I feel surprisingly less sentimental about this day than I expected (although I don’t know yet what tomorrow will bring). This is the day, four years ago, that I went into labor with Anna and had one of the most transformative experiences of my adult life. While I still deeply appreciate what it was, I greet this anniversary with contentment and peace. There is no pain or longing for the past. There is a look and a smile at what it was, and then a savoring of the present moment.
I am still a little sentimental about Jeanne, my beloved midwife who cared for me before, during and after the birth of Anna. I suspect I always will be sentimental about her; she has a special place in my heart. Sometimes I see someone who looks like her and it gets me thinking of her, and I can get a little choked up about it. She was such an important part of my journey, and for that short time, I needed her. Accepting that I do not need her anymore and may never need her again has taken some work on my part, but I think I am mostly there now.
I turn 35 this year, and my body no longer feels up for the challenge of another pregnancy, birth, and baby. It is hard work in so many ways. I am now in a place where I look forward to a future that looks quite different from my past; I am in a place where I am able to embrace the present without longing for what I no longer have. In this moment I have a very lively (and at times, exhausting) little bundle of joy, and she turns four tomorrow. FOUR!
Happy fourth birthday, Anna, and happy home-birth anniversary to me.