She would be induced at 10:00 that night. Not wanting to be two hours away, we checked into a hotel with our granddaughter, Maryjane, near the hospital after packing bags and finding a pet sitter. We went swimming and snuggled in for the night, checking my phone every few hours. Maryjane and I had coffee and then went to the hospital while Pa checked in at work. Maryjane’s other grandma came to pick her up. The soon-to-be big sister was nervous and excited and emotional. My daughter, Shyanne, arrived and we all settled in for the seemingly long arrival of a little girl. Pa came back a few hours later. We drank tea, and watched the clock, and talked to relatives on the phone, and tried to help Emily.
Being her second baby, Emily knew what to expect and what to request. She was amazing during her labor. New daddy, Reed, was nervous and doting and sweet.
The nurses all knew that we hoped the baby would arrive that day, November 14th, for it was the fervent request from the new baby’s great, great grandmother. November 14th was my grandparent’s 70th wedding anniversary. Never mind silver or gold, Grandma and Grandpa wanted a baby.
And then quite suddenly it was time. Within thirty minutes a very small little girl with curly, black hair arrived into the arms of her mother. Daddy swelled with pride. Pa and Auntie Shyanne cried. Mama sobbed with joy. I smiled and welcomed the new little one to our family. We are ten now in our tribe. Over a hundred in families that we gained through the children’s partners and our own extended families. There is truly nothing more important to me than our family.
And Ayla Mae was born. A new little medicine woman in our line.
Maryjane bounced into the room accompanied by her grandma. She held a stack of papers that she had composed a song in scribbles on and immediately went to singing to her new baby sister.
Those near and dear came in to call. Ayla has our family birthmark. She has her daddy’s ears and nose. She is so beautiful. I caught my breath and held her close through the night letting mama and daddy sleep some. And in the quiet of that dimmed hospital room, that precious heartbeat next to mine, I felt the immensity of it all, the blessings that fill my life and this family that we have helped create. A Thanksgiving gift. (And an anniversary one as well!)
Some things have been going on over here that have been raising red flags and I can only hope that we do not have to move again. I must learn to take one day at a time and not try to foresee the future, jump to conclusions, or panic. Today.
We sat down to dinner last night and bowed our heads to say grace. We thanked the Lord for our meal, prayed that everything would work out alright, and for hope. Doug went out to milk and came running back in to get me outside. Elsa was in labor! Our first time mama was having her baby a week earlier than we expected. A little boy came out fairly easily. One baby for Isabelle, one for Elsa. Odd that there were no multiples. But, we are thankful for a healthy and quick labor and delivery. An adorable baby boy with red hair came into the world. He looks like his mom, a Saanen, the waddles under his chin, but with red hair. He loves to snuggle and is so cute! Hope is all around us.
Doug named him Nino Bonito for beautiful boy but also he was born in what seemed like El Nino! A horrible storm raged on outside the lean to.
The morning was quiet and spring-like. The birds sang brightly as the dawn arrived. Isabelle was pressed against the wall of the lean-to and was quiet. It was time.
I made a strong tea of nettles, motherwort, red clover, and red raspberry leaves and poured it into her drinking water along with molasses.
The chickens were maniacal in their calling as I waited and prayed for an easy delivery. They were driving me mad as their cacophony seemed to rise with each contraction.
The lambs stayed quiet, face to the sun.
The contractions increased.
“A foot is sticking out!” Doug yelled and Maryjane and I came running. One of my students happened to be there picking up herbs so she held Maryjane while Doug held Isabelle and I pulled lightly on the feet during a particularly difficult contraction. We had called our friend, Jenet, who just went through a goat labor, to ask last minute advice and were as ready as we would ever be. I thought she would throw the baby against the wall in her violent turn to release her but I caught her and lay her gently on the hay.
We waited for another baby to arrive. She was huge, we were just positive there were more infants to come but the placenta came an hour later and that ended our birthing session.
Everyone welcomed Adelaide to the world, including our kitten!
It is amazing how quickly they gain their footing. Soon Adelaide was jumping on the couch with Maryjane, making her away around the house, and drinking bottles every few hours. She stayed tucked under Doug’s arm throughout the night. She is precious and it is bittersweet that she is going to her new home Monday. I am thankful that mom and baby are well and a new miracle has joined this world.