other lessons

A few days ago, my niece was born.

Specifically, on Tuesday morning at 10:19 am, after 5 hours of labor by my baby sister, weighing in at 10lbs, 12oz, with the support of a doula and midwife in an amazing home birth, Siobhan (accent over the a tho I can’t do it from my phone) Elouise Brown Conway was born.

All this information flowed through air, radio, web, phone as biological and chosen family got the full update.

I had logically decided I just couldn’t go for the birth or afterwards until after www.alliedmediaconference.org and www.ussf2010.org in june, it was just too much.

At about 10:44 I found out Siobhan had been born. At around 11 something I saw her first picture. Approximately 5 minutes later, all spent in tears, I had purchased a ticket to see her with the money I’d been saving for my tropical vacation. I can vacation in michigan.

Here’s what I learned on the trip:

– my work does have a purpose. As long as humans have children, and experience love, we must fully combat injustice and horrific human behavior to improve the world that we leave them. Because children show us that our initial nature is fully present, and amazing and miraculous.

– my sister told us her in-depth birth story, and it really became vivid for me how birth is truly an experience of going beyond any threshold of pain and right up to that precipice between life and death. Anything could happen, except stopping the process. Creation is the ultimate portal, and the only way to truly get there is to “relinquish control” (sister’s words) and trust body and process.

– “you are in charge of your experience” deepak chopra tweeted this as I was on my way to family, and this was the other lesson of my sister’s birth story. She said nothing she could have done was going to let her escape the experience, but because she went fully natural she was able to truly feel it all, and make her experience one of power and welcome, rather than resistance and fear. The details are hers to share, but listening to her I kept hearing ‘fierce, primal yes’ over and over again. Its always your choice how you experience your life.

– putting down the phone and closing the computer makes the experience of family so much more intimate and exciting. This was obvious with the massive 2 day old niece, who slept in ways more entertaining than any film I’ve ever seen, but equally true with my sisters and my momma. Love is best practiced with focus, rather than as one of many tasks.

– I don’t have words, actually, for how I feel for my nephew and niece. Its too pure. My role during the visit was to entertain (exhaust) my almost 2-yr-old nephew as he took in this new reality and point of attention in the house. It was such a great job to get. We went to the park and got soaked in the sprinklers and examined moon-like rocks and pictures of the moon and ran after birds and chased and escaped and tickled and played. And then he passed out and so did I. My niece is awesome, wrinkly, soft, slowly stretching out and sleeping all the time with brief pooping and/or eating times. Awesome.

– its great to ask people what they need and do just that. While baby sister & hubby recovered from birth, middle sister and mom and I did dishes, swept, mopped, cooked, bathed, babysat, kept the ice trays full, and more. It was very satisfying work. I need to ask/do more often.

– another big lesson: my work is easy compared to parenting.

Now let me see if I can get home to that simple to do list of mine.