I cannot believe that my first baby turns six years old tomorrow. My beautiful and strong Ruby Mahealani, a precious gem forged through fire.
Six years ago today, I was admitted to the hospital for an induction since baby was nearly two weeks past her due date. I still remember shakily getting dressed that morning. Excited. Tender. Scared. So many emotions washed over me as I scrubbed my face, towel dried, and applied two thick coats of mascara. I couldn’t wait to hold baby girl in my arms. After months of reading all the best pregnancy books on natural childbearing, including Ina May’s “Guide to Childbirth,” I felt equipped for what I planned would be a completely seamless, unmedicated labor and delivery experience. The doctors were going to help jumpstart labor by breaking my water, it would all work out. I kept telling myself that in quiet whispers. Just like my mother before me, who birthed me at home without any medical intervention, I would move through labor naturally. It’s supposed to work like that, right?
All my best hopes and intentions for how I wanted my labor + delivery to go, died that day.
I wept deeply in the hospital bed late that April night and into the early hours of the morning, Ken holding me as I pleaded with God to make my baby come out on her own, the way I’d been promised it was supposed to work. The way women in my books and friend circles said it would likely happen. As my heart came to terms with the reality of what I had dreamed of, not becoming reality, I opened my hands + heart to what God had for me instead. What would come next.
If you’re interested in reading my birth story, it’s here. The most popular blog post I’ve ever written, something I needed to write to be able to move through my grief and not let it consume me. To start the healing process.
The week leading up to Ruby’s birthday has been a mix of emotions for me. I’ve found myself crying for no apparent reason when I see photos of newborn babies and hear friends’ delivery stories. I cry tears of joy and also tears of sorrow, grief over the birth story I wished I had. Grief that Ken and I are done having kids, as we thoughtfully enter this next season of childrearing. Building our home. Tending little hearts.
How do we embrace grief, and allow it to shape our story but not consume us? That’s something I’ve been praying on for a while now.
Every year, I take time to honor the journey – which includes much grief – that has led me to this place. The unique birthing story that God gave me with Ruby, and with each of my children. The gift of this healthy, strong, resilient and beautiful little girl who made me a mama for the first time.
Happy Birthday sweet Ruby!
Thank you for choosing me. xx