It is a little after 5AM. Less then 24 hours ago, we met our son Knox Thomas Steele Martsolf for the first time. He entered the world at 0725 and I will write the whole birth story up very soon. Right now though, when I should be stocking up on sleep and taking advantage of the fabulous nurses who staff the nursery, I want to say some words to the only person in the universe brave enough to go through two natural births with me.
I know from the day you married me you have been worried that I would have a slow,steady descent into craziness. My love for all things herbal, natural and experimental- including humans- used to make you very uncomfortable. And so over the past 8 years, we have compromised on a daily basis. We have both become comfortable enough in our own skin to change when it fits our relationship,and cling to the bits of ourselves cultivated in college and beyond that made us individuals.
In a sense, we grew up together. I will never forget sitting in Jeffrey Lancaster's basement hearing about the concept of community for perhaps the first time, and thinking that was the way to go. Our passionate agreement about the life we wanted has made us into the family we are. We love people well. Our home has always been open to whomever wanted to wander in and our life has been made so colorful by the people we never would have met if we weren't constantly seeking community. We let people in- even when the house is a disaster and we have been fighting all day. No pretends with us-and that makes me proud.
And now, we are passing this along to the next generation. Purslane is an amazing person who is so used to having different people around that she totally just skipped over the developmental step of separation anxiety. Do you know how lucky we are just to be able to leave the house when we go out of dates without needing to give a babysitter a long list of ways to distract her so we can slip out? She asks whomever is sitting on our couch to read her books, because she has learned to open her heart too. And now we get the chance to teach our little man about loving humankind. We are lucky, Grant.
And now back to these babes and particularly their entry into the world. You knew that I wanted natural home births from the day we started talking about children. I wanted the full experience of birthing a baby and even though you thought I was crazy, I will never forget the day you called and told me you had done all the leg work of finding a Bradley instructor and had already signed us up. Here was another compromise. Your nervous risk-averse self could not accept an unassisted birth, so you found a way to make the experience work for both of us. You went with me to every class, practiced every technique and learned everything you could about helping me through childbirth naturally. Your running joke about an elective C-section wasn't lost on me- I know if you could eliminate every element of surprise or possible adverse outcome you would have done that. But you let me do this my way.
And so, this morning we have another babe who entered the world in a dramatic parade of natural childbirth. We were lucky again to have babes who just want to start their lives and don't waste much time being born. I'm sure your back would hurt less, your ears wouldn't be ringing with the feral sounds that come out of me during labor, and you would enjoy the experience more knowing everything was under control- but you let me birth our babies how I wanted. I have no regrets. And I will always be thankful for your grace and strength in the most intense of circumstances- you and I did this together and every time I look at our gorgeous children I will remember that they came into the world with both of their parents so ready to be right there to meet them. Thank you for giving this to me.
I love you, Grant.