Monday, January 28, 2013

Heaven Meeting Earth

The beginning of last month was a whirl of expectancy.  
It's amazing how those last days of pregnancy can feel like a few months.
My irritation was rising.
I didn't want to be pregnant anymore.

On a Friday morning, when my frustration with the whole situation was rising, I decided we needed to get out for the afternoon.

We went to a canyon nearby, escaping into the rocks and seclusion of the mountain and its secrets. 

I photographed the children in the dry riverbed, took a snapshot of our shadows standing together.  It felt like a hinge-point, the moment before you step into a new definition of existence.  I knew this moment of me and the children as a foursome was waning.  In the photo, you see the hint of our fourth child, almost ready to emerge.  I can see my belly, round around the edges.
As we left the canyon and headed home to eat ice cream cones, the contractions began in the car.  And when they didn't stop, I knew the time had come.

She was on her way.

Up above, I wonder what that is like.

Are there tearful goodbyes?  
Are there promises of angels to attend?  
Do they try to take a mental picture in their minds of things they don't want to forget, but know they will?
Is there anxious joy?

I had been thinking, in the days just coming to that moment, how precise that moment of birth is.  How there are so few moments like it in my life.  If I live to reach 100, I know that looking back on my life will bring with it a handful of truly pivotal, pristine, life-changing moments.

The births of my children are among them.

I had talked with my girlfriend Erin shortly before I went into the crazy intense part of my labor, and she told me that through that painful process, she would focus on remembering that it was a process of joy -- each pain-filled intensity leading her to that moment of meeting her child for the first time in the flesh.

The beautiful paradox of pain and joy, played out even from the beginning -- as if to teach that as an archetype, a life truth, a legacy and inheritance.

It was my favorite birth yet.
A water birth in a birthing center.

It was lovely.
And tho it may sound funny, it was somehow peaceful.

 So dramatically intense (see this picture I love that Mr. C. snapped of me in the birthing tub, obviously mid-contraction and hurting!), but equally quiet.

And in the intensity and pain, I remember trying to focus and telling myself:

She is coming. 

I can feel her.

She is almost here.

And then, like this beautiful, pristine gorgeous light outside in our backyard some mornings later, she was here.
Heaven had met earth and was in my arms.

(In this picture she looks so blue, but she didn't look that funky in real life!)

It's funny how it is hard to imagine how it will be exactly -- once they arrive.
And yet, once they are here, you can't imagine life had it stayed how it was before.

It simply couldn't be any other way.

And you fall head over heels in love.
 Your heart stretches and makes more room.
And it feels amazing and wondrous to hold just such a beautiful miracle.

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