First Birthday (love song for a baby)

You came to me from a distant landThe secret place of my innermost beingYou traveled miles and milesTo find me You came in the space between my two greatest sorrows. When the lamp of my womb went out, suddenlyLeaving me with a cold-wind feelingLike the door to every chamber of my heartHad been left blowing…

Vision and Hindsight, A Tale of Two Lists

The year flew by.  This morning I was sitting at the kitchen table, lamenting all the things that I meant to do last year–my open journal with the list I scribbled down, wide-eyed, like a child on her birthday, a January ago.  Beautiful vision.  And just like that, I blinked, and those twelve months are…

My Beautiful Dying Mother, A Birth Story

Mama had nine children.  I am the youngest, and I have often felt a deep sense of gratitude that she surrendered her life to this process so many times.  I see it as no small miracle that I even exist in the world.  And that my seven children exist. Mama was always the first person…

Singing Out a Baby, the Birth Story of Rune O’Carolan Chester

“I am walking into this labor differently than I ever have before.  I am walking into it with a spirit of fight.  Not just trying to keep my peace, not just trying to stay calm, not just surviving and getting to the other side.  I am walking into this labor with the desire to put…

The Poetry of This Morning (On the Day Before My Due Date)

The poetry of this particular morning is not lost on me.  May 15.  The day before my due date.  I woke early this morning after a night of mild, sporadic contractions, wondering if today will be the day that we will meet our son.  It could happen at any moment.  The waves of contractions reminded…

Joy and Sorrow (How Does Your Garden Grow)

It still hits me in waves. Not like it did last spring.  When my little garden was blooming and sheets of rain came down steadily day after day.  I drank tea in the music room and looked out over the mint and the marigolds and all the beautiful shimmering living things growing there in the…

Are You Going to Have More?

People are always asking me if we are going to have more children.  The tiniest bit of smalltalk can tease this question out of a complete and utter stranger.  We go from eye contact, to a silent head count of my six kids, to are all these yours and are you going to have more……

Having Children: A Spiritual Journey

Over the last few weeks, I have been rereading old blog posts and speculating about my life.  The past year has been both incredibly sweet and difficult, trying to balance daily life with six young children with all the demands of three meals a day, the never-ending laundry, growing a home business, homeschool, planning for…

Waiting on Azalea Jane, a birth story

I am writing this weeks after Azalea was born, and it reminds me of the way you feel the next morning after waking up from a nightmare.  In the middle of the night, a dream can feel so terrifying.  Your heart is pounding.  You felt that it was so real.  The next morning, when you…

Heidi Wren Chester: A Birth Story

I am so grateful to this little sweet baby for what she has done for me.  This is the story of how Heidi Wren came into our world five weeks ago. We rearranged the house most of the day, except for when Randy took Rosie and Paloma to Babyland General for a birthday party to see a…

Waiting

Groundhog Day is probably the funniest day of the year to have as your official due date.  There are lots of hilarious jokes that can be made about the baby seeing its shadow, six more weeks of being pregnant, and of course lots of references to the Groundhog Day movie.  I can’t think of another holiday…

The Last Few Days of Pregnancy

I am in the last week or so of pregnancy.  I can feel my heart and my mind being pulled in so many different directions.  There is part of me that wants to sit down and enjoy the last few days of normal sleeping patterns, two free hands, the freedom to be away for more…