Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm back! And I had a baby!

I wasn't quite sure how to announce that on my blog, so I figured I'd just come right out with it in the title of the post!

At some point in between my last post and this one, I had a baby. Not my baby, my best friend's baby. If that's confusing to you, you definitely need to catch up on some old blog posts.

I'm not going to write a lot about the baby here. I want to let Ann return to the world of blogging whenever she's adjusted to being a mama of three, and at that time she can share whatever she'd like to share. (I will, however, say that the baby is super-duper cute and cuddly, and does indeed have a gender, though I'm going to let Ann be the one to announce it!)

I'm also not planning to share a birth story at this point. This time it's not my story; it's ours. But I do want to tell you that Ann was completely awesome as my primary labor support! The midwife even told her later that she was the best labor partner she'd ever seen. My husband was fantastic too, and having both of them there was really important to me. But it was appropriate that the baby's mom be the one most involved in helping with her baby's birth. She was loving; she anticipated what I needed; she didn't freak out when I was in pain (loudly in pain at times!) Every birthing mom should have an Ann!

I'll also tell you that this was another beautiful birth at the midwife-staffed birthing center. It was challenging and miraculous and awesome. The baby was born into Ann's arms, and that seemed to me to be just so right. I was so happy to feel that way...to look at Ann holding her baby for the first time, and to joyfully realize that the baby was exactly where it belonged.

That's the thing.... I was so aware through the whole pregnancy, labor, and birth that the baby didn't belong with me. Carrying Ann and M.'s child was a joyous thing; I'm so glad that since they needed someone's womb, I could offer mine! But a baby belongs with its family! And being able to be part of uniting this baby with its family.... It was incredible. It was a huge privilege to be there when they met their child. It was awesome.

People have been pretty concerned that I'd bond with the baby and slip into depression after the birth, because of being separated from this life that I was connected to for nine months. But since the birth, I haven't once wanted to take that sweet child home with me! God really protected my heart.

That's not to say I've been happy 100% of the time. Of course I'm hormonal. I anticipated that. I'm also adjusting back to "normal life," after focusing so much on this pregnancy. Honestly, I miss sharing a pregnancy with Ann. It was an incredibly precious, unique, amazing experience. I miss that more than I miss the baby.

But even though it's hard to say goodbye to such a life-changing season, I know that things are now where they should be. Ann and M. are adjusting to being parents of three now. I'm re-adjusting to being "just" a wife and mom, and reminding myself that just because one important role in my life is past doesn't mean my wife/mom roles are any less important.

In fact, it's good for me to be able to re-focus on my own family. I found it so sweet to cuddle with my kids on the day of the birth, without a big belly between us! So yes, I miss the "shared pregnancy" experience, but I have a new appreciation for the precious relationships I have with my husband and children. And Ann and I built an intimate friendship that we expect to enjoy for a lifetime. I'm so incredibly blessed to have a friend like her.

So here I am. I'm back. I had a baby. And that birth was the culmination of an experience I won't ever regret. I will cherish the memories forever. The opportunity to share a pregnancy with my best friend was indescribably special. Thank you, Ann, for trusting me to join with your family in such a profound way!

After I wrote this post and saved it, Ann and I decided to publish our announcement posts at the same time. So if you want more details on the baby--including a picture!-- go check out Ann's blog!

16 comments:

Annelie said...

You are such an amazing inspiration! What an incredible experience to have lived. I'm so happy for you, and for Ann and her family. Welcome to the world, little baby!

Sasha said...

Beth, this is a beautiful post! What an amazing woman you are! I am proud to know you!

Keitha said...

This is a lovely post! What an amazing thing you did for Ann and her family! Looking forward to reading your posts more often (hint, hint) :-)

Call Me Cate said...

I've been looking forward to this post. I'm so glad to hear that the experience was so amazing for you both and now an adorable little one has joined their family.

Christine Witt (Brush Dance) said...

So glad to hear that you're doing well. I have been thinking about you.

Amanda said...

You are amazing, Beth! This is so exciting and wonderful and I'm so happy that it seems to have been such a positive experience for everyone!

SurvivorBlessing said...

I am so thankful for you, for our friendship and for the person you are. This was an incredible experience and I enjoyed it very much. I know that our relationship with each other changed forever, and I know that we are bonded by this for the rest of our lives.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I missed the beginning of this story, but what an amazing thing to do! Congratulations to you both :-)

forever folding laundry said...

Such an awesome experience!
I'm so glad you're doing well,
and that everyone is happy and healthy.
What a blessing babies are,
in all ways that they enter this world!

-keri

Lorraina said...

I'm so glad to hear this and all is well and better than well. YOU are amazing and awesome Beth.

Hank Greer said...

What a wonderful and generous act on your part.

Traci Vanderbush said...

Wow! What a great friend. I'm glad everything turned out well for you. :)

Manisha said...

That's so nice of you to fill someone else's life with love again! I am sure it must have been a wonderful experience. Congrats to the parents, and kudos to you!

Graciegreen said...

I am one of your oneminute followers...you are amazing! Happy you are well and congrats to all!

Renee Thompson said...

Loved the words from your heart! I have had so much fun following your pregnancy online and getting updates from Mam-ma! Ann is one lucky gal to have a friend like you, and your kids and Jason are blessed to call you their mom and wife! Wish we crossed paths more than once every decade! : (

Vixbil said...

Congratulations!! I am so pleased for you all of you, you are truly awesome women!
May God bless you and your family as you adjust to life as normal again.xxxx