Eamon Bua Sanford MacAuley was born on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 5:41 pm at Reston Hospital, Virginia. He was born lovely and healthy by non-emergency C-section in a relatively short, straightforward operation. Gratefully, Lacy came through very well too. I was in the next room just outside the door while Lacy’s twin sister, Lorien, was in the operating room. I heard the first exclamation of, “Oh, look at the beautiful baby!” and his first cries seconds later. Eamon was wheeled out and into my waiting arms within minutes, Lacy following suit just a few minutes after that. The whole procedure lasted less than 20 minutes. It followed, however, a long arduous process of contractions, inducing efforts and fatigue, plus a long stint after the bag of waters broke. Nonetheless, as a fetus, Eamon never faltered.
The baby weighed in at 7 lb. 14 oz. and was 20.5″ long. Significantly, his head was 10.35 cm in diameter, a bit above the 10 cm target for dilation most people talk about being necessary for vaginal birth. Lacy and or Eamon would have suffered so much more physical trauma (or worse) if a well-trained hospital staff weren’t available for a C-section. Eamon would not be as healthy today if we didn’t have bottles and formula to help him grow as Lacy and Eamon work into the most naturally productive feeding method possible as her milk starts to flow and his “latching” improves.
I am grateful to all the labor and delivery nurses and maternity nurses, midwifes, dulas and encouraging staff who are there for mothers, babies and families. I don’t think there are other hospital units where professionals openly speak of their own personal experiences with what the patient is going through so readily. I love and am in awe of my friends in the field all the more! I’m grateful for Dr. Hashemi’s deft surgical hands.
I apologize for the delay in informing you of Aemon’s amazing presence and thanking you all for the loving and prayerful responses to my last post. I want you all to know how absolutely beautiful and moving Eamon is and how special it feels to hold him. I am not one who “needs” to hold newborn babies. I gaze entranced at them, and prefer a gentle touch while they are in the arms of another or laying down. With Eamon, I immediately felt pulled to hold him close though, to soothe and celebrate his crying with my own. (There they are again, my tears, as I write this.)
I am back in Oakland now with plans to go back in early January. Our way forward is still coming into focus. I know Lacy has love, community and family there–much help, close at hand, ready for the asking–and this was her vision. I helped prepare their house for safer, more comfortable habitation. I was there to help Lacy settle in and set up her space for her and Eamon. I shopped and tended. I also soothed and comforted. I changed poopy diapers and was able to be at his first doctor visit. I’m not done giving and being there for Eamon. It is probably helpful also to be giving Lacy, Lorien and Sarah a little time to redefine their homespace with Eamon there.
I am grateful to all the mothers I know and the children who have taught me how to relate. Thank you to the fathers I called for council and reassurance. This is new, and I don’t want to analyze things too much. I do feel far away, and I’m out of Eamon’s field of view unless I’m right there. I still trust that he will recognize my voice and respond familiarly again to my deep tones with stilling cries. I am so looking forward to holding him again!