12 years ago
We were to be the first, at least the first in our peer group. As the first, it only seemed fitting to invite everyone to take part in this fabulous journey. We were having a new baby! Not surprisingly, we were going to do it our way- different from the world and momentous. When Richard and I shared that this baby would be born naturally, at home, breast fed, cloth diapered and put in a family bed- the responses were all over the map. Fear, confusion, excitement and joy. There were no lack of opinions. Even more so, we were inviting Close to 20 friends and family to witness the grand event- the birth.
Although now those days seem so far away and those choices are not very cutting edge or unusual, at the time each decision was fraught with concerns. There was an air of excitement, fear and morbid curiosity about the whole thing. And for most of our family and friends, the curiosity won out and they were enthusiastic to be part of the journey.
When I began labor at 8 am, the assumption was that it wold be a while. By 10, we thought better and had everyone who was coming, en route. The middle of October, in sunny Florida, I was freezing and the heat was turned up- high. With a house full of anxious family and friends, a very naked laboring new mommy and cameras galore, the show began. And it was a show.
We all know the old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. It is still quite amazing that our midwife, Jennie had any control at all. With Richard's father, Hank and my mother, Becky- add Richard, me and a gaggle of opinionated friends- we had the makings of a train wreck. But, instead we had a symphony. The prayers and the encouragement, the excitement and the uncertainty all came together to crescendo into the birth of the most amazing little girl in the world. When Ammi entered the world, a little after noon- cheers erupted.
Twelve years later, Ammi still appreciates being the star. She clearly has felt the love and encouragement of all of those who began life with her a few short years ago. Her entrance into the world charted a course for many in that room, in one way or another. But, her life will much more so.
I have been blessed to watch her grow daily into a beautiful, amazing young woman. She is still the little girl who always smiles. She still is the sweetest thing on creation. She still is my baby. Even with one growing in my belly now, it is Ammi who is takes my breath. Although many of you do not get to fully appreciate the remarkableness of Ammi, I am so very thankful for all of you who have been a part of her life from the beginning, helping her to be the incredible child that she is.
Happy Birthday, Ammi. I love you madly.