Five new beautiful babies are in the world, bringing joy to their families.
The first flew in 5 weeks early...so sad that I missed it while I was so sick with pneumonia.
The second found me doing my doula work over the phone, drugged and coughing. "She's acting like a caged animal," says dad. "She sounds wonderful," I said, "But it sounds like it's time to go to the hospital." She had spent most of the labour at home, with me talking her through the contractions, encouraging showers, recommending positions, giving pep talks to her husband, arranging their hospital arrival, and helping them to get "the good room." Phone doula work isn't ideal, but it seemed to be better than nothing that day. She gave birth only half an hour after arriving at the hospital.
The third birth was a triumph of spirit and a testament to a woman's power. After falling asleep in the tub at the hospital during transition (such a gift!,) and labouring to 10cm without intervention, and pushing and pushing and pushing for hour after hour - Phoenix was born! This is truly the best name for him after this labour.
The fourth baby was born after the stormy night in Vancouver, her parents waking in the night to watch the flashes of light as trees fell on power lines. Her water broke with the help of the low pressure system, and the baby followed in three hours. Ella "Storm Force" Wallace was aptly named.
The fifth baby came on a Hanukkah night, born at home into her mothers hands, watched over by her big sister, Shulamit. I left them all tucked into bed, the new baby nursing, and mum reading "Green Eggs and Ham" to her girls.
As for me, I'm now waiting for the next birth, wrapping Christmas presents, making clam chowder for a family dinner tonight, and reflecting on what this year has brought. The gifts of this year have been amazing.