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!