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All Things Iva

It's the beginning of August 2009, I just finished teaching my last classes for the semester. I was teaching yoga, meditation and yoga teacher training courses for Salt Lake Community College. I'm ready to commit to nesting mode in preparation for my due date, September 5th. The next couple of days, I work mostly from home, complete grades and final communications to students to close the semester. It's all going so smoothly, according to my plans. "I'm doing so well", I thought to myself, "I have so much time to prepare for Iva's arrival".

The next morning, I woke up, put my feet to the floor to go to the bathroom. Being far along in pregnancy, bathroom breaks seem to be constant. I stood up, squish....what? I took a step, squish, then another, squish, step, squish. I look down and realize I am standing in a small puddle of fluid. Huh? This isn't part of the plan, I have nearly a month to go. I take a few deep breaths, go pee, then call my midwife, Honee. It's about 4:30 in the morning, it takes her a moment to wake up. "You're only 36 weeks", she says, "According to state law, you cannot deliver here at the birthing center, you have to go to the hospital." Uh-oh, this is not part of the plan either.

I text Kevin, my husband, he's always worked early hours and is already away. "Call me now". I go to the couch, Dot on my lap and watch the early morning arrive at Lake Rockport. This is it, today everything changes, today I become a mother. But what about my plans, my perfect preparations? None of her clothes are washed and put away. Her car seat is still in the box. Do I have a bag packed for the hospital? I was supposed to have a month for all of this...

Kevin comes home from work and installs the car seat in Daisy May. We drive 45 minutes to the hospital and get checked in. "Both you and the baby are fine", the nurse says, "Do you want to start some pitocin to get the contractions started?" No thanks. I relax in the hospital room. Kevin comes and goes. A dear friend and yoga teacher, also very pregnant, comes by to wish me well. I feel fine, resting, taking walks up and down the hallway. In fact, I do that all day and night, until the next morning comes.

Labor hits me hard, the hospital midwife arrives with an assistant and tells me to focus all my energy on my first chakra. How lucky am I to have a random midwife that speaks my language? I ride the waves, endure the sensations and breathe as best I can. Just when I think I can't do it any more, she leaves my body and I hold her for the first time. She's so tiny, bright and beautiful, adorned with a head full of dark hair. I fall in love and fall asleep with her in my arms.

Kevin dresses her, I giggle as I recall he put her clothes on backwards. We get into Daisy May and drive back to our cabin, a family for the first time. On the way home, I notify friends and family of her arrival, however, I'm not up for visitors yet. I remain with her and do not leave the cabin for seven weeks.

Today, Iva turns 11 years old. It's the same day of the week as she was born, a Thursday. We are still so close, although now we share clothes and have long conversations. Last week, she was at her best friend's house and she and her friend painted half a heart for each other. Inside the heart, they painted words to describe each other. I smile as I think those same words her best friend used to describe her are the same words I would use to describe her as a baby and even now, 11 years later.


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