Thursday, June 13, 2013
It was nearly nine months ago, but I’ve recently been asked a lot about Olivia's birth, so I'm sharing some facts and feelings about it now. That moment changed who I am for the better, and it is one I will honor forever.

The facts:

- I gave birth to Olivia naturally. I felt that "natural" was the method that would work best for me after lots of studying things out. I don't feel that all births should be natural, and at the same time, after my special and sweet experience with Olivia, I don't think every birth needs to be medicated. Each birth, I believe, has its own "right way," and regardless of that way, every woman does the same incredible work in bringing it about.

- I had unexpected back labor. My lower back contracted instead of my stomach. Woof.

- Ryan got me through my nine hours of backbreaking work: I would not have made it without him. He listened to me, encouraged me, and cried at the end of those hours when it was clear that I was at the end of my strength. While I treasure Olivia so, Ryan is my greatest gift. We labored to get Olivia here, which only further welded us together. Our love for each other is real and deep, and having a baby made it truer.

- Having a baby gave me undying respect for my body and the role that I have and share with all women to carry, deliver, and nurture new life. It is a privilege to be a woman and a mother.

Now for my feelings...

After laboring for hours it happened so suddenly. Holding my daughter subtly brushed away an unfinished me and left behind someone whole.

A Mother.

I worked through the night for this important introduction, one that happened early at dawn. My labor was real, a true pain in my back that never quite moved to my stomach. Balanced for hours on my hands and knees, I couldn’t lie down or sit up. Ryan incessantly pushed and pulled on my hips as he said to me kindly, "Just breathe."

Then -

We breathed – together - she and I, and I cried soft, quiet tears. She was here and I knew her. Oh how I’d missed her! - a feeling I didn’t perceive before she replaced it with her presence.

Delivering my baby was incredible work, and I almost believed it was too great for my strength. But as its intensity grew, I remembered the truth that gaining true goodness comes with steep costs: I renounced my well-being and worked and worked. I felt that my daughter was pure.

She would teach me. She would love me. She would be my angel.

And my angel, our angel, she has been.


  1. I feel the same way each time we've had a new baby come to us. "How have I been living without you?" Mmm, it makes me want to go pick up Ethan out of his bassinet.
    Love this, Jen.

  2. I haven't had a chance to read through this yet (although I'm sure it's amazing as always)! I just had to comment on your new blog design... BEAUTIFUL! In fact, I had a class with Brittany and was incredibly happy to see her creating such beauty. I remember feeling like she was an amazingly creative person and loved being around her in my class. I left a comment on her page, but just had to tell you that I really am in love with what she has done on your blog! Re-designing my blog is on my to-do list for the summer.

    1. Kelsey thank you! Yes, isn't Brittany amazing? It was such a privilege to work with her. 'm glad you gave her props on her page because she deserves them. Good good luck with your redesign - it's definitely a project! Can't wait to see what you come up with :)

  3. Back contractions are the worst!! So intense- not fun. Such a sweet way to write your story!

  4. This was so touching! I had back contractions as well! Nasty stuff!! Love your blog jen!

  5. I just reread this and it made me tear up a little. I love it! You are such a strong, brave woman!


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