There's something I didn't tell you before Annabel was born. I knew she was a she.
Well, really, I knew she was a girl way back in October, because sometimes a Mama just knows these things, you know? It's true. And I just knew.
But we knew for certain a few weeks before her arrival, at my first ultrasound in my ten years of pregnancy and birthing. Because this fifth little baby, this sweet little girl who seems nothing but quiet and delicate now, had some lessons to teach her Mama, I do believe. Lessons about trust, birth, and appreciation for all the different ways (and places) that babies are born, and that oh-so-delicate balance between traditional and alternative medicine.
I thought quite confidently - beginning this pregnancy - that I had it down. I mean, really, now. Four easy-breezy pregnancies and quick, smooth and happy home births. What could be different about this one?
My ninth month of this pregnancy was spent using every last resource available to us to turn this little girl who had decided to hang out breech for a whole long while (and not the 'easy' breech). I called upon favorite practioners of every kind - acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathic, and on and on. I stood on my head, I prayed, I chanted, I talked to so very many midwives and doctors in an attempt to create the safest and most peaceful of births for this little one and myself - however and wherever that ended up being. We talked to my belly, I cried a little bit, and I stood on my head some more each day of that long month.
At the end of that month long effort, more pregnant than I'd ever been before...we found ourselves having thoroughly explored every option, confident that I had tried everything, and quite at peace and ready for the unfamiliar birth experience I was likely to have. It was then, in a hospital bed early one morning, heading down an unfamiliar-to-me path, that she turned. On her own, right then and there. Just like that.
I had breakfast in that hospital room, they sent me home with laughter and good wishes, and with a little more humility and a whole lot of gratitude, we prepared for the homebirth we ultimately ended up having two weeks later.
Being 'surprised' at the time of birth by the gender of a little one has been such an amazing thing to experience. Those moments of saying hello, of seeing someone just as the beautiful soul they are, without knowing a name or gender yet - have been some of my life's most powerful moments. They're snapshots permanently etched in my brain and heart, and I treasure them.
But, oh...this time, there we were (confirming her breech position), and quite frankly I just couldn't resist the temptation to really know. Amidst the stress and decision making about where and how she was to be born that so occupied that last month, it was a welcome little gift to know (for certain) more about who she was. She was a she.
(Plus, it was nice to stop chatting about the horse Adelaide had convinced us she'd need should the baby be "another brother!" Hmn.)
I probably don't need to tell you that there was some sewing in that window of time before Annabel was born. For there is little that I love more than sewing machine and needles to ease a worried mind. And tiny little, simple to make newborn baby things? Oh, good heavens. Yes, please.
The dress and overalls were made in a flurry that very first night we knew, right after I stopped by a consignment shop and picked up that sweet white and yellow dress. I didn't use a pattern for either, but fudged with tracing a few pieces of infant clothing I did have. The wrap dress is still quite big yet, but the pink suit is just right and I love it. I want to tweak the pattern a bit and make many more, I love it so.
Oh this silly, stubborn, sleepy, sweet baby girl. We're just so very glad she's here.