I went to get a "hair thing" [elastic], out of my baby-kiddo-mominator-backpack today, and as I fished around in one of the pockets to find one, my hand came across a little velvety pouch. I couldn't figure out what the hell could be in said pouch, for as a mom to a maniac-lady-woman and an infant Budman, I don't get out much these days. But when I opened the pouch and poured out its contents, my eyes welled up.
See, a few days before I went in to labor with "Baby Deuce" as we called him before we knew he was indeed a him, I packed something I wanted to rely on as a strength, or beacon, or focal point, or reminder of some sort of all the loves and determination and energy I'd need to have this baby in a birth center, without drugs and without Western intervention.
On the chain I placed 7 things:
-A ring that once belonged to my maternal grandmother (who died while my mom was a teen), as a reminder to embrace motherhood and be warm to my children even if my soul was feeling cold
-My long gone dog Kiote's tag as a reminder of my first 'baby' and her youthful, spiteful, and silly spirit
-A turquoise pendant made by Scott A. Yellowhorse and the journeys that I made out west that forever changed me
-A silver hibiscus ring given to me by my father, who in his great absences made me grateful that my children have the father I always wanted, in my husband
-The demure, understated, plain wedding ring that my Pop-Pop gave my grandmother to remind me that love is more powerful than things and sensibilities
-A giant white flower ring I wore in one of my best friend's weddings: a reminder that 'family' may be by blood but people that you choose are family by heart! I've got a great authentic sisterhood of strength.
-A sapphire ring my mother gave me. My birthstone. As a single mother, the reminder of the incredible endurance and greatness she has allowed me to witness and the journey it's probably taken us both to appreciate.
In the roughest moment of labor, as I leaned in to my husband, I closed my eyes and summoned all the “strengths” I hung on that chain. It was all of those things, all of those people, all of those feelings that I saw in the sparkles behind my eyelids. When I opened them, I gasped "THIS IS THE LAST ONE!" I pushed one more time and then Ken and I delivered our new baby on the bed.