She has changed so much just in these past twelve months, growing into a wonderful young lady. She is a sweet soul. Every cell in her being has a kindness gene. Gentle and sensitive, but not too fragile, can be tough as nails and can climb trees and out run the boys on the street. Generous. Quiet confidence. Strong faith. She's been a blessing from the start.
Want to take a trip back in time with me?
Twelve years ago, 9-11 had just happened. I was eight months pregnant and determined not to let the fears that griped many in our nation grip me. I was going to have a baby, nothing was going to bring me down.
Euly's story begins a little further back. Late 2000, we had a rare opportunity to visit Spain, on the island of Ibiza, with a travel partner deal to stay at a five star condo for $100 for the week. Crazy? We weren't. So we went. Craig, me, Max, Molly and little chubby Nick.
We stayed in a town on the Mediterranean Sea named Santa Eulalia del Rio, in honor of Saint Eulalia. She is a patron saint over pregnancy and weather; a very young, early Christian martyr.
As soon as we returned from Spain, we moved to Texas. As soon as we unpacked our boxes, I found out I was pregnant. I asked Saint Eulalia's protection for my baby. The months flew by. I'm busy raising Max, Molly and Nick, enjoying life. I have been blessed with good uncomplicated pregnancies. But still fear labor from the moment I see the positive pregnancy test, so I planned another home birth.
All my babies were born in different places with different birth assistants. I had a home birthing neighbor recommend a registered nurse midwife who helped with her own home births.
I loved Carol from the start! We clicked; I have found having a midwife as your friend during pregnancy is on the best support to have, after a supportive husband. Her office was located in a town north of me about an hour. I loved my office visits. We usually planned them around lunch and went out for pizza with my kids. She loved them. They loved her too. We had a great time building our relationship, learning about each other and building the trust needed to share this experience.
I was still moving along in my faith journey and was reading through the scriptures and meditated on:
Genesis 3:16 To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee.
1 Timothy 2:15 Yet she shall be saved through child bearing; if she continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.
John 16:21 A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
I felt very close to our Blessed Mother during this pregnancy and thought if she could suffer having her baby in a cave away from her family, trusting completely in God, I should have no fears with my delivery. (I later read Anne Catherine Emmerick's book on her visions of the holy birth, and without original sin, there would not have been labor pain.)
I wanted to offer every pain for my new child's soul, my soul, and my family.
36 and a half weeks:
Carol thought she had plenty of time before I'd deliver since Nicholas had been two weeks late and she go to Austin to visit her daughter. I wasn't due until November 8.
October 14, 9:45 p.m., kids were in bed sleeping, my water broke.
We called Carol and just then learned she was out of town.
She asked if there were labor pains, assured us we had plenty of time.
She'd call her apprentice midwife (who lived over an hour away) to come meet her at my house. She said they'd both leave immediately. She promised to stay in constant contact if Craig needed her until she arrived.
My last home birth I had used an ottoman for support to lean over during pains, and Craig thought he'd stage an area in the living room, rubbed my back while I relaxed laying on the ottoman. He could see the labor was progressing quickly. He did not want to deliver the baby, fearing last minute complications.
Well, it was not looking good for him. I don't remember difficult contractions, just getting excited to meet the baby and noticing he was a little agitated. He was on the phone a lot with Carol telling her my progress, and what to do. She was speeding back, yelling instructions, telling him to calm down, everything would be fine. We'd laugh and keep things happy and calm. Transition was already upon us with the tell tale sign of nausea. Once past that awful experience, I'm usually ready to push.
11:15 pm: I really wanted to push, and Carol told Craig to tell me to hang on, Jennifer really was close by. It felt like she has been telling me that now for hours. Those who have had to "hold" through the urge to push understand the powerful need and how hard it is to fight it.
11:35 pm: A soft knock at the front door and "Hello, I'm the midwife." Jennifer comes in. Washes up, talks with Craig, looks at me and realizes it is time!
11:45 pm: As I am kneeling, I push and deliver the baby, Jennifer catches, Craig yells: "It's a girl!" She passes the baby to me and Joy! This chubby red faced baby had my heart! Even with vernix everywhere, she looked so beautiful!
Easiest delivery ever! Praise God! Sitting in the glow of new baby joy, Jennifer is busy checking me and baby and doing what midwives do, while I'm in a cloud of happiness!
12:30 am: Carol comes in, very excited! She wanted to know every detail. She ran and woke Max and Molly to introduce them to their new sister. Molly went back to sleep, Max was up for the night holding his new sweet sibling, in love.
An hour post birth, I started feeling like I was sinking, and Carol brought me juice and I felt better. I usually get the post birth leg shakes, and stated feeling tired. The midwives prepared my bed and helped me relax and handed me our new baby "Grace". Craig wanted that name since the last baby, but it didn't fit since he turned out to be a boy. We just called her "Baby" until Ceci was born.
She was a good strong nurser and a healthy baby.
Grace: God's favor, God's gifts, love.
Perfect name for this baby! We also named her in honor of Saint Eulalia who was with me in prayer through her pregnancy.
Eulalia: to speak well.
Molly preferred we call her Euly since we picked such a good saint to be her Patron.
For some, it is too unusual to pronounce, or some say Julie. I've been told it is a mouthful to say.
We call her "You-Lee," and have pronounced her name "You-lal-LEE-ah"
or "You-LA-lee-ah", there is a difference that's easier to hear.
Linked at Grace's Camp Patton birth story link up.
Linked at Grace's Camp Patton birth story link up.