatient and upset and insisted on being wheeled down there at first opportunity. What I saw choked me up- my little baby, under a plastic dome, hooked up to machines. No human contact or touch. I cried and talked to him and tried to reassure him energetically of my presence. I talked to a NICU nurse who explained what all the machines were for and what they were doing. She promised me that as soon as he could breathe non-oxygen enhanced air he would be brought to me. True to her word, he was wheeled down the hall to my room around 5:30 AM.

My favorite picture of us.
Once he was in my arms, it didn't matter that my birth plan was derailed and that it was not what I wanted. I now had what I wanted- a small feral beastie rooting around for milk. After breastfeeding for the first time and making that all-important skin-to-skin contact, we fell asleep, exhausted from our experience. The picture on the left was taken by my doula on her mobile phone. I have always loved it.

My journey into motherhood began in earnest then- and I have not looked back since. When I describe myself now, the word "mama" is always one of the first words that I use. I am forever changed- for the better- because of Rowan's presence in my life. He has made me better (more patient, more present, more attentive to others)- and I continually strive to be better and improve the world for him as well. All this I do for him.

Our little wolf cub.

Rowan came to us in dreams before he was conceived, asking to be made and born to us. Because of when he was born, we know that this is the child who came to us: we decided on his name before we knew when he would be born. He was born under the Celtic sign of Rowan. He was conceived at Beltaine and born on the Wolf Moon. Wolves featured prominently at his conception, and he was born with a fine pelt of grey fur. He is a special, magickal child who already has gifts of non-verbal communication and profound empathy. Teaching him our religion as he grows will be easy- he is gifted.

Each day is a precious gift with him around. He allows me to have beginner's mind once more and see the world as he does. I am deeply in love with my son and today, I celebrate his existence and my renewed existence as a mother.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Lilly!

    ROWAN: Happy Birthday, Wolf Pup! Hope your day was good and you had lots of sweet things to eat. (yeah--sweets, sweets, sweets, sweets, sweets!) Blessings for you on the year ahead.


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