Eowyn's birth story begins almost exactly like Legolas'. It was raining. It had been raining for a few days, on and off, and with the barometric drop, I had been having contractions. Then there was a calm day, my due date! I went to the doctor and scheduled an induction. (I always cave at the end). That night found me timing contractions again. I was praying to my guardian angel that I would know when to go to the hospital because the contractions were regular and close, but not long or strong. I just didn't know how to time it, given how quickly I can have a baby once labor begins "for real". I felt one good sharp contraction and called it quits: "Let's go." My Mom was called and we woke Arwen up to babysit until she arrived. We left. In the dark, in the rain. The ride on the highway was..fast, and a little wild. But my husband delivered. Not me. He fulfilled his promise to "get me there" before the baby came.
I was treated with special attention. In fact, I think the entire nursing staff was there helping to whisk that delivery room into shape (I'm pretty sure something about having your eighth child with a history of speedy labors makes you stand out among the crowd of laboring mothers). I got into a jacuzzi tub (heaven). And two hours after I arrived at the hospital, Eowyn was born. It was the Eve of the Presentation of Mary, and so her name contains a nod to the Blessed Mother.
I do not wish to dwell long on my critiques of hospital deliveries, but I will say that I believe a midwife would be the cause of fewer complications. She would cause fewer because of her gentle and attentive care and respect for the natural birth process. Specifically, she does not hurry things along. She works to protect peace and quiet and the beauty of the moment of birth. She would be horrified at the overhead lights that are flicked on at the moment of delivery. She would resent the aesthetics of the plastic/paper bag that is attached to the foot of the bed to "catch" birthing tissues and what have you. She would not appreciate the sharp orders to "scoot down more…more!" as the mother prepared to birth her child. She would never tug at the umbilical cord to help the placenta detach more quickly. And, one of my precious memories from my home births is quietly waiting for the umbilical cord to stop beating before cutting the cord, because that blood is beating to go into the baby. It's the precious final moments when my baby receives my own blood. Then the cord is cut. But in a hospital, the metal clamp scissors were applied and the cord was cut as my baby hung from the doctor's hand, waiting for the arms of her mother. The metal clamper scissors swung from the cord into my baby's face as she was handed to me. Harsh, cold metal.
To be fair, this never happened in my other hospital births, but it's a very good example of the type of thing that makes a huge difference, once you have experienced the precious, gentle, quiet of a home delivery.
I guess I dwelt a little longer than I hoped. But it is a reality for me, and it's hard to share without that honesty.
But as you see, Eowyn is here. She is healthy, thriving, chubby. She is a very joyful, content baby who laughs easily and rarely cries. Her siblings think she is the cutest baby ever. I'd agree with them, but then I happen to remember each of them as infants, too. In the end, I am most grateful to God for our health and the life of this precious little one. I don't care too much about whether or not I made the right decision as to where she was born. I am glad she is here. I have precious memories from those first days of her life. I'd like to share more of those with you, because even with eight children, it is good to know that a mother will always cherish her child as infinitely precious and unique. If I had quit at having just a few children, I would never have known the mysterious glory that is each new child.