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Dear Sister,

I met you at the Midwifery Today conference this spring and you so sweetly loved on me and my baby. He was beautifully born 7 weeks ago and is such a delight!

I didn't birth alone under the trees like I had imagined, but I had a wonderful mostly undisturbed labor and birth. My waters released late one evening after the house had settled in for the night. I called for my daughter to come to me, but she couldn't hear me. My oldest son came instead and helped me listen to the baby. He woke everyone else. My daughter braided my hair for me, my 2nd oldest son fixed me good things to drink and helped me fix my birthing space, and my mother (who has been my main birth support for all 5 of my babies) and my midwife, Toni, arrived soon after. After Toni listened to the baby, I sent everyone back to bed. They moved my sleeping 6 year old to his brother's room and my mom stayed with me. I labored quietly on my own through the night with my mom silently nearby. At some point the 6 year old slipped back into the room and slept in the chair in the corner of the room. Once I knew I was pushing, I asked my mom to go get Toni and everyone else.

It was the hardest pushing I've ever had to do and I complained about it very much! I had worried so much about having to push a long time or having difficulty getting the baby to move down. Pushing has always been my least favorite, but it's always been blessedly short. It wasn't this time, but I found my way through it. My daughter stayed right by my side and my husband, too. The 3 boys were in and out--my noises frightened them a little and they were worried. Archer Lee was born at 5:28 a.m., a boy just as I thought. He weighed right at 9 pounds.

Being an older mother is different. I think I'm more patient. I know I nurse him more often than I did the others and hold him more, too. He's started smiling and using his sweet baby voice. We are truly blessed to have him.

Thank you for your loving touch and sweet smile. You were such an encouragement to me and this was the most beautiful of all my births (my other 4 were good births too, but there was a beauty and calmness in this one that wasn't present with the others).

Much love to you!

Christa and Archer

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