September 14, 2011
A Welcome, With Thanks
It has been a while since I was at a birth. I stopped several years ago, because the work I was doing outside of birth didn't let me devote the time that I believe families deserve though the childbearing year. I have missed it often, and with fondness.
Posted by Stephanie at September 14, 2011 1:30 PM
There is a miracle that happens at births, and I don't mean the miracle of life, because heaven help us all, that can happen without much.
Some birth workers like watching people become a family, right before their eyes. Some birth workers like being present when life enters, and takes its first big breaths, and don't get me wrong- Both of those things can take me to my knees in an instant and are so meaningful to me that I have a deeply private and important list of the names of people I have known since that first moment, but that has never been the reason that I do it.
I could tell you about the logical reasons. I could tell you that I feel it's profoundly important for healthy mums and babies to have healthy, low intervention births, and that having skilled midwives and doulas makes it all the more likely. I could talk to you at length about how I think those low intervention births stack the deck for easier bonding, easier breastfeeding and dyads who bounce back from birth faster, and with more joy and less work - and I swear to you in the name of all that I hold dear, those things are absolutely true - but they still aren't why I love to be there.
I do it, because nothing else... nothing else, compares to watching a woman move mountains with her own self, to watching her rise to a challenge and meet the moment with all she has, and that experience is only enhanced when she is supported by those who care for her, respect her, and want her to be empowered by the journey.
There is nobody, out the other side of that sort of strong birth, who is not better prepared to meet the absolutely remarkable challenges of parenthood. When the power and trust is transferred to the mother, when she delivers her child, rather than "is delivered" when she chooses, rather than "is allowed", no matter what sort of technical birth she has, she is stronger, fiercer, and better. After a trip like that, you would kill for that child, and you know you can.
This is all a long way of saying that I have missed it. The miraculous moment when a woman owns the living daylights out of her own body, and moves something incredible through it. It breaks my heart with the strength, the dignity and the bravery of it.
Thanks for allowing me to be there Jen, and welcome to your achingly beautiful daughter Marlowe.
You are both a miracle.
PS. Jen kept her end of the deal. I got to hold the baby,
so she got all the knits. Straight exchange.
Congratulations, Jen, on the birth of your daughter, Marlowe. And Marlowe, welcome to the world where you have been eagerly awaited by hundreds of knitters that you may never meet.
Welcome Little Marlowe! Hope you and your mum are doing wonderful. Stephanie thank you for sharing!
Congrats to all....... Happy Birthday Marlowe!
Welcome baby Marlowe! Congrats to Jen and family. Thanks, Stephanie for sharing with us.
Well done from the UK!!! I reckoned you were on your way, Marlowe, when the knitting posts stopped. Thank you so much to Stephanie, Jen and the baby - I have loved sharing, in this small way, your part of your journey.
Nothing lovelier than a happy, healthy birth for mama and baby. Congrats to Jen on her beautiful daughter and crossing the threshold that childbirth challenges all of us as women to pass over in order to become mama's. Plus there's nothing better than a pile of handknits to welcome in an early fall baby!
YAYAYAYAYAY!!!! Congrats Jen, she's beautiful!
Congratulations to Jen!
Your post has inspired me. In a few months I will be having my fourth child. I had the experience you described with my oldest. There is a bond between my son and I that is different he with my 2 girls that were medically intervened with. I hope this birth is just what you described.
Woo-hoo! I repeat, woo-hoo! Way to go Jen and Marlowe, and such a beautiful tribute Stephanie. I think knits for holding is an awesome and totally fair exchange, too. = )
Well, HI Marlowe! Aren't you just BEAUTIFUL! Guess what... you already have lots and lots of friends in this world! Welcome!
Happy Birthday to the lovely Marlowe. Congradulations Jen and thank you for letting Stephenie share with us. And once again Stephenie thank you for taking us along with you.
Thank you, Stephanie, for the most moving post. I have tears in my eyes. Congrats to Jen & family...and do thank her for letting you post the photos of her beautiful daughter. The face in the top photo is precious indeed, just like the baby bundled inside.
Beautiful baby and lovely name! Congratulations to all involved.
Beautiful girl with a *beautiful* name.
And lots of beautiful knits. ;)
Warmest wishes to all. :)
Welcome Marlowe, Well done Jen! Gongrats to all and a thank you to you Stephanie...
and a hello to the knitting world from Germany!
Awww! When there wasn't another post with knitted baby squees, I knew she must be on the way! She's perfectly darling. Congratulations!
Peace and joy to all.
Welcome little Marlowe you are much loved and desired child in this big world. May you grow in strength and grace.
Jen you are a warrior - Stephanie could not have described the wonder of birth better. Congratulations!
Stephanie - you have the heart of lion and you guard your dear ones with your strength and love. You are a blessing to many.
Yeah! What wonderfull news!
What a beautiful baby and post. Please thank Jen for allowing you to post the pictures, and congratulations to her and her family. I've been having a rough week and that made me feel much better.
That was by far the most beautiful post I think I ever read!
congratulations Jen and Stephanie!
Aww congratulations to Jen, she is absolutely gorgeous and looks so precious all wrapped up in that blanket.
Oh - Marlowe you now share a birthday with Nicholas James - he turned 10 today and is the delight of his old aunties life. Because of you this is now a doubly special day.
Pretty much the most moving post of yours I've ever read...as a mom myself, you hit me where I've got the softest spot--where the love for my son resides--and moved me to tears in the process...
Welcome to the world, Marlowe...it's an amazing place!
Beautifully said! Congrats Jen and family.
What a wonderful tribute to the miracle that you got to witness. Thank you for sharing in your writerly way, all the power of that strong woman, that is now called mother. Heartfelt congratulations to all, that is a baby already much loved. You all fill my heart with gratitude.
**sob!!!** those are tears of joy.
Welcome Marlowe, may you have a long and happy life, Jen: congratulations and a speedy recovery.
Steph: thanks for putting it so eloquently.
Happy birthday little Marlowe and congratulations Jen!
Thank you Stephanie for keeping us informed.
Gave me goose bumps reading your post. Birth day is the best day. Welcome little Marlowe!
I think I know just the kind of birth you mean. My water broke 2 days after my "due" date, and my doctor told me it was too risky to go beyond 24 hours after I lost the fluid even though I was not in labor and had no dialation or effacement. I was induced, and I screamed, cried, fought, puked, sweated amd sweared though it... but my doctor let me go, even when I passed the 24 hour mark by 2 hours and kept pushing. I did not have the C-section they were planning, and I did have the most magical birth at last. She is still my very best friend, almost 15 years later. Well done, everyone involved.
This post reminded me of all the simple and profound beauty in the world. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing this with us (: I'm so very glad for Jen and her family (now bigger by one wee babe).
and that's a mighty fine stack of knitting to welcome little Marlowe into a Toronto autumn (:
rock on, all of you (but especially Jen)! congratulations to the entire family!
Congratulations to the beautiful family!
And thank you, Stephanie, for the homage to natural births... Both of my children were born at home with the help of a wonderful midwife, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.
Congrats! Welcome Marlowe!
What a beautiful baby. Blessed. Your post moved me to tears. Congratulations Jen! Thank you both for sharing your personal joy with us.
Thank you. You made me cry. And almost nothing does. Have a wonderful life Marlowe.
I love this part of you. Welcome Marlowe, and congrats to Jen and their family!
Mazel Tov to Jen and family!
Ahh Stephanie, How wonderful. I had my 5th child at home with a midwife. It was a wonderful experience. I worked with her for 2 years after that. Your right..it is a spiritual experience and I cried at each birth and I still cry..I still marvel at the wonder of it all..I am so glad you got to be there...Ruth G.
Congratulations to the brave mom! She's gorgeous, and reminds me of my second daughter when she was born.. she was a big baby too :)
Welcome to this beautiful, crazy world, Marlowe!
What a wonderful and beautiful tribute to womanhood and birth. I'm single with no children and never thought of the experience that way. So very moving the way you expressed it here.
Marlowe, is indeed, achingly beautiful. Congrats to all of you.
Congratulations to Jen and her gorgeous baby, Marlowe!!
She's so beautiful! Marlowe is such a lovely, lovely name, too. I always adore names that are unconventional.
A beautiful stack of knits to match a beautiful baby. Rock on, Jen and Marlowe! :)
Congratulations to Jen and her gorgeous baby, Marlowe!!
Well said and Congratulations to Momma a Babe!
Happy birthday and best wishes for a long, happy, loving life, Marlowe.
Beautiful work, Jen.
Thank you for letting us be a distant part of it all, both Jen and Stephanie.
I knew it had to be the most wonderful news when my sister told me to read the YH blog long before the usual posting at 2 pm our time! I am sitting in a grey cubicle in a beige building with tears of joy that won't stop runnind down my face because of the rainbows of emotions you all have added to my day. Thank you.
Welcome to Earth, Marlowe! Congratulations to you and to all who love you. I wish for you a long and joyful life.
I wonder if someday you'll have the opportunity to read these many posts about you -- not just to learn the story of the many gifts Stephanie made for you while she (and your family) waited, but also to see this community of friendly strangers who waited with her, and were so very happy to learn about your big day, even though most of us will never meet you in person. Sometimes, the world is like this.
Jen, congratulations! There is nothing better than giving birth and holding that new life and all the responsibilities it entails! Mine are 23, 21, 19 and 16 and I still remember the first moment i saw each of them.
Marlowe, you may have challenging times in your growing up years, hope your mom and Aunt Steph remind you that hundreds of knitters were sending prayers and wishes for a healthy arrival and a happy life - hopefully they will remind you that were awaited and loved by many who know what a gift you will be in the world. Have a blessed life.
Welcome to the world, little Marlowe. You have been eagerly anticipated by the many people who love your mum, and are ready to enfold you with their love as well.
Jen, congratulations on your beautiful little girl. May she continue to grow strong and healthy, and fill your life with joy. Thank you for allowing all of us to share the miracle.
Stephanie, thank you for giving us a glimpse into such a special, private moment. This post brought tears to my eyes (in a good way!).
Welcome to the world Marlowe! Congratulations to Jen (the waiting is ALWAYS worth it! 3/4 of my babies were 'late') and thank you so much Stephanie for putting into words what is in my heart about the doula work I do (seldom as it is nowadays).
Welcome Marlowe! Congratulations Jen! and thank you for letting Steph share your story with us all.
Thank you Steph for telling the story. Both my children were born at home. I thank my lucky stars that I learned of this possibility, followed my heart and turned a deaf ear to those who do not understand, or who are perhaps afraid of, the transformative power of birth. That experience, which you so eloquently described, has made all the difference.
Congratulations, Jen! You have a beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing her with Stephanie's readers.
So very beautiful, and yes, also true. I had what you might call a "technical birth" but my doc and doula were fantastic and I felt in charge of my decisions. And that first moment, when the nurse turned to ask a question of me, because I was "the mom" instead of "the patient"? It still makes me tear up.
Steph, I love the way you describe things. At my son's birth, I didn't get to 'own the living daylights out of [my] own body' - emergency C sections don't really allow the opportunity. But I know what you meant, and how that feels.
Congratulations to the new family and to Auntie Stephanie, who makes beautiful wee things for people across the world to gawk at.
Beautiful... that's all I can say...simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing the wonder.
beautiful beautiful beautiful, in every way possible.
Just Beautiful! One of God's miracles!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Little Marlowe and many, many happy wishes to Jen. Thank you and Steph, for allowing us in on the journey.
Beautiful baby! Moving post... I am teary. Good job, everyone!
There is nothing more snuggly than a baby in a wooly blankie. Especially when it is a hand knit one. ;)
Thanks to Jen for letting us see the girl and for you for knitting such a fantastic set of goodies. I need to do the same sooner or later. The knitting part, not the baby. Men having babies? Ew.
I'm so happy for her and for you for getting to hold the cutie. This has been such a great story. Thanks for letting us share in it.
I have been clicking on the site all day long like an expectant aunt waiting to see if the baby was born. What a wonderful way to enter the world--surrounded by people who love you and with the hopes and spirits of thousands of strangers waiting to welcome you! I wish Marlowe a life full of such strangers. Please give her a little kiss on the head from me.
Gorgeous,precious baby! Beautiful sentiments. Thanks for letting us be a part of it. Congratulations!
That is one chubby little one. Congrats to all!
Mazel Tov! Welcome to a great,big adventure, Marlowe!
I once considered at length becoming a doula, for the very same reason. I'm not big on babies, I don't even plan on having any of my own, I'm totally in it for the women and doing whatever I can to aid the natural rite of passage. I felt like this was a horrible, selfish thing, to not be in it for the babies, so I must say I'm delighted to hear this is not a bad thing. Blessed be!
I've often wanted to ask you about your experiences as a doula, and if you miss it. This entry summed it up perfectly.
Welcome to the world, Marlowe! My best to you and your family.
What a sweetheart! Congratulations Jen. She's beautiful. And thanks to her Auntie Steph, she's going to be the best dressed baby in town.
Beautiful. Happy Birthday Marlowe. Jen...you made a beautiful human. Congratulations.
Congratulations to the newest member of the human race.
Meanwhile, I am anxiously awaiting the birth of our third grandchild whose arrival is projected for tomorrow. These pictures and your words just served to increase my level of anticipation and excitement for the big event....as if that were possible! Come on out to play little baby - Nana can't wait to meet you.
Marlowe is beautiful and I'm so glad to know that she has safely arrived into the arms of her family. Thanks for sharing the sweet photos.
Beautifully said, Stephanie. Congratulations to Jen, and welcome to the world, Marlowe!
This is awesome. Everyone looks so amazing. I'm much more used to the pictures where the mom is red faced and sweaty and looks like she needs to sleep for a year. Congrats to Jen, Marlowe and the rest of their family.
Sweetest baby ever! And well said, Stephanie, brought tears to my eyes.
I'm so happy for all of you! What a beautiful little (big) girl :) What a wonderful way to enter the world, surrounded by so much love. And whew I'm glad it's over! The last pic I saw of Jen, and that was weeks ago, I didn't see how that baby could possibly get any bigger, I'm glad Jen made it through fine.
I don't know if it's the beautiful baby, or the eloquent post, or the cocktail I had at lunch, but I'm sitting at my desk crying. Mazel Tov to Jen and Marlowe. And to you, Stephanie, for reminding me what it is to bring a child into the world.
YES! This is exactly why I am in midwifery school (finally!). Thank you for sharing this post, and congratulations to Jen.
Congratulations, Jen, on your beautiful Marlowe. It looks like she used the extra time she had to grow in strength and beauty.
Well dammit. You made me cry today Stephanie. So there is just one thing left to say. Amen.
Beautiful photos and commentary. I had a home birth which I would do again in a heart beat...except I'm not planning any more kids. Very soon after my son's birth I had to rise "to meet the absolutely remarkable challenges of parenthood" and sign a consent for him to have heart surgery. I had to. What helped in a small way was that I had just done the very difficult thing of giving birth; I was then stronger and able to do an even more difficult thing. It was worth it, both the home birth and the surgery.
My second child was adopted, a very different journey but equally worth it. Birth is certainly a unique wonderful experience but other paths to becoming a family are just as unique and wonderful.
I was privilaged to be my sister-in-law's coach as she delivered her son, you have described the moment beautifully...
Jen, your baby is beautiful.
Congratulations to Jen, and Welcome! Welcome! to beautiful Marlowe. As ever, your post is a lovely & moving tribute to women of power, aka moms. 'Scuse me, I need a tissue.
Yay for beautiful baby & momma, and double yay for home birth! It could change the world, I tell ya!
Exactly. This is why I am a doula.
Welcome to the world, Marlowe!
Stephanie, thank you. This post moved me to tears. Every word is absolutely, utterly true, and voiced something I've never been entirely able to articulate about my own experience of giving birth to my boy, sans interventions, sans drugs. Wow.
Congratulations to Jen and family!
Stephanie, what a beautiful post you've written. Thank you.
Well dammit. You made me cry today Stephanie. So there is just one thing left to say. Amen.
Beautiful post Steph! Beautiful baby, Jen! I LOVE her name!
Some will think I'm morbid, but I have many of those same deep feelings (without the joy) when being present at the time of death---it is a spiritual experience.
Thanks for sharing.
Stephanie, Thank you for such a fantastic description of what birth means to you. I terrified a lot of my family when I decided to have a low/no intervention birth outside of a hospital. Your post describes, much more eloquently than I managed, many of the main reasons I decided that was best for me.
YAY babies! The pictures, the words, everything, have moved me to tears.
Well said, Stephanie. Tears in my eyes; it is all so true. Welcome Marlowe. Congrats, Jen. Thank you, Steph.
Welcome and congratulations! I had both my boys at home, and would not have done it any other way unless it was absolutely necessary. So many people just don't get it, but everything you said is so true, Steph. Enjoy that new baby... assuming Jen will share!
Thank you SO much for this post. Both of my kids were born "the natural way" but not once have I realized how strong I have been and actualy what a feat it was to deliver them. I kind of thought I was a wuss for crying and screaming, and was angry at myself for being so weak that I could not bear the pain with more dignity. This is the first time ever that I realized that these words of yours: "a woman move mountains with her own self, to watching her rise to a challenge and meet the moment with all she has" really did apply to me. I hope to have more births and to feel empowered rather than stupid and incompetent.
Thanks so much to both of you - Jen for allowing us a window into this precious moment, and Stephanie for documenting it so simply and beautifully. I am honoured to have been included.
Give Jen a hearty congratulations and a special hug to Marlowe to welcome her to the world of knitters.
Thank you, Steph, for your profound words & the beautiful pictures of Marlowe. Congratulations to Jen & her brood & thanks for allowing us to be part of the journey.
What a lovely, lovely thing to share. My birth experiences were both fiercely powerful, and empowering, because of the bond I shared with my doula and the family there supporting me.
Thanks for being one of those who make such experiences possible!
Marlowe is beautiful. The world will be better for her presence. Jen, you did well. <3
Aw.... A NEW BAYBEEEEEE! yay!
Congrats to Jen!!!! I was there to see the birth of my niece Alexis and I have to say your that overwhelmed with joy the minute she's born that you can't help but cry. I know you enjoyed every moment with your friend. Thanks for the Baby watch 2011 it was awesome!
This is an amazing post. I would've been happy with, "The baby has arrived!" Instead, you followed up the gorgeous posts featuring adorable baby knits with this breath-taking writing. Congrats to Jen and the baby!
How beautiful! God bless you, Marlowe! Congratulations, Jen and Stephanie!! I will miss all these beautiful baby things you have been knitting!
I knew there was a good reason you didnt post yesterday!! Congrats Jen! Welcome Marlowe. Cannot say anymore on your post except for this. Well said!
Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience with so many of us who are now your extended family. Jen and Marlowe have touched us deeply.
You have brought me to tears with your words. The mere sight of Marlowe was enough to do that, but your words pushed me over the edge.
Jen is a lucky woman and mommy.
I had my child via C-section and implying that I am less "bonded" or less likely to fight to the death for my child than someone who had their child in a bathtub or whatever is very insulting. My family would just laugh at the thought of me being more bonded or more maternal. I have nothing against natural births, but some people don't have the "luxury" due to health issues of either the mother or the baby. Love your blog, love your knitting, but I must take exception to this post.
Welcome to the world Baby Marlowe! You are well loved.
Thanks Steph, and Jen, for sharing with us. She's precious!
WOW great job Jen... Beautiful May God Bless you all.... It's love.....
Beautiful name for a beautiful baby!
First of all - many congratulations to Jen and her beautiful baby.
Second - How movingly you write about the wonder of birth and new life and how I echo your sentiments. However, as someone who had a very high intervention birth and post-partum experience (massive haemorrhage after c-section resulting in emergency hysterectomy when my daughter was hours old) I would like to add, and I appreciate I was fortunate, that this experience in no way interfered with my bonding with her and, although terribly sad, I still felt that I had done a good job and got her into the world safely.
So, I am delighted that Jen had a safe delivery - healthy Mum and babe is the most important thing even if the road to that is sometimes less than ideal.
Many many thanks to Jen for allowing us all to share this experience and to you for writing so movingly and letting your followers say what is in their hearts
Congratulations Jen and welcome to daylight and fresh air Marlowe!
God bless you both!
Congratulations to Jen, and welcome to the world, little miss Marlowe! What a beautiful name for a truly beautiful baby. it makes me so eager to welcome my own little girl in about two and a half weeks.
Thank you for sharing these absolutely incredible photos of this beautiful wee one. She is gorgeous, and it has been a delight to anticipate her arrival through the marathon of late-pregnancy knitted gifts. Blessings on all!
Welcome beautiful Marlowe! Thanks for the great news :)
Beautifully said. Welcome to the world little one. Enjoy those knits!
Awwww...Stephanie, thank you for sharing with all of us! Welcome, Marlowe! You are beautiful and bodacious! Congratualtions to Jen and all!
Awwww...Stephanie, thank you for sharing with all of us! Welcome, Marlowe! You are beautiful and bodacious! Congratualtions to Jen and all!
Congratulations to all! Jen, because you now have a gorgeous baby girl, Marlowe, because you have a wonderful loving mommy, a wonderful knitting Auntie Steph, and Stephanie because you are such an inspiration. I've never thought about giving birth in that way, and you made me tear up (it may have been the baby pictures!).
Beautiful post. Beautiful knits. And most important, a beautiful baby. Congrats to Jen and thank you for letting us into your lives just a bit!
Beautiful. Mazel tov, Jen! Welcome Marlowe!
you got the best part of the deal!!
you got the best part of the deal!!
How beautiful! Congratulations Jen! Marlowe, it sounds like you're off to a great start- welcome to the outside! :D
Welcome to the world, Wonderful and Beautiful Marlowe. Thanks for sharing with us these beautiful pictures. Stephanie, your words reminded me of the time a dear friend of mine had me at the birth of her son. She knew that I would never have the opportunity to give birth to a baby and wanted me to be a part of it. Your words brought me back to that special moment that lives deep within my heart. Thanks again!
welcome darling baby. We have all been waiting for you.It's an even more beautiful world with you in it. Lovely post, Stephanie.
Congratulations Jen!!!!! She is beautiful and obviously worth the wait. Even though Marlowe gets all the fabulous knitted items from Stephanie, I think mom came out on the winning end with such an adorable baby! Priceless!
So beautiful. Thanks for sharing
Congratulations Jen. Welcome Marlow. And thank you Stephanie for reminding me why birth is beautiful.
Yay Jen! At last :)
Welcome Marlowe - what an adorable little dollie!
I am brought to tears and remain in awe of Stephanie's beautiful writing.
this is by far one of the most beautifully written posts i've read. and true. thank you for sharing in the journey...and congratulations to jen and family...and welcome, little marlowe!
Well said. This why we fought for our right to have our babies our way. Forty three years ago I had my first my way. Last month, my fourth grand daughter was born. Un- medicated, Nature and Mom doing the work. I have never been so in awe of my daughters.
Thank you so much for sharing the words in my heart! I just recently experienced the birth of my niece and it is everything you just said.
That is one beautiful and healthy looking baby!
Thank you both. And congratulations Jen.
You're making me cry, Ms. Pearl-McPhee. You have eloquently and succinctly put into words the thoughts I have had about births but have never been able to fully express - regarding the births of my own 4 blessings, as well as the births of those I have been privileged to be invited to attend. Brilliant, simply brilliant. Just like Jen and Marlowe - brilliant.
Congratulations and blessings from Germany to Jen and Marlowe, and thank you, Stephanie, for sharing.
With lots of love, Silke
Beautiful! Both the writing and the baby! A friend just gave birth to a girl at home; way to go Ladies!
Beautiful! Welcome Marlowe!
Words spoken like a true mother. That little girl will be loved by her mom and all that come into her life. She is blessed already to have you in her life.
Welcome, Marlowe! Congratulations, Jen!
That is one cute, fat, snugly looking baby! Fair exchange, Stephanie, I agree...knitting for baby snuggling!
And, Steph? This post was masterful! Jen's birth story is hers, and as private as she chooses.....yet, we, your readers, were not "cheated out of" a birth story! I LOVED reading why you love doula-ing! After that huge run up to the birth, that was the perfect climax. Well.....second to the beautiful baby photos, of course.
I also loved the backdrop of the photos....I had a home birth...perhaps Jen did, perhaps she simply got home PDG, NOMB. But it makes me sit and remember my last, home birth...nothing like it!
Thank you, Steph, this is one of your best, and thank Jen for me, for sharing her baby with us.
What a lovely baby! Congrats to all! Thanks for sharing the news with us.
Congratulations and what a beautiful baby girl! Thank you both for sharing.
What an amazing photojournalism journey you have taken us on in the past few weeks. I have been waiting for this baby with bated breath -- why? -- because of this wondrous storyline. The conclusion and new beginning brought me to tears. Congratulations to all, and welcome baby Marlowe.
Beautiful baby! Congratulations all around! A lovely, powerful post.
Happy Birthday Princess Marlowe & welcome to the world. Congrats Jen! Thanks for letting us share with those pics.
What a beautiful entry. As I look to my own firstborn's milestone birthday this coming Saturday I will now remember to not just celebrate her day but 'our' day. Happy day Jen and Marlowe!
Thank you to Jen for sharing your little one's birthday with all of the strangers who have been praying for you!
Welcome, Marlowe, and Happy Birthingday to Jen! Thank you for a beautiful post, Steph. Yay, birth!!!
Welcome, little Marlowe, and congratulations to Jen!
What a cutie, and wait 'til she gets into that petal hat.
My heart has melted with this post. Your a lucky woman to have met so many during their first moments and tell Jen congratulations from us all in Santa Cruz, CA
What a precious bundle! She is beautiful. And I would say there is absolutely no chance of her being cold - at least not until she outgrows that pile of handknits!
What a beautiful baby! Thank you Jen for letting us have a peek at her!
Beautiful, your post made me cry. She is so big! She looks gorgeous in her awesome handknit blankie.
Lets not confuse correlation with causation. Women who are able to deliver naturally at home are women who are having easy, uncomplicated labors. It's no wonder they bounce back quicker and have a nicer time postpartum. I'm sure it's nice for them.
Good to know they do come eventually. Congrats to Jen! And I appreciate your words about the value of a low intervention birth, it's a supportive reminder in a fearful, overly medical-ized, not very supportive world. I'm not quite a week past my due date and all anyone can say is when are you getting induced. Gah. It is hard not to hit them.
I am also trying your method of baby bribery, knitting him one thing a day. Yesterday he got a garter stripey hat, today it's colorblock booties. Tomorrow I might ditch work for a cardigan. I'm not blogging till post-baby, but I can't wait to do a blog line-up of all the knitted loot this kid is starting out with.
Welcome to the world Marlowe! And congratulations to you Jen for bringing a beautiful soul into the light of day. Stephanie, thank YOU for sharing Jen's journey and Marlowe's arrival.
Well said. What a privilege to be part of that amazing event! Thank you, and to Marlowe's family for sharing these last few weeks with us bunch of strangers. I've had to laugh at myself stalking your twitter log and blog for updates. Thank God for a healthy mom and baby.
Hi Marlowe! Welcome to the world. I know it must seem pretty strange after where you've been, and the journey to get here must have been exhausting. I think you'll like it here though once you get used to it. Wishing you a wonderful life.
beautiful. almost 1 year today since we brought home our second little girl. congratulations to everyone. you have such a beautiful way with words.
This is very beautiful. But, as someone who had 2 very difficult, high risk pregnancies and 2 c-sections, I firmly believe that I am an equally fierce and dedicated mother. The work it takes to carry a child 9 months (or so) is equally important as pushing out the child. Especially when those 2 pregnancies take the strength, medical knowledge and determination of a whole team of people. Sometimes low intervention isn’t best for anyone involved and that doesn’t diminish the strength of the mother, her love or the beauty of the event. After 3 miscarriages and 2 gruelling and fraught pregnancies, there was nothing more amazing than having my health babies arrive- even if it was by c-section. And having to fight every second of my 2 pregnancies has made me just as strong- or maybe stronger- a person as someone who had an easy pregnancy and empowering natural birth.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion!
You write so eloquently! I'm moved (near to tears) by the simple power of your words, and honoured to be part of that group of strong women, grateful that my birth experience was low intervention, and grateful too that you are able to do what you do.
Jen has done a wonderful thing, Marlowe looks adorable, and that pile of knitted love is no mean feat either!
Well done one, well done all!
Beautiful words, beautiful baby.
Happy birthay to Marlowe - and ll the best wishes for Jen and the entire family!
And thanks for sharing this with us - to Stephanie and Jen!
So, so wonderful and beautiful!
Thank you, Stephanie, for putting it so clearly. Tears in my eyes, as usual.
That is one adorable baby! Keeping 'em in a little longer sure does give them time to plump up and work on the cuteness. Honestly, she's wiped all thoughts of knitting out of my head!
I'm very glad for Jen and also for you. She can now share the carrying and you can now knit something other than baby stuff.
Many blessings to Marlowe, Jen and family.
Absolutely beautiful and 100% true. Lucky Jen to have a birthing group of supportive people, and lucky you to be one of them. Thanks for the photos. She's a darling.
Happy Birthing Day to Jen and welcome to the beautiful Miss Marlowe. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the miracle.
What a beautiful little girl! Thank so much for sharing.
Welcome to the world, baby Marlowe!
Fair exchange, I'd say....
Congratulations, Jen. Welcome, wee Marlowe. Well done, Steph.
Amazing! Welcome to baby Marlowe:)
That is one gorgeous, heart meltingly squishy baby! Congrats all around!
In another universe, I would have totally been a midwife. For all of the reasons you just posted.
Wow...your comments brought tears to my eyes...beautifully said!!
Congrats to Mom and baby Marlowe!
Congratulations Jen and Happy Birthday to Marlowe!
She's just beautiful!
-- When the power and trust is transferred to the mother, when she delivers her child, rather than "is delivered" when she chooses, rather than "is allowed",*** no matter what sort of technical birth she has,**** she is stronger, fiercer, and better. After a trip like that, you would kill for that child, and you know you can. --
For the people concerned that this post only sanctifies a certain type of birth, I thought I'd highlight a little from what she really wrote. It's a mindset, an experience that she's talking about, not a medically defined certain kind of birth!
My first two were hard fought (3 hours of pushing?! then the dreaded vacuum for number one), unmedicated births that I definitely owned!
The third was after uterine surgery -- had to be a c-section and was done 3 weeks before the due date. But, we still owned it. It was a birth experience just as much (though very different) as the other two. And he looked just like them too!
You truly broght me to tears. Your words are so very true. I knew after having my children that I could do ANYTHING!
Welcome Marlowe. Jen, thanks for allowing Stephanie to share this journey with all. Best of wishes.
Congratulations to Mama! SO beautifully written. After the birth of my first son, my midwife turned to me and said 'If anyone ever tells you that you can't do something, you think of this moment - you are a strong woman!' Birth is empowering!
You brought tears to my eyes. Such wisdom and such truth.
Well said Stephanie! Welcome to Marlowe and congratulations to the people who love her!
Best wishes for health, happiness, and good sleep to Jen, Marlowe, and family.
normally I'm crying with laughter, this time I'm weeping with joy and delight at your beautiful and fitting tribute to the arrival of wee Marlowe. Just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Lovely words... :-D
And for sure baby Marlowe can go to many, many places of the world. We'll all welcome her, as her friends since before birth...
Beautiful name, absolutely gorgeous baby girl (my favorite kind)! Congratulating the new family!
Steph, your words about the joyful privilege of assisting/attending a mom as she accomplishes this amazing feat speak to my heart. How I miss that part of my life that no longer exsists. I do have the joy of aiding their growth and development still, but so miss the births! Thank you for saying it so wonderfully!
Congrats to Jen and Family! Happy Birthday to Marlowe.
Thanks for keeping us updated with the Babywatch 2011 and the knitting ideas.
Aw, congratulations, Jen!
Awesome all round. Thanks for letting us be part of the birth, even at a distance.
Well put. That's why I love being a midwife.
Oh, she is an angel. Welcome, Marlowe. We've been waiting all around the world for you. We're glad you arrived.
Steph, you've got a way with words. I am in tears. I had one with "help" and one too fast for a lot of help. I never knew I was that fierce.
Jen, now it starts, the best part of your life. All I ever wanted to be was a mom and it was everything I had imagined and then some. It still is even though my babes had that nerve to grow into adults.
You brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my son's birth and the amazement of what I had just done. I wish more people were offered the opportunity to experience the kind of birth you described, full of encouragement and support, and not concern for the dr. next appointment.
This brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful thing to say. Also, what a big, beautiful baby! Congrats to all.
That is one beautiful, healthy looking baby!
She is also a very lucky girl to have such special knitters as her mom and Auntie Steph to keep her in such lovely knitterly heaven.
Please pass my Congratulations to Jen, and thank her for allowing us to keep watch through you. It's been fun.
Sooooo, what's next?
That is one beautiful, healthy looking baby!
She is also a very lucky girl to have such special knitters as her mom and Auntie Steph to keep her in such lovely knitterly heaven.
Please pass my Congratulations to Jen, and thank her for allowing us to keep watch through you. It's been fun.
Sooooo, what's next?
Steph - pass along our thanks to Jen for allowing you to share this very private moment with us. And thanks to the commenters with the courage to speak out in behalf of intervention when needed. I am so thankful for my doctor who intervened and allowed my healthy child to be born without brain damage and to stop the uncontrolled bleeding that probably would have killed me. I, too had no problem bonding and breastfeeding my child and within hours would have died for him. Loving and bonding with your child doesn't boil down to what happens in the last few hours of the pregnancy and I know Stephanie didn't mean to imply that it does. Our second child was adopted and the long, hard fight for him was every bit as exhausting as labor!
Amazing! Congratulations to all involved!
Stephanie, if life gave do-overs with origamic time folds, I'd have read this post *before* the year I was pregnant and "delivered of" my child. My experience was the antithesis of everything you describe and deeply dis-empowering, with long-lasting (still thinking on it 14+ years after) debilitating effects on my sense of who I am and of what I am capable. Thank you for writing it.
What a 'well-clad" baby I thought when I first saw Marlowe (in the lots-of-fat, full term way sort of way), but Marlowe, doubly so, with knitting too.
Jen, you baked one beautiful (and big!) baby! Great job Mom!
Marlowe, you have more people waiting for your arrival than you will ever know. We're so glad you're here.
Steph, thanks for reminding us of the beauty in life.
What lovely post and a beautiful baby! A lucky baby, too, getting all those knits. I assume that's mom in the last picture taking a much-deserved nap. Perfect. So glad everyone is happy and healthy.
Congratulations Jen and Jason, and all the other siblings.
Welcome to the world Baby Marlowe! We hope all manner of wonderful things for you. Including that someday you will take on the work of making it a better world for your own baby. Thanks Steph for Babywatch 2011 and all the magnificant baby knits. And Jen, all congratulations to you for coming through the whole thing, happy, healthy and loved.
I think we can all let out a happy sigh now that this beautiful little girl has finally decided to meet her mommy face to face. I'm so happy to see she's healthy and in one piece.
Congratulations, Jen, on finding the strength to help her on her first journey into this world. Hope motherhood treats you well, and little Marlowe brings a universe of joy, tears, happiness, heartache, and lots and lots of smiles and giggles. Congratulations again!
I am the adoptive mom of two wonderful daughters. The fact that I did not experience with them the process of their birth does not mean that I love them any less or have not been as fiercely loving and protective a mom as a birth mom.
Birth is indeed a marvelous, moving process. But please don't forget that families are formed in many different ways.
Beautiful, beautiful little girl.
Alright, who stirred up the dust in here?
I stopped by to see what the Newly Made Thing of the Day was going to be, and was delighted to see, instead, a Newly Arrived Human.
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing it all and saying it so wonderfully.
Ah, tears in my eyes, and I'm not a mom and never attended a birth.
And so appropriate that you, Marlowe (terrific name) and the blanket got an early rendevous!
Congratulations....it was a good week to be born...I have a two day old cousin as well....Welcome to the world Marlowe!
Wonderful post! Beautiful baby! Congratulations to Jen and her family! I have trained to be a doula and studied and have been in awe of birth and babies for soooo long, but have never experienced it until my own daughter was born last month. I knew all those things you said were true but I didn't know the extent of it, the POWER of it, until it happened to me. Amazing. GO JEN!!!
But really, does the baby knitting stop there?!
Oh, beautiful (spoken softly and quite out loud, in reverence and awe.) Beautiful, beautiful. Welcome to the world, little Marlowe.
Sounds like a fair exchange to me...
I echo all the congratulations and blessing to the new mum and babe. For you, I thank for the meaningful and heartfelt photos and writing. You also brought a gift to this beautiful moment and I understand how blessed you feel for sharing the moment. Thank you for graciously, sharing that blessing with us.
Oh, my, I am absolutely sobbing. /sniff sniff
beautiful! happy birthday to Marlowe. : )
You've moved me to tears -- again.
The Aztecs, if I remember correctly, believed that women crossed over into the spirit world during labor and fought to bring their children back with them. It put them on the same level as warriors -- in a culture where "warrior" was the most-revered job description available. I've always loved that.
Congratulations and best wishes all around!
C-section mom here. First birth was an emergency C after a day of labor, second one planned C that oops! turned into an emergency c-section when my water broke five weeks early. Baby ended up in NICU, and I set a record for c-section recovery, because walking under my own power was the only way I could get up to the NICU to see him. I was out of that bed and on my feet in less than 24 hours. Moms of ALL kinds move mountains. I know you know that, Stephanie--I just needed to say it. Thanks.
She is beautiful and I love her name! I got all teary eyed reading your post----just wait until you are a Grandma, I will need a box of tissues!!!!
Will you look at those cheeks?!?! Perfect for kisses! Good thing that I can touch type because I can't see through the tears.
Welcome to the world little Sweetheart Marlowe
What a beautiful little girl. Look what you did, Jen! Marlowe is a lovely name for a new wee human who is so dear. Can you tell I'm crying? Lucky you, Stephanie for getting to hold her.
Congrats to Jen on that BEAUTIFUL baby!!! She is truly, truly perfect!
I agree with many of the moms who have written to say that natural childbirth is not the only way to become a fierce parent and strong woman. I am a physician and after delivering babies in medical school I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would 1) have my babies in a hospital, 2) have a physician there lest anything went wrong and 3) have an epidural. With my first, I did labor for over 24 hours without one -- that whole refrain about prodromal labor "not counting" is a crock of BS! -- but after that took the epidural. I went on to have a series of complications, culminating in a nearly 2-liter hemorrhage from which I was resuscitated. The recovery was LONG. People hearing my story sometimes remark, "Oh, if you hadn't had that epidural, things would have been fine." But that is not true. I was having a dysfunctional labor before the epidural was placed! I was older, too. When I was pregnant with twins later on, labor never started at all even after my water broke, so a C-section was performed. Turned out to be providental: one placenta had grown into the uterine wall -- it would have been disastrous, potentially fatal, to deliver that vaginally -- and I suffered another significant blood loss. Every labor is different, and when I read stories like this, in which a woman triumphed through a non-medicated birth, I feel happy for her -- but women who request pain medication (or have a surgical delivery or adopt) are not lesser people. And the joy of the new life is no less with a medicated or surgical or adoptive delivery!!!
May we as human beings and knitters use the great and unbelievable power and courage we are given to help to bring this world toward a better, more humane and just, life for the Marlowes of this world and all those in her generation! There is NOTHING like a birth to help me at 71+ to remember that the next generations deserve better----let's just be the change this world needs. MUCH LOVE
Well you can add me to the tearful brigade! Thanks, Jen, for allowing the vast knitting (and crochet!) world to witness a small portion of your beautiful daughter's birth.
And I'm happy to say that I think I nailed it - three more knitted projects were added. What a great way to start out, Marlowe. I expect you'll get much, much more. :)
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It brought me to tears.
Beautifully said and a beautiful baby...with lots of beautiful knits :-).
Welcome to the world, beautiful Marlowe! And thank you for the truly beautiful post, Stephanie. Birth is an experience that touches the core of who we are as women in such powerful ways. And many congratulations to Jen for her gorgeous new daughter, and for allowing Stephanie to share this miracle with all of us!
As a midwife, thank you for choking me up with your words of a sentiment I have never been able to express myself to others. Amazing.
mazel tov. lots of love and wishes for health and continued happiness for all.
P.S. - and while nothing is as gorgeous as little Marlowe, I must say she's looking sweat as can be in that awesome baby blanket.
So, you like making us cry?! Beautiful words and most definitely a beautiful baby. Congratulations to everyone, especially Jan.
Your description of labor/becoming a mother is perhaps the best description I've ever read, and totally accurate. The birth of my twins and youngest was by far the most powerful thing I've ever done as a human.
And congrats Jen!
All these comments remind me so much of a children's story book "On The Day You Were Born" which has all the stars in the sky, the fish in the sea, the animals and humans on land gathering to celebrate baby's birth--gets me crying every time!
Reading your post brought me to tears as well, remembering my own daughter's birth. And despite the fact it was in hospital, I had an epidural and the doctor ended up using forceps "that look like salad tongs for a salad bowl sized for 300 people" (description courtesy of daughter's godfather who was my birthing coach), I still felt the empowerment of giving birth. As you say "...When the power and trust is transferred to the mother, ... no matter what sort of technical birth she has, she is stronger, fiercer, and better." I chose a different style of birthing than Jen's (I think, based on pics and story) and it was, at the time, the right one for me. Would I change some things if I'd had another? Probably. But for me, the birthing method for my one and only child worked, baby has grown into incredible 17 year-old teenager. And thank goodness I was empowered then, because now I am better prepared to meet the absolutely remarkable challenges of teenagehood!
Thank you for the wonderful knit-filled lead-up to today's post, thank you for writing this post as you did, thank you to all the commenters who added their thoughts and especially thank you to Jen for allowing us all to share...and Marlowe for showing up and looking so delicious!
You got the better end of the deal!
You struck a cord with me in this post. I was empowered at both my births and that's exactly how I feel. Like a mama bear.
The baby is gorgeous, so lovely plump and round. The extra time in Jen did her good. I hope Jen feels as beautiful as her baby looks.
Congratulations Jen! She is beautiful. Thank you Jen for sharing Marlowe with us. Today the world is a bit brighter.
Congratulations to you, Jen and your beautifyl daughter. And to you, too Auntie Stephanie.
AMEN to all you said;
Thanks to you all for sharing the photos.
Can't wait to see the knitwear on the live model.
Congrats Jen and family! That is one healthy baby - good thing woolens stretch. ;) So beautiful.
Thank you for sharing; all three of you! What wonderful gifts you have given us - beautiful words, lovely knitting, and Marlowe. Welcome to the world little one.
Welcome little Marlowe!!!! You picked a good day to arrive. My son's first birthday is today. :-)
Thank you and to Jen for sharing this with us.
All my best wishes to Jen and family!
And also? I am compelled to point out that Stephanie did NOT say that higher-intervention births make for poor bonding or are somehow less 'real.' She is merely celebrating the joy that everyone present feels when everything goes right. When things go wrong, well -- she'll be the first to say that it's time for technology. There's a place for respectful, empowering intervention WHEN NEEDED. (cf, Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, 2005, pg 153 "One Little Sock."
In fact, Steph and I had this very discussion once, and I remember she said she felt bad for women who weren't empowered by their births (no matter what sort it was) and that they were made to feel small instead of heroic.
So this is an ongoing issue, but let's not take away from the happiness of Jen's day. Just sayin'.
Nothing is more beautiful than a newborn! It's been years since I've held one, so my arms ache just looking at her beautiful little face. Congratulations Jen and family, you did wonderful work!
Aww, what a beautiful post. Congratulations to Jen and her new expanded family.
What you wrote about the birthing experience brought tears to my eyes, and made me recall my own little boy's birth just 17 short months ago. Please let Jen know just what a strong woman she is, and that her baby is lovely from me. The knits are lovely too, but sorry to say they don't compare to the little one bundled inside them. I'm sure you understand :) Congratulations to them!!
Welcome to the world baby Marlowe and many congratulations Jen and family! Love and Best Wishes from Oz!
Happy Birthday Miss Marlowe and Jen! Little Sweetie you have no idea how many people have been waiting with baited breath for your arrival. We are all so happy you are here.
Welcome Marlowe! Thank you Jen for letting us see her.
Beware, Steph, you have now made this baby dependent on something knitted. She is going to take a lot of knitting to keep happy.....
What an absolutely gorgeous baby! Lucky Steph - you get to hold her! Congratulations to Jen and welcome to baby Marlowe (and thank you to Jen for letting us see pics)! And thank you, Steph, for your lovely words and pictures that made all of us who are moms (to judge by the comments) remember that amazing moment when we first met our own children (however it happened). I'm crying right now thinking about it, but they're happy tears. ♥
Congratulations to Jen! She's absolutely beautiful and of course the world will know she's loved by a Knitter. :)
You've said beautifully what I feel/believe about birth. Thank you.
Welcome, Marlowe, and congratulations, Jen! Thank you for allowing Auntie Steph to share.
Now to continue awaiting my own little bundle, sometime between now and Halloween... :-)
Congratulations, Jen! Marlowe is beautiful. She will look adorable in all those new knits she's getting. She looks to be a good weight too, nice and plump. I don't know how her life will unfold, but I sincerely believe that she will be a knitter.
What a blessing to have a new person in the world. How wonderful for you to have the privilege of being there.
363 days after my own intervention-free labor and delivery, I am still in awe of how much that moment meant to me!! My baby will be one on Friday, and I wanted to say thanks for your words because they made me remember (not that I'll ever forget..). And welcome beautiful Marlowe- she looks to be a good, chubby size, the way babies should be!!
Well said. What a beautiful and healthy looking little girl.
YAY congrats to Jen & Baby Marlowe!
Reminds me so much of my last baby... same kept in the cooker finished-ness to the face.
I 100% agree on the midwife/doula/taking charge of our bodies. My last baby was a waterbirth with midwife delivering. Great experience!
She is a lovely baby. Jen makes pretty ones!
Congratulations! What a beautiful baby!
This is absolutely THE most moving and accurate description of the magic of giving birth I have ever read. You reduced me right to tears of gratitude that I was able to experience a birth like that and found the strength required to feel so very empowered. Thank you for articulating it in such a beautiful way...
Thank you for the beautiful post.
Thanks for the lovely pictures of the adorable Marlowe, congratulations to Jen and Aunt Steph!
Thanks for the update! How special-- congratulations from the blog to the proud parents. Bienvenue Marlowe!
I am weeping with the beauty of it.
Thank you for your insight and words ... and many thanks and blessings to Jen and Marlowe for allowing us to share in their journey.
Now I have to go call my "baby" ... yes, yes, I know she's 24, but today I'm feeling that moment when I first held her in my arms ... and she looked at me with those deep eyes ... and, well, I was a goner! I've loved her fiercely every moment since then!
Thank you for posting this. Here I am at 32 weeks, sitting at my desk at the office, crying like a baby. Welcome, sweet baby. Bravo, mama.
Everybody loves a baby!!! Yay!
Welcome baby Marlowe, and you share your birthdate with my ninth grandchild, Christian Elias, born today at 7.09am September 14. Thanks to Aunty Steph for spurring this Nana to knit while we waited. Ditto, ditto, ditto, Stephanie, from a doula, child birth educator, breast feeding promoter RN; the wonder and joy of it all almost defies description, but you nailed it as in falling to your knees and carrying those littles in your heart. Congratulations, love and blessings to this new family.
Congratulations Jen! She's absolutely adorable and already has tons of absolutely adorable knits to wear, lucky girl. I'm glad that everything went good and that you have your little girl to cuddle as a reward. It definitely makes it worth it. My hats off to you for sticking it out and for doing it all naturally. I tried but as my water broke they had to induce me and I was unable to handle the pain that came with that without medication. I always held great respect for women that did it naturally and after having one of my own I hold them in even higher respect. Best of luck to you and your new addition.
Congratulations to you both on making such beautiful bundles for the world to see, and thank you for sharing the journey with us!
the post,the baby, your description of Jen...
all so great.
I will now stop stalking your blog and return to just reading it like a normal human
Little Marlow is absolutely beautiful!
(And Steph's knitting is lovely too!)
You made me cry with your beautiful words and photos. As a Mom of 3 grown children, all born in the hospitals, youngest induced, I thought your post was a wonderful tribute to the bond of mothers, fathers and children - thank you.
Thank you Stephanie. Thank you for saying what I haven't been able to put into words. I teach biology and it is so hard for me to explain to my students how awe inspiring birth is for every person involved. I'm considering showing this post to them when the time comes. ;o)
What a beauty. Well done Jen. And thanks, Stephanie, for turning me into a person who constantly refreshes a blog to see if a woman I don't even know (or at least doesn't know me) has given birth yet. So happy to hear of Marlowe's arrival. I know fall weather hasn't quite arrived in TO as it has here in Edmonton but it looks like Marlowe has a wonderful wardrobe awaiting her as the cooler weather arrives.
What a lovely post. Now I remember why I was a regular reader for so long! With the baby projects and this life-affirming post, it was a positive experience to visit your site this week!
Wow, that's one big newborn! I hope all the knitted goodies fit for more than a couple of weeks....
And, as is frequently the case, your post brought tears to my eyes. Thanks.
Totally beautiful! Congratulations to all on the safe arrival of Marlowe. She looks like a big girl, so kudos to Mom! Thanks, Stephanie, for the soft, tender, loving words to describe this event.
I think what this means is that I can finally stop casting on baby knits! Do you realize what a strong gravitational pull you exert? pretty sure the earth tilted this last week and somehow I came out of it with a baby sunsuit missing a button, a baby sweater still blocking, about 6 inches of baby blanket, a second baby sweater that needs 2 sleeves, and approx. 2 in. of baby hat! also those booties are calling my name loudly and we just won't mention the pattern for another blasted bb sweater I was forced to print off! Have mercy.
Stephanie your words brought tears to my eyes! Jen is a wonderful person. Welcome Marlowe! You have a wonderful family and great aunts who will keep you warm in woolies!
Gorgeous baby & lovely post. Congratulations to Jen & family! Thanks for sharing the photos.
What a beautiful baby and a beautifully thoughtful post. I wish that every mother in the world had someone as strong and thoughtful as you to advocate and care for them during their birth and the befores and afters.
Medicine can be truly wonderful, but when all that's needed is support the medicine can really get in the way.
I hope that both you and Jen get to enjoy more experiences like this in your lives.
I'm sure Marlowe will have a fantastic start, I wish her all the luck.
One of your most powerful posts ever. Congratulations to all of you, and Jen: well done.
Great work to all three women and the folks who supported them through this. What a perfect newborn! Stephanie - go knit some bigger things - I think they'll be needed quite soon.
Gorgeous post. All of it. And welcome, Marlowe!
Your words are so true. I am blessed to have been at the birth of 3 of my friends babies. And when I had my own at home in my dining room in an inflatable pool, it was the hardest, most teeth-gnashing experience ever. But now? When faced with pain or difficulty, I do grit my teeth and say "I've been through natural childbirth, goddamn it, I can DO this".
I recently shared the video of the birth with my 4-year-old, who looked shocked at how painful it was. I said, "Yes, it hurts to have a baby. Look at how happy you are to be with your mama, and look how happy everybody was to see you!" He smiled and smiled to see that vernix-coated wrinkly baby kicking his little legs in the pool.
And he was cloaked in a baby surprise jacket as his first article of clothing.
Tell Jen thanks for allowing you to share these images. She is a lioness!
Steph, thank you for continuing to awe and astound me with the strength of your noble heart. The world needs more women like you . . . and Jen and Marlowe (whose size astounds me, I who have birthed six myself!) have a powerful ally in you. :o)
dear stephanie, i never comment anymore, how can you handle them all? but this piece, this exquisite piece, touches all the fierceness and tenderness inside this twice mom. thank you.
Congratulations to all, and AMEN to your beautiful, eloquent essay.
Such a lovely post about such a wonderful event. Health & happiness to you all and thanks for sharing something so special.
Just to redundantly add congratulations to Jen and thank you for that beautiful essay (and for all your insights on motherhood that move me every time you post them).
Great, now I need to have another baby. She is adorable.
What a beautiful peaceful baby.Thank You Jen
Sniff......what a beautiful post to go with a beautiful grand-daughter!!!
Welcome, Marlowe, you look lovely in that beautiful blanket! Congratulations, Jen and thanks for sharing.
Congratulations to Jen! Marlowe is beautiful.
I loved what you said about giving birth, Stephanie. I have never felt more like a warrior then when I gave birth to my first daughter. I always say now if I can handle being in labor for 22 hours I can handle anything. Women are amazing fierce creatures and it's always an hour to witness the miracle of bringing life into this world. Thank you for sharing, this brought back wonderful memories.
Hooray, and congratulations! I have to agree that staring down the fact that there's a human in you and she or he is coming out now, one way or another, is quite a galvanizing, life changing experience. For some of us, it was "another", despite our best intentions. (I always say I learned humility from my son before he was born.) It's still happily ever after.
Also, thanks for all the baby knits posts!
Both of them are completely healthy! Thanks,Stephanie. We can all let go of our collective breaths.
Welcome to the world, Marlowe. You were definitely awaited with bated breaths, and most welcome here. May your stay be long.
Congratulations Jen! And welcome little Marlowe! What a beautiful name for a beautiful baby.
And Stephanie, what a wonderful post. I was wondering yesterday if it was maybe baby time when there was a lack of baby knits posted.
Thanks for sharing! I never had the privilege of being a mother but as a nurse I attended a fair number of births and it truly is a remarkable moment in life.
Congratulations, Jen and Marlowe. It has certainly been a journey. And thanks, Stephanie, for allowing us to be a part of this special journey.
what a glorious day to be born! And isn't she magnificent?! but is it just me, or is that one BIG baby??!!
Yay!!! How beautiful! Beautiful mom, beautiful daughter. Many blessings to Jen and Marlowe, and to the rest of their entire family. Thanks for allowing us to share in this joy!
As a birth doula and mother of ten amazing kids, all I can only agree with you whole-heartedly.
Please thank Jen for sharing these beautiful photos and moments with us all. It goes without saying that we're all over the moon with happiness for her and her family.
Beautiful baby! Good job, Jen!
Love it! So well said. As a mom who had a c-section followed by a home birth, although I didn't feel marginalized by the c-section, there is a difference in your understanding of and beliefs about your body after each. And it's a heck of a thing, giving birth. Nothing is quite the same afterward. You put that all together beautifully in this post. I, too, have attended at home and hospital births, and I have never been able to fully express the experience, so thank you.
And that is a gorgeous baby with a gorgeous mama! Congratulations to them both!
Congrats and welcome baby Marlowe!
Love it! So well said. As a mom who had a c-section followed by a home birth, although I didn't feel marginalized by the c-section, there is a difference in your understanding of and beliefs about your body after each. And it's a heck of a thing, giving birth. Nothing is quite the same afterward. You put that all together beautifully in this post. I, too, have attended at home and hospital births, and I have never been able to fully express the experience, so thank you.
And that is a gorgeous baby with a gorgeous mama! Congratulations to them both!
Thank you so much for your generosity, Jen, in sharing this intimate story with us, Stephanie's blog readers. Marlowe is a beautiful baby girl, you are amazing, Stephanie is also amazing.
I was unable to have children, "courtesy" of the Dalkon Shield. My nieces and nephews have to do duty in that regard....not the same, but the best I have.
Thank you for this insight and sharing.
No offense to your mad knitting skills, but you got the better end of that deal.
I love the way babies smell. Beautiful baby Marlowe.
(and thanks for being so generous Jen and sharing pictures of your beautiful girl)
Whoops! Sorry for the double post. My shaky grasp of technology is partly why I don't often comment ;)
Welcome Marlowe! You and hubby did some nice work there Jen :-)
You often move me with your words Miss Harlot and today was non exception...the first time I remember being really and truly proud of my body was when my son was born.
Congratulations to Jen on both conquering a mountain that requires more work than Everest ever could and on the beautiful, sweet bairn at the crest of the mountain.
This post sucked all the air out of my body with is profound rightness. My son will be 18 in January, and the fierceness of motherhood is eternal. May the bond between Jen and her daughter be strong and true, as are the bonds of friendship and community. Congratulations to Jen, her family, and friends, and the family of the blog. Thank you Stephanie for always speaking the truth and for extending yourself into the lives of so many for all the best reasons.
Eve from Carlisle
Wow Stephanie. That brought tears to my eyes, and I'm not even a mother. Thank you.
Thankyou Jen, Stephanie and Marlowe for sharing your day..you brought tears to my eyes that overflowed, like the love we can see on your faces.
Lovely post, lovely baby, awesome mom! I had the birth experience I wanted with my first, and my second had to be helped along, and I love them both, but I do remember the first experience as feeling more that everything was as it should be.
Don't get me wrong...at risk pregnancies need care, as do fragile babes and moms, but the more we can make our choices, the more empowered we are.
Welcome baby Marlowe! And warmest congratulations to Jen and to Marlowe's dad.
Thank you, Stephanie, for your beautiful essay. Every mother "out here" is wiping her eyes and remembering. Think I'll go hug my daughter now. She is 14 and in high school and I can't freaking believe it ... and I get all caught up in that thing about how fast it all goes by, and how beautiful the whole damn thing is.
(and Marlowe is one lucky baby to have all that awesome loot!!!)
It's been almost 30 years since I last gave birth and your words brought it back to me like it was yesterday. I have a lump in my throat the size of a small Volkswagon. Thank you for writing so beautifully about such a sacred time.
And Marlowe (and your knitting)...also beautiful!
My daughter is about to be 51, and is far away in France. Would that I could hug her! Welcome, little one! You are beautiful beyond imagination.
Thankyou for sharing Jen, Marlowe and Stephanie. Congratulations! (i just started crying at work again looking at those photos!)
Hurrah, she is here! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful all.
Congratulatons Jen and Marlowe.
I saw my baby for the first time yesterday on a monitor. I can't wait to meet him or her.
My favorite post this year, maybe of all. The words were perfect and when given with the gift of the photos it was and is a very special post. Welcome to the world baby Marlowe.
Thanks Jen, for allowing Steph to share this with us.
Your writing and pictures have reduced me to a blubbering fool with it's beauty and profoundness !!
You are gifted in sooooo many ways and I an so very greatful that I can experience it on a daily basis.
Thank you Jen for allowing and reminding all of us, the wonder of birthing. And thank you Steph for sharing you writing talent with all of us..
What a beautiful post! I've sent it along to my oldest niece, who is expecting her first child in December. She's hoping to have the baby at a birth clinic, and I know that she'll understand exactly what you're saying.
Wonderful! Words failing me. Just wonderful amazingness - you, Jen, Marlowe, everything. Wonderful.
Happy Birthday Marlowe. Welcome to this beautiful crazy world of ours. With such brave, strong, and vibrant women to guide you, this world will be a better place with you in it. You'll be a pretty snazzily dressed kid to boot.
Oh my! What a beautiful name for a beautiful baby! Congratulations to you Jen.
Exclamation point I mean.
Happy Birth Day Marlowe!!!! Congrats to all and thanks for a wonderful story. I've never heard it described so well.
I love this blog. The posts are always fabulous and Human but the comments too are from such a wonderfully wide group who contribute in a generous expansive way. It's such a refreshing part of the internet - where comments so often become polarised and aggressive. As someone still more at the starting out end of adulthood I value it a lot.
I'm so glad everything went well with Jen's birth. I'm glad the distraction of daily knits was what brought people here each day because having the anticipation out amongst so many people gave me just a twinge of nervousness.
Everyone always wishes for this experience to be a positive strengthening experience. There are some very important comments of people who had more technical births. I think though one bit hasn't been picked up on. Steph said *easier* bonding not more bonding. My aunt had a very difficult first-time birth that was then complicated again by the c-section not healing very quickly. It made the first 3 months very hard despite they stayed with us to have the extra support of a grown family. She does feel she missed out and wasn't listened to and that is a very difficult thing to recover from physically and mentally. It made it hard to get pregnant a second time too but despite the same complications and eventual interventions the birth was a far more empowering experience.
Healthy outcomes and good experiences are both due to people and luck. I'm very glad everything went well.
Welcome to the world, Marlowe. Congratulations to the new family. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news, and the beautiful first photos.
What a lovely post and an equally lovely baby <3. Marlowe, you share your birthday with me! I am 28 today, and have a little one growing inside me too. I hope your life is as good, happy, sad, easy, and challenging as mine has been so far, and I hope my baby makes it into the world the way you did today.
I do love happy endings, er, beginnings! Welcome Marlowe and congratulations Jen and family.
This is why I believe you could write a book for expectant mothers. I am now using similar philosophies in end of life nursing. Love you!
I do love happy endings, er, beginnings! Welcome Marlowe and congratulations Jen and family.
I recently had the utter honor and joy of watching my dear friend Amanda bring her excellent and achingly beautiful daughter Lydia into this world at home with a midwife, her husband and me to encourage and love her through it. I know just what you mean. Thank you for saying it so beautifully. And thank you Jen for generously sharing the pictures and news with all of us happy knitters! May the sun shine long and lovingly on you and your family!
I couldn't have said it any better about the specialness of an low-intervention birth; I've had two myself and feel lucky to be able to teach people how to have their own with the Bradley Method of natural childbirth. Congratulations to Jen and the baby's dad and welcome to baby Marlowe.
Stephanie, I don't know which you do more beautifully, knitting or writing. Wow! What a powerful piece! Congratulations, such a beautiful baby; she looks huge: weight? And thank you so much for allowing us to share in all the excitement. You're the best. You also have the best group of readers.
It is the morning of your life and all your dreams are just beginning. May you touch the fireflies and stars, dance with fairies, and talk to the man in the moon. May you grow up with love and gracious hearts and people who care. Welcome to the world, little one, it's been waiting for you.
Congrats to Jen!...Welcome baby Marlowe!!
How very unfortunate that a joyous event becomes contentious. Jen and Steph were willing to allow us in to celebrate beautiful Marlowe's arrival. Pray don't make them regret their decision.
To those who had more difficult birth experiences for whatever reason (I did too): it's not about you.
Yo baby you will grow up to be awesome and will have a happy life!
Little Marlowe is so absolutely beautiful. Congratulations!
Also, while I'm sure that you being you, and that you seems to be a very modest person who would not expect thanks for this post, I wanted to thank you anyways.
This day last year, my little boy was 5 days old. I was fortunate to have a wonderful pregnancy and a fantastic complication free labour/delivery. While I know each birth story is different, the sentiment and miracle wrapped around each one remains the same. It's an absolutely damn amazing experience and I want to thank you for capturing all of it in this post. I got so emotional reading it and remembering our own birth while thinking about how amazing (and tired) Jen must be feeling.
Reading your post today brought back the flood of memories, feelings, thoughts and moments that my husband and I experienced last September.
I'm so very glad that you were able to enjoy that moment again which you've so obviously missed.
Congratulations to you, Jen, Marlowe and family. Wishing you all warm baby snuggles!
Welcome beautiful baby Marlowe. Congratulations Jen and family. Stirring words Stephanie. So happy that all is well with everyone!
Welcome to the world little one!
As a mom, and from the other end of the birth you describe (twice!) know that we hold close in OUR hearts, the names of those who put our births in our hands, and marveled at us.
I even named a spinning wheel after my midwife - the highest of honors.
Marlowe - what a great name!
Thanks for sharing a glimpse of this beautiful time. Congratulations to all - everyone is blessed!
Congrats to Jen and Jason, so glad you got the birth you wanted. She's lovely. Congrats to Fenner on becoming a big sister too!
Thanks for letting us know she's arrived Steph.
Oh, even if I wasn't 6 months pregnant, I'd still be crying! Thanks for sharing such a lovely moment with us all.
This brings tears to my eyes...Congratulations!
What a sweet ending and new beginning to this amazing journey!
Those are some of the most empowering words I've ever read. Thanks Steph! Happy Birthday, Marlowe! Welcome to the world!
Yes, please! This is why I had the last four at home, once I knew that such things were possible, and it is how I have survived the raising of them. Beautiful writing, Stephanie. Beautiful baby, Jen! Well done!
I was in the roomwhen my niece was born, at a time when I didn't think I could ever have kids of my own. It was the most beautiful, powerful moment of my life.
Welcome to the world, wee Marlowe!
Blessings to all. And now I need a kleenex.
I have often wondered if you have been able, over these last few crazy years, to keep up your work as a doula. What a beautiful story you have told us, and what a beautiful experience for you, Jen, and Marlowe.
With my son, I was perfectly healthy in my pregancy until everything went straight to hell and I was induced six weeks early. Still, in the earlier "nothing-is-wrong-here" part of my pregnancy, not once did anyone suggest to me that I could opt out of the North American medical norm, that I could deliver at home or deliver at a hospital with a doula. (Well, it was 15 years ago, so I will hope things have changed since then.)
Still, I do not regret my birthing experience, primarily because of all the people who showed up at the end. All of a sudden, when things became a crazy flurry of activity, all these PEOPLE started showing up. The anetheasiologist who had seen me seven hours earlier, a few nurses who had seen me through the first hours of my labour and had since had time to go home, sleep, and come back for a new shift...all these people were suddenly staring in to my VAGINA. I kid you not, it was Standing Room Only in my birthing room.
I mentioned this between contractions to the nurse who was holding my hand and she said, "If it's okay with you, they would really like to stay. None of us ever gets tired of seeing a brand new person."
Your post reminded me not only of the wonder of seeing that Brand New Person, but also gave me a new appreciation of what I actually DID that morning.
You are an amazing writer, as always.
Most of the time your posts send me clicking to Ravelry; this one pushed me over to DONA. :) I had a wonderful doula for my daughter's birth (she came at 42 weeks + 2 days, under her own power, after a week and a half quarreling with my doc about induction), and it was just the incredible and empowering experience you described. Ever since then I've been considering becoming a doula... this was just the push I needed. Thank you, and thank you Jen and Marlowe. xo
That was beautiful, Stephanie. I pray there is someone like you around when my daughters have their babies.
Welcome aboard, Marlowe.
Jen, wow lady, just wow. Beautiful work. Thank you so much for allowing your friend to share this all with us. This was an amazingly fantastic and beautiful thing to read today. Thank you.
Stephanie, as pretty as all the knitted FOs are, Jen's is more beautiful than the lot and makes them look even better.
Marlowe welcome! I hope we get an occasional peek at you as you grow. I'm sure Aunt Stephanie will find time to make a few things for you that will need to be modeled
Thank you so much for sharing. You describe the experience of labour & childbirth to prefection. Congrats to all. What a darling baby!!
What a beautiful, wonderful, magnificent experience! That's the kind of birthing experience I used to dream about, when we were trying for our first baby, when we were pregnant. So magical, so moving, so powerful. (Unfortunately, yes, sometimes nature intervenes in a not-so-good manner. Thank goodness for technology in those cases...like mine. I used to mourn for that natural experience, but I'm so happy I at least have a happy ending, and my lack of natural birth doesn't make it less important for those who experience it. I've never felt that power, and I wish I had.)
Congratulations, Jen...and thank you so much for allowing us all as sort-of spectators on your journey! The whole world has been cheering you on!
What a beauty, what an unbelievable beauty! I am so grateful to get to see pictures of that sweetheart. With a mother and father and friend who took such good care of her on her way into the world, I know she'll grow into a fine, fine person.
She's precious. Congratulations to Jen.
(She's well cooked too - lovely big girl!)
I'm surrounded by new boys at the moment - so many friends all with sons newly arrived or cooking :)
YEA!!! Amen!! I was with a friend who was 8 1/2 months pregnant and I told her I wish I was in her shoes. 6 children and I am still in awe of the birth of a child. Good exchange, btw.
That is one BEAUTIFUL baby! Congratulations to Jen.
Your photos and words are so beautiful I am moved to tears. I miss my boys so much. They are now 34 and 30 and when I see these photos I think of looking in their faces for the first time. A moment indelibly etched into my memory.
Happy Birthday, Marlowe! Congratulations, Jen! She's beautiful.
This is so lovely it brought me to tears.
She is beautiful!
I peeked at your post during my lunch break and new that if I read further, I'd be reduced to a blubbering mess. Now I'm safely hidden at home where I can drop tears on my keyboard! Well done to all!! Welcome to beautiful baby Marlowe. Congratulations to Jen, and thank you Stephanie.
Congratulations Jen, Marlowe & Family! And thanks for letting us share in the journey. I have enjoyed the parade of baby knits & feel an overpowering urge to knit something small & cute. Now, I just need to convince someone I know to get pregnant... ;-)
What a beautiful, healthy, oh so pink baby girl!! Congrats to all.
Wow, that was beautiful and she is a beautiful baby! I wish I could have had that kind of birth, but I ended up with 2 c-sections anyway. On the other hand, I have two beautiful daughters and I wouldn't give them up for anything!
I'm glad it worked out for Jen, to have that kind of birth! Congratulations to the new family!
Oh my goodness that baby is huge! Congratulations to Jen, and she certainly deserves all those lovely knits!
Such beautiful and moving words. Thank you for them.
Blessings upon Jen and her lovely Marlowe.
Yep. I'm in love.
Congrats to Jen and her little bundle of chubby cheeked joy. May she know that knitters all over the world awaited her birth as much as her mother :)
Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful photos and words....made me tear up!
And Marlowe -- remember to ask your mom first before you borrow any of her clothes. (Your dad probably will be OK the first few times you "permanently borrow" some of his t-shirts.)
Echoing others to say Marlowe is a beautiful name for a beautiful baby, who is sure to be the warmest and most beautifully attired baby ever; that blanket is so perfectly suited to her.
Thank you for the best-worded tribute to birth I've ever read. I'm in tears, realizing my natural births did indeed lay that awesome foundation you describe.
Blessings to all!
I cried and cried as I read this. Such a beautifully written piece. Only someone with your kind of experience - doula and momwise - could write this.
Thanks for sharing.
Please include this essay in your next-next book!
I LOVED the little stack of knitted items. SOOOOO cute.
I see you are wrapping this little one in wool straight-away so the wool fumes start early getting into her consciousness!
I'll add my congratulations, but the deeper reason I'm writing is to BEG you to publish this in some form someday. PLEASE. I don't know of any writer who has captured motherhood as well as you have here. Bravo!
Wonderful wonderful post. And that's why sometime in the next few weeks I'll be delivering our newest family member with the help of a midwife, well supported, and empowered.
Congrats to Jen and her family!
Wouldn't it be wonderful if all children were welcomed and loved and celebrated as Marlowe is today? What a world we could have!
Congratulations, dear Jen. I rejoice with you and your family, even though I don't know any of you. Your little girl is just beautiful. (I know what that's like. My "little girl" still reduces me to a puddle of love, and she just turned 40! )
You have such a gift, Steph. Thanks for sharing it with us.
I'm a midwifery student, and I know exactly what you mean, I love being there, not just to see the new tiny humans that're being made, but to see how if affects the men mostly. They watch their loved ones go through a lot of pain, but its all worth it. And everytime, it makes me want to start spawning!!
I loved your idea of knitting more for everyday Marlowe delayed, and she is adorable! I hope she and Jen and the man in this equation grow up together to have an amazing life, because I'm sure they will with so much knitting surrounding them :)
All the best, to all of you!
BEAUTIFUL baby! Love those fat little cheeks!
There really is something special about a "low intervention" birth, isn't there? I had three home births, myself, and it really just does get things off to a good start, doesn't it?
Congrats to Jen! Welcome to the world, Marlowe!
Congrats to Jen and family! Marlowe is a beautiful name for a beautiful baby.
Welcome to the world, Marlowe! Congratulations to all, and my goodness, have I ever seen a more adorable baby? (Besides my own two? ;-)) I think not.
I had an emergency C-section after 48 hours of back labor. I wanted to move that baby out under my own power; it didn't happen. I was a C-section mom in a natural birth social circle. I was sad and disappointed (and pitied) at times when I really should have been so happy just to have a wonderful new person. Kudos to Stephanie for showing how beautiful and inspiring a natural birth can be, but to me the real miracle is in becoming a family. I don't stack my miracle up against anyone else's, whether they have a natural birth, adopt, use IVF, whatever--that is truly picking neighborhoods in heaven.
And am I the only one who's dying for Stephanie to write a book that's not about knitting so she can take over the (publishing) world?
Mazel tov to Jen, Baby Marlowe, her father, and you! Marlowe is beautiful, especially when wrapped up in that gorgeous blanket!
How incredibly generous of Jen and her loved ones to share perfect Marlowe's beautiful arrival with us. Thank-you so much: I feel deeply privileged.
(Also, what an excellent name!)
Welcome to the world small one. Thank you Jen for sharing your beautiful child with us. Thank you Steph for a blog post that was achingly beautifully written.
What a beautiful baby, and a beautiful post. (And lots of beautiful knitted things!) Congratulations to Jen!
What a beautiful baby, and welcome to the world!!! Thank you Jen for allowing us to see your beautiful baby. And thank you Steph for that beautiful post!
Yes. Just....yes. That moment is incredible. I know I can do anything now. Welcome, little Marlowe, to the world. :' )
I am very sorry to say that for the first time reading your blog, I was alienated by your post. The perhaps-unintended implication that I would have been a stronger person or better prepared to parent had I delivered my baby naturally rather than undergoing a c-section left me feeling unfortunately more insulted than touched by what you've written here.
Wow--Marlowe is an absolutely beautiful baby who surely doesn't look brand new. Extra days growing make a happy healthy baby.
Thank you, Stephanie for a lovely tribute to the miracle of labor, deliver, and motherhood.
Sending prayers and blessings to all the participants--not forgetting daddy :-0!
Welcome to the world little Marlowe. Stephanie your baby hand knits are gorgeous. You are a kind and generous friend. My first grandchild was born yesterday. My daughter was magnificent throughout her labour. Little Zack has a stack of grandma knitted garments and went home wrapped in his knitted blankie. Of course I think he is the most perfect baby ever born. My second grandchild arrives in three weeks. I am blessed.
Congratulations Jen! I, myself, just gave birth to my first child not 24 hours ago. I have never done anything more important and empowering in my life.
Marlowe is Beautiful!
Thanks for introducing us Stephanie.
That is beautiful. All of it. Blessings and a warm welcome to Marlowe!
To Jen - Congratulations on a job well done! Your daughter is beautiful and I wish you all the best.
To Stephanie - Thanks for keeping us posted on all aspects of this always amazing adventure. Your baby knits are as beautiful as the wearer.
To Marlowe - Welcome to the world, little one. You and I share the same birthday, so I hope your first 63 years will be as wonderful as mine have been.
Hugs to all of you!
Welcome to our world, Marlowe...may it always be as warm & wonderful as hand-knits are!
Welcome Marlowe.....You are simply beautiful.
Congrats to Jen...... and family......
Wow. What a post. Thank you for reminding me of the power and wonder of giving birth. You made me want to do it again just so I could relive that feeling of power and strength. Makes me grateful for my children for inspiring and bringing forth that strength.
So Steph, we want pictures of when you place the knitting needles in Marlowe's hand.
Congratulations to the new family!
We knitting Grannies were working on the tulip sweater and waiting for our fourth grand baby....sex unknown....it appeared that the babe would be induced. Mom and babe had other plans. She was born naturally on9/10. mom received compliments at being "one of our best Moms". Claire Anne weighed 9#14oz. Wanted to do your hat but could not get the book, also could not afford it. did make a Jerid Flood blanket and your baby mine sweater.
Beautiful! Lovely baby, lovely sentiment, lovely friendship. Thanks for sharing!
Tear of happiness for the family. Welcome Marlowe and much joy to Jen. The stack of tiny wooly-love gifts is so sweet.
Well I have been waiting and waiting for this birth and I think we all feel like like we know Jen. I do anyway. Congratulations to Jen and Marlowe. Really, this is the kind of thing that should make the front page of every newspaper. Loved your own sweet birth story.
And thank you, Jen, for letting all of us internet strangers, us crazy knitters, take part in this profound and personal time.
And now, to go somewhere else for the jumping around shouting "New baby! New baby! There's a new baby!" (Wouldn't want to disturb mama or baby's precious sleep.)
I think we can all take a sigh of releif now, little bundle of marlowe is here, and we can hopefully have the joy of watching her grow...
thanks yarn harlot for giving us front row seats.
Oh, love those cutest booties...Your # one...
Thank you Jen for allowing Steph to give us a peek at this newest little person into the world. I think your post was a wonderful way to welcome little Marlowe into the world and someday I hope that she get to see your post and all the lovely welcomes from those she will never know. I would love to leave the next part alone but I have no idea how else to handle this.(I am completely frustrated) In this case I am in no way speaking for Stephanie she is more than capable of speaking for herself (see above post) But Really people Stephanie was not saying that low intervention for bonding, breastfeeding etc was the only way to go, I think she was commenting that if you can go this way it would be a wonderful choice, she knows that not births are created equal and some do require more intervention and those moms do bond with their children. She is not giving a blanket answer to all births she is commenting on births of this type and to say that she is discrediting other types of births is ridiculous. Lets take this post as it was intended.
To Bless Jen & Welcome Marlowe to this wonderful world and to let her know that this world is now a much better place with her in it.
Once again you have written a piece with humor, sentiment and joy. Thank you
Wonderful! There's no other word for it.
Congratulations to Jen on the birth of Marlowe, and welcome, Marlowe to the world.
Beautiful words, beautiful baby!
Happy Birthday Marlowe!
It's my birthday, too.
Having just returned from the birth of my 5th grandchild, I know that EVERYTHING you just wrote is true..I am teary eyed after reading your account...lovely.....Thank you....
I am in awe! Thanks to Jen for allowing you to share images of baby Marlowe in this sacred space! We've all been anxiously awaiting this day and I am so very thrilled! Thank you!
Happy Birthday Marlowe and Congratulations to Jen and her team for the safe birth of her beautiful daughter.
After a sleepless night and a reading of all the comments and your heartfelt tweet of last night I was moved to comment just once more.
I was going to email you privately but felt that, as I had made my first comment publicly, I should make this comment public too.
I am sure that you thought very carefully about that entry and wanted,quite rightly,to celebrate the wonder of birth. I can only say that, for myself, sometimes the sadness of not having had that birth experience colours my views and perhaps causes me to react a little hastily and without due care. For that I apologise.
The last thing I would want is for you to feel constrained about what you write on your blog - after all we readers have a free choice - and I love your writing and way with words and would not want to lose that.
So please carry on writing the way you do and thank you for allowing a small debate to take place on your comments. It has meant a lot to me and,I know, a lot of others too.
'Tall Blond Knitter ' said it for me - I am still crying. and the wonder of it all is topped when you reach out a finger and the wee hand just wraps around it...........
Amazing, well done Jen. And the blanket looks fab.
Congratulations, Jen! Marlowe is a beautiful baby, obviously. And thank you, Stephanie, for bringing tears to my eyes as I remember how powerful and amazing it was to give birth to my 2 wonderful munchkins.
Jen and family, congratulations and thank you for allowing the YH to do babywatch 2011 and share, holding our breaths for the last few days. Marlowe, welcome, you are adorable. Somebody, knit Marlowe some mittens, please. I saw some people read what they think was written and did not listen to the tone and music of what was really written. Thank you, Yarn Harlot, for what you really said.
What a wonderful, moving post. Makes all the problems I'm having with teenage nr 2 son fall into perspective....
Congratulations, Jen on the birth of Marlowe. And congratulations to you too, Stephanie, for being the wonderful writer that you are. Your posts are a joy to read.
Welcome Marlowe and congratulations to Jen and her family! What wonderful news. So glad everyone is healthy. Now the big questions...what's next on the needles?
Lucky little Miss will keep warm with that lot.
Happy Birthday to Marlowe and Happy Mother's Day to Jen! What a beautiful family you are. Marlowe looks so cute all wrapped up in that blanket. I'm sure that Jen is glad to finally be done with her pregnancy and on to taking care of her beautiful baby. I will miss the parade of baby knits though. That ladybug hat was too cute!
Stephanie your post is so wonderful and well written that it made me all teary. Now if only we could get more doctors in the US to adopt that philosophy!
Congratulations to all of you on the new arrival. That is one fine baby she (they) made!
Oh and you're dead right on the natural birth. Point in case: we would have gone quite extinct quite a while ago already if you weren't.
First, what a wonderful moving post Steph...thank you. Welcome Marlowe!!!
Second, EVERYONE EVER involved with medically intervening on births should read this post and especially the comments...all of them...in fact, they should print it out and put it over scrub sinks, make it mandatory office staff reading, and in general take it to heart. I think we do a very poor job of supporting women who for whatever reason have a baby with medical intervention. NO ONE should have a sense of disappointment or failure because they did not have a "natural" birth. The thought that there are women out there that do is what makes me cry. These women need to be empowered too!!! (I had one in the hospital induced and one at home and my mother had five stillbirths before having me, her only child-it gives an interesting background to make this comment).
That made my day. Thank you for posting.
Beautiful, beautiful girl! So pleased for everyone involved. This has brightened my day. x
Lovely baby and a happy conclusion to a long awaited event. Perhaps in the joy of the moment you did not realize your words implied that people 'become a family' at the birth of a child. Of course there are many kinds of families, and children are lovely but not necessary parts of them. And also as stated above, that natural non-medicated childbirths are one kind of childbirth experience which is empowering. It is of course something that women have been doing for thousands of years. All births have the possibility of being empowering for the mother. And as for bonding, my mother had me in the '50s and was given scopolamine ('twilight sleep') as was the procedure then, and I defy anyone to be more deeply in love with their baby than my mother was with me, or advocate more fiercely. I know you were not writing to offend people, that you were writing about your part in the experience not the mother's and I wish the mother and baby every good thing in the world from now on.
beautiful and powerful words Stephanie, thank you.
First of all, congratulations to Jen (and her husband! - he contributed to the Baby, too) on the birth of a beautiful girl.
I call my daughter a high-tech baby - she could only be conceived with medical intervention of the highest order, and she could only be born with medical intervention, as a previous operation made it impossible for me to have her naturally.
Despite the very technical nature surrounding the birth of my daughter, everyone in the operating theatre made sure that I could bond with her from the first minute. And I am sure I have no lesser bond with my daughter than my sister has with her two kids which were born only with midwives present.
It is not so much the way to give birth itself, but the way you are supported throughout the birthing process that can make a difference.
But I also believe that too much is made of the "perfect" birthing experience - labour and birth are only a very small part of pregnancy and the postpartum period - there are many opportunities to form a strong bond with your child, even if the birth was not what one wished for.
Congratulations to the birther, the birthed, and the knitter!!
I absolutely agree with all the comments that understand that you weren't underrating any type of birth, just celebrating a fantastic one -- of course all birthing mothers should feel empowered, whatever the medical constraints and decisions involved. My own mother, who had a hard though normal labour with me, cried with relief when 30 years later she found out that 'it hadn't been her fault' -- at the time, the hospital staff took me away from her for 24 hours, leaving her to understand that she had done such a bad job that she had damaged me. She carried that burden of guilt for 30 years -- it was only when I had my own daughter that I had enough knowledge to tell her that she hadn't failed me.
Nobody should be given that insensitive treatment ever again, and it's people like you, YH, who are working to ensure that experiences like that don't happen. More strength to you!!
Congratulations to the new mama and baby, & I feel bad that their joy has gotten wrapped up in the huge birth debate.
I've had all sorts of births: intervention-free in a birthing center, emergency c-section at 34 weeks, and scheduled c-section (to avoid another emergency c-section). I was traumatized by my second birth mostly because I couldn't get over the fact that if I lived farther from the hospital, or in an area of the country or world where there wasn't a nearby hospital that could handle an emergency c-section, or 100 years ago, my baby and I would be dead. Dead. That's what placental abruption does: it kills babies and sometimes mothers. So while I recognize that c-section is often turned to when unnecessary, how can I (or anyone else) unilaterally scorn a procedure that saves lives? I can't. I have three babies instead of one because of it, and my husband still has a wife, and my first child still has a mother. We are a happy family of five instead of a grieving family of two, and that is an excellent outcome from any birth.
Congratulations to Jen and family!
Love! Thanks for your beautiful words and gorgeous photos. Loving the blanket you made wrapped around Marlowe. Jacinta
What a gorgeous post. She's lovely, and the pile of knitted goodness is just so sweet. Her name is awesome, too!
Hello, there, little Marlowe. Welcome to the world.
Stephanie, please tell us what she weighed. She looks like a very good size for a newborn!
Birth stories are absolutely fascinating to me. I had 24 hours of labour followed by an emergency C-section with my first (followed by an anaphylactic reaction that almost killed me). With my second, I had 60 hours of labour with 3 hours of pushing and a long drawn-out forceps delivery. While they were both medically-assisted births, I did feel empowered (and this was almost 30 years ago) so they were good experiences. It's amazing, though, how some people did pity me at the time for not having a natural delivery (I didn't buy into that, though).
Both of my granddaughters were born at home, upstairs in the bathtub with us grandparents downstairs, awaiting their births. I was awestruck at how quiet and relaxed the setting was, how unrushed the midwives were to weigh the babies and measure them, and how quiet, relaxed but alert my granddaughters both were. If I could turn back time, I would have used midwives and doulas at the hospital if I could have--who knows what my experience with medical intervention would have been?
Thanks for the great post (and unlike a few others, I didn't read anything negative into your words about medically-assisted births, just inspiration over empowering women in labour, no matter what kind of birth they have).
What a beautiful baby!! And, you must have known something having made that PINK hat!!! Congrats to all...
This is the most beautiful essay on childbirth that I have ever read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
In these days of uncertainty it is always uplifting to hear about the miracle of birth. Congratulations to Jen and her family. The baby afghan looks awesome, too.
Probably the MOST anticipated baby ever. Welcome to Marlowe and congratulations to the wonderful parents.
Welcome to the world, precious Marlowe!
And thank you, Stephanie, for putting into words what I felt in my own birth experience. This feels so profoundly true to me.
Welcome little Marlowe, congrats to all, and thanks dear Harlot for sharing in such a wonderful way. As I get ready to start another day of pointless meetings and paper shuffling, I'm smiling and weepy here at my office. Again, your post has made my day! :-)
Exquisitely said, Stephanie.
So beautiful. Thanks for posting this!
I am one of those who ended up with a massively high-intervention delivery, with no time to prep and eons way too early (Toby was born at 26 weeks of gestation; I had a stroke and a seizure on the way plus other complications; he had a better chance than I of surviving those first few nights). I certainly think my bonding with him would have been way easier with a very different birth. I had zero choice about really anything to do with the delivery - but then, I wasn't really conscious either. Though apparently they had trouble getting an epidural in due to a lot of swelling, which I really had NOT wanted in the first place, and eventually I communicated that somehow and I ended up under general anesthesia LOL. For me? The choice that moved mountains was getting Toby to be a full-time nursing baby. I couldn't start to pump milk until 8 days after his birth; he couldn't even be put to my breast until he was 5? weeks old (could have been longer, I can't remember), and it took months for him to become strong enough to nurse full time. Once he got home at 12.5 weeks old, he nursed for an hour and 45 minutes out of every two hours - around the clock - I was one tired mama but I was determined to get him there, and he did. I don't think my path is the path for everyone, but I do think it's an example of what Stephanie is talking about - empowerment is an amazing thing. And nursing? There was a huge dose of luck involved (Toby was a willing partner in the whole venture), but it also was my big place of empowerment over his very traumatic and entirely against my dreams and plans arrival. That? Was where our bonding solidified so deeply. Thanks for this post Stephanie - what a beautiful story and while Marlowe looks nothing like what Toby looked like at birth, it touches me deeply - in some ways, it's the birth I wanted, but in others? It rings true to my own albeit very different experience.
(whoops, first posted this comment to the Bootie-o-Rama post; reposting here!)
precious little baby makes me want to cry
What a lovely post! I'm tearing up over my morning tea.
Hurray for spreading the word about low-intervention childbirth. I had both my children at home with midwives and it was a fantastic, life-changing experience both times. Thanks for reminding me of the strength of women.
People keep saying that you don't get a medal for giving birth unmedicated, but boy, if I could put it on my resume, I would! Congratulations to Jen and her gorgeous baby, and to you for all your hard work and help.
That is one beautiful newborn baby!
That is one beautifully cooked baby! Congratulations, Jenn and Marlowe! (And Steph ;) )
Happy Birthday Marlowe! Love your name. Enjoy your beautiful handknits.
In the "you made this, I made that" exchange, Jen wins. Lovely baby!
Great post. Adorable baby. Glad that mom and baby both made it!
From the number of comments it seems that thousands of people have been holding their breath in anticipation! A very large collective sigh of relief and release for the best possible outcome....A happy ending/beginning. "Big!" congratulations to Jen for managing to birth such a beautiful healthy baby. Can't beat a brand new baby arriving safely for bringing smiles and swelling hearts and tears of joy. Lovely xxxx
welcome sweet beautiful marlowe! wonderful job jen...as someone who went through this recently as well...you are a rock star! :)
What a beautiful baby, and beautiful name! Congratulations, Jen and family!
And Stephanie, I forgot how much I love that, among your other accomplishments and opinion, you are an experienced and knowledgeable birth worker. Thanks so much for talking about the benefits of low-intervention births here. Not everyone can or should experience that kind of birth, and I am deeply thankful interventions like the C-section exist; but if a woman has the ability and opportunity, I'm a believer in the benefits of minimal intervention. I've had two at our local hospital, it doesn't have to be at home, and although it was hard, I'm so glad I did.
Sweet, Sweet baby we are so happy to have you here. I am having a home birth w/ a midwife and your post really spoke to me. It encompases everything about the birth of my child that I beleive in and believe myself capable of doing. In no way has any doctor made me feel my own strength more than my midwife. I have never gone through it, but I know I can do it, and I wish you were one of my birthing workers! Your experience says it all.
Congratulations to Jen.
Welcome to the world little Marlowe (GREAT name!).
Thank you Stephanie, for putting into words what I knew to my core, when I gave birth to three of my kids.
Steph, you have captured the essence of birth for me. I, too was involved with birthing for many years and the single most amazing part was the watching the girl/woman turn into a mother.
Congratulations to Jen and welcome to Marlowe.
Mazel tov to everyone involved!
And what else could you do with that pile of knits? They were dedicated to Marlowe before she drew a breath.
Once again you have moved me to tears.
Thank you for sharing this marvelous journey, and thanks to you and Jen for sharing with us this amazing, beautiful new life. Blessings to Mum and Baby. xxxxx
Thanks for giving us the happy news! Marlowe is a beauty! May she enjoy a long and happy knit-intensive life!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. What a privilege to hear your witness and see the pictures of a beautiful new baby. I had a baby girl 17 months ago through a natural childbirth with my midwife. Motherhood has changed me, but the act of childbirth changed me as well. I have newfound respect and admiration for my body, for the gift of human life, for the necessary pain and struggle of living. What a gift to share!
Stephanie, what an absolutely beautiful description on the beauty of birth. THANK YOU THANK YOU so much for the acknowledgement of something so important to all of us.
Congratulations to all! Marlowe is beautiful. :-) And thank you for reminding me that if I could do that, I can do almost anything.
Just gorgeous. I keep coming back to see her beautiful face! I love the knitting posts but your writing about your family and your extended family is quite moving. Thank you for sharing & Well done :)
thank you for sharing, that was just beautiful and so true, i wouldn't and didn't numb a single second of my three homebirths, and even with a few bumps in the road, consider them the absolute high points of my life!
Oh, my goodness. I almost started crying reading your post! So beautiful!
And the baby is gorgeous. The knits are amazing. And your wit is incredible.
Congratulations to Jen!!!
Yay! I think the baby was waiting for all the extra knits. What a wonderful, wooly pile with which to be welcomed into the world.
I had both my babies out of hospital, with a midwife and a doula, and I agree wholeheartedly. After doing those very long, intense births naturally, I feel like I can handle anything... even anything a 2-year-old can do!
Thank you, Steph, for that beautiful post. I have tears in my eyes at work! I had a birth like that with my son, 9.5 years ago, and it was the high point of my life. Truly, nothing makes you feel more powerful and capable as a woman. Thank you and all the wonderful midwives and doulas who help women have this kind of experience.
And of course, congratulations to Jen and family, and welcome to beautiful Marlowe!
What a beautiful baby. Thank you for sharing. And thank you, Stephanie, for your eloquent words that brought many to tears.
May you all have a long and happy life.
This certainly has to be one of the bast and most moving pieces you have ever written, thank you for sharing Jenn's journey and Marlowe's arrival. I have enjoyed this tiny saga of life.
Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. The baby, Jen, and you, Stephanie, for putting everything in just the right words. Blessings to all.
Happy birthday, baby Marlowe! And congratulations to mommy Jen. TFS, Stephanie. :)
Welcome, Marlowe. Happiness and health to you and your family in the years to come.
Thank you, Jen, for allowing us to share some small portion of the private joy you've known leading to this day.
Thank you, Stephanie, for a particularly eloquent tribute to the miracle of birth and the miracle of mothers everywhere NO MATTER HOW THEY'VE EARNED THE TITLE. (Amen, Presbytera!!!!)
Who will have the privilege of handing Marlowe her first knitting needles? Tradition demands we must honor and nurture the next generation from birth..
She is a beautiful baby - and looks so contented wrapped in that wonderful knitted blanket. What a lucky infant! And Marlowe is a beautiful name.
Congratulations to Jen and a great big welcome to baby Marlowe.
And a thank you to you, Stephanie, for a truly moving and loving post.
One is honor bound to be complimentary and say that every new born is as lovely as an angel but, in complete honesty, some have scroonched-up faces that only a hormone enraged mother could love.
But this little one....oh my. As lovely as a new rose. Welcome to the world, sweet pea!
What a beautiful baby and a beautiful name!! Steph, thank you for reminding me of the wonderful day when I first met my own sweet girl...It was just as you described and I will always cherish every amazing minute of it.
Again, you have spoken truth, in your positive, eloquent and poignant manner.
The idea that mothers birth babies (and are not delivered) is my hugest soapbox. All mothers should have this option without intervention, healthfully and safely. Instead we are creating a new paradigm that having babies should be avoided at all costs. Fewer and fewer babies are delivered naturally (without intervention). Consequently people do not know it exists. The medicos think that they have all the control and are "saving" something. Those present are filled with the fear brought to this intervented event. Others think this is what must happen and believe normal birth is simply lucky. Babies are of little consequence when when and how they are born, their first decision on the planet, is completely disregarded. But saddest of all are the babies who are born without a connection to mother, drugged, and instincts suppressed, who may not end up breastfeeding/bonding.
A blessing that you were there.
Looking at these pictures it reminds me of when Sarah was born. Even though I almost lost my life that day, I wouldnt trade it for the world. Even when she is being obtuse or a typical 15 year old I am reminded of that day when she was born. I look at her all 5'9.5 " and I realize she will be gone to college in just a few short years...poof as fast as she arrived. Congrats to you Autie Steph and especially to Jen for doing what only we women can do well(along with the rest of what we do well). Lots of love and joy to the family. They grow fast, love them as strong and as hard as you can.
What a lovely take on women. How I wish someone had let me in on this empowerment idea 25 years ago. I just wanted to get it all over with and have my prize in my arms. So congrats to Jen, the Wonder Woman, bringing a perfectly beautiful human into the world. Happy Birth Day to Marlowe, you lucky little person. Memorize this "Aunt Steph will knit it for me."
Sweetest baby, congrats to Jen and her family!
She IS a beautiful baby! I was present while my daughter gave birth to my two granddaughters. It was a life changing event for both of us!! thank you for sharing the journey.
This one brought tears to my eyes. Blessings on all involved.
Oh. So. Stunning. Mommy, baby, post - what gorgeous heart and soul.
Thank you ALL for sharing!!
Congratulations to Jen! Marlowe is beautiful and will surely be swathed in loving knits all her life.
Pregnancy and childbirth is something that only the woman going through it can truly appreciate and understand. I wish my husband felt the pains of contractions and what I felt that moment when each of our 4 children came into this world. Like nothing else.
Sitting 4days prior to my due date,it's nice to see that if Jen got to the other side maybe I will too! Thanks for these posts which are helping me feel better about bucking the NJ aunts who think i should induce the day after my due date, rather then wait at least a week as suggested by my actually doctor! apparently women don't go into natural labor in NJ!
Welcome to the beautiful world, you beautiful baby!! Thanks to your parents for sharing your precious face with us! And Stephanie---what a beautiful story. I have a dear friend who has delivered babies for 40 years with whom I am going to share this blog post. I'll bet she gets teary-eyed, too! You are such a good writer and, I think, a very special human!
Where is the "love" button?? Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts (and the photos, of course!) and congratulations to Jen and Marlowe!
Congratualions all of you!! Jen, little Marlowe and Stephanie for it is yet another beautiful woman to make this world better :)
Congratulations Jen. Marlowe is a beautiful name for a beautiful girl!
Extraordinarily moving post. You have found words for the indescribable.
Lovely little baby. I so enjoyed being with my daughter through her labor & birth - so awesome to see how hard she worked & how determined she was - and what a gift for me to have that peaceful, beautiful experience of watching my granddaughter be born...
Welcome Marlowe. What a gorgeous baby! Congratulations to Jenn and her family.
Awww, such a gorgeous babe. Congrats to new mom Jen and that cute bundle. Good to see she's wrapped in yarn and handknits from the very begining. Much lave Aki X
Congratulations Jen on the arrival of your beautiful daughter, wishing you a long and happy life full of beautiful hand knits! And on the 2ry topic, my forceps delivery in no way impacted on my knowledge that I could kill for my son, but it did mean he would be there for me to kill for. The only good birth is one where mother and baby are both alive at the end of it - if that works out how you'd wanted, that's a bonus.
Congratulations to Jen and her family! What a beautiful, BIG baby!
Beautiful story, beautiful baby, beautiful knits!
Awe, is it too early to start knitting gifts for Marlowe's first birthday? I'm not ready for the parade of baby knits to be over yet. LOL
Wouldn't it be nice if all of us who ended up with healthy babies....no matter how long ago, could knit something for the local neonatal unit,there is a link to the little bonnet pattern (cotton) on that post.
A little thank you is always good :)
Thanks, as always for sharing. Thanks to Jen for letting you share and welcome, Marlowe!
Congratulations to Jen, Daddy, and Stephanie, the ultimate knitter. Marlowe is a beautiful baby and so fortunate to be born into so much love.
I love your post and your descriptive and emotive way of writing.
As an adoptive mother, I still loved the story of this birth. I taught our children to have complete love and respect for their birth mothers, whom they do not know. I respect them immensely.
Thank you for this special post.
So happy for you. Although you do not know me, I am sending lots of love.
This is what life is all about.
PS: No grandchildren here, yet. I want what you're having. : )
What a beautiful story. What a beautiful baby. So glad it all worked out well. And since you know that baby will grow, you need to start on some baby knits for a 1 year old.......
Congratulations, Jen. :-)
My thoughts on some of the comments (not the original post): I certainly agree that women need to be empowered to make their own decisions about childbirth rather than being trapped and helpless about what's being done to their own bodies. (This is true of all medicine, actually, not just childbirth.) I certainly also agree that it's best to minimize unnecessary interventions (again, both in childbirth and in medicine more generally).
However, I do think it's important to keep in mind that the metaphor of the woman in labor as a warrior is apt for another reason. Like going to war, giving birth is dangerous. Before the advent of modern medicine, death in childbirth was fairly common and in places without sufficient medical resources, it still is. Babies and mothers can also suffer permanent injury during birth (obstetric fistula, anyone?) Obviously some pregnancies and deliveries are lower-risk than others, but none are NO-risk and things can go perfectly right up until the moment where everything goes pear-shaped.
This isn't to knock the idea of low-intervention birth whenever possible (although if I were to ever give birth, I guarantee I'd want all the painkillers they were willing to give me!) And again, it's a response to a few of the comments rather than the original post.
Just observing that the fact that childbirth is natural doesn't mean it's safe -- dying in childbirth is also natural -- and a lot of women and babies wouldn't be here today if it weren't for those medical interventions.
You know how they say that any landing you walk away from is a good landing? Obviously some births (and some landings) are better than others, but from my (admittedly non-child-ed perspective) ultimately it seems like if Mom and baby are both healthy, at some level it's been a good birth.
My daughter just delivered her second daughter, both "non-dedicated" deliveries, and your post has moved me to tears. Thank you Stephanie for writing the words I feel but could never express so beautifully.
Thank you for the reminder - I needed that. What I did in labor was fierce, and I have tended to forget that the work I did there _does_ mean that I can do anything I put my mind and body to.
What an amazingly beautiful baby!
With congratulations and best wishes to all. . .
Welcome sweetie! She's a little doll!
Thank you, Bethany. You have expressed what I wanted to say but wasn't sure how to say it w/o sounding like a jerk for saying it. I had one child with meds and one without. I have heard of so many women who went through hell bearing children because they didn't want to be "quitters." However we get our children is wonderful. This is not an endurance test.
It has suddenly occurred to me that the FURNACE WARS WILL BE STARTING SOON! I must have been reminded by all the warm woolies you have been kniting!
beautiful. congrats and much happiness. I also had and plan for a natural birth, and hope that women are able to continue to have the option to chose the best/safest/happiest way to start their new lives whenever possible.
Is it bad that I was ooohing and aahhhing as much over the blanket as I was the baby?
Stephanie and Jen, Thanks to you both for sharing Marlowe's debut into the world with us. As a 70ish year old person, I have welcomed many babies into the world, but not one recently, so this beautiful girl was very much awaited by me, whom she will never know. May God Bless Her forever.
You are a wonderful person. Congratulations to Jen and a big welcome to beautiful baby Marlowe :)
You brought me to tears the first time I read your writing about birth, and made me seek out everything else you had written up to that point.
You brought me to tears again today. Thank you for sharing this amazing background you have with your knitterly online friends.
And congrats to Jen & Marlowe!
True. Beautiful. Welcome earthling.
What a beautiful, beautiful baby. I love this post. It's like a present to all moms, young and old.
Welcome sweet babe- there is a lot of love awaiting you.
Love those great new baby pictures, and the tribute to Jen and moms. Congratulations!!
It takes so much strength to be a parent in general -- maybe birth is so amazing because it's such a crystalized moment where that strength is particularly intense. It's such a brief, pure, surreally hard transition between the long stretches of being pregnant and having a newborn. Loved this post.
Welcome to the world, precious Marlowe!
And thank you, Stephanie, for putting into words what I felt in my own birth experience. This feels so profoundly true to me.
Thank you Harlot. You gave me just what I needed! Tears of joy for two strong beautiful women I've never even met.
Hugzes for both of you and WELCOME to the world Marlow. May it bring you nothing but joy!
Congratualations Jen (and Dad). What a beautiful person you've made!
Welcome to the world Marlowe. I wish you all good things(haven't you got the loveliest little cheeks!)
And thanks Bethany, you said what I wanted to say too.
This made me cry. I am 5 weeks off my due date and have been getting so so scared about the birth. But your post made me feel more confident, proud of myself for carrying this baby, and really excited about meeting it!
Well done to Jen - her daughter is amazing and beautiful.
Well, I won't mention abs, as it's the last thing I thought about personally after having just given birth ( I did it three times with/for three of the most beautiful daughters/human beings in this God's earth)... and I am privileged to read this blog, and to know you via the blog, Steph, as your writing reflects a heart that is big and generous and true. Thank you for sharing what is inside you with all of us. As a birthworker myself, and a lactation consultant for these past 25 years, I consider myself blessed to work with new mothers and babies every single day. Love to you and to the beautiful new family. Kathleen in Vermont
If there was ever a time that you felt like taking a little while away from blogging, this would be a perfect opportunity. You could leave those pictures of Marlowe up for, say, a month, or a year.. and I'd still go to your blog to breathe in that magical newborn sweetness, day after day. Congratulations to you and your friends! I hope many future knit nights are spent holding that little snuggle bunny..
Geez...I'm crying over my toast reading this...you described this event with loving clarity.
my first son was born on the same day 9 years ago.
i did this 3 times, and made me a real woman- inclusive 2 home birth, the best thing ever happened to me. and, very special, my 1.daughter was very fast: my husband and i hold her before the midwife arrived :)
my best birth, my best time of my life. i did it alone- the best i ever did in my life, nothing is and was better again and before.
best wishes from germany, eva
For those of you on Ravelry, there is a thread on the "Yarn Harlot Fans" group that has a place where you can guess baby Marlowe's weight. Don't know if Steph will ask Jen if she can post it, but she might!
What a lovely, lovely baby. Welcome to the world, little Marlowe.
This post is absolutely beautiful.... Perfect, perfect words. I will echo the hundreds of others here: congrats to the new family!
Wonderful photos. The second one especially captures the magic of a new little human life.
There is some serious cuteness going on there.
Beautifully said. I love the way you write about the power of women. Welcome to a new little woman with an adorable name, and huge congratulations to the mama on her accomplishment!
What a gorgeous baby. Congratulations to all!
Stephanie, I am not a knitter... a friend of mine shared your post with me. Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I too, was a doula for 17 years following my amazing VBAC birth after two cesareans. How I miss the moms... watching that miraculous transformation that happens with a woman-centered birth.
Congratulations to the new family.
Welcome baby Marlowe! And congrats to the family.
Lovely, lovely. Once again you have gotten to the heart of it all.
Have you ever considered writing a birthing book ? I don't mean the sort of birthing book that already exists but one of the sort that you just expressed here. I know so many women who do not believe that they can or could have gotten through birth without lots of intervention and I'm not talking about the kind of intervention that's needed to help both parties survive. I'm personally a NICU nurse (did it for 10 years, now homeschool my own five children that came into the world in perfectly normal circumstances because I believed in the power of my body and God was willing to allow me to do it without medical intervention) and I've talked to women - both friends and patient's mothers who felt that just couldn't get through the experience without medical help. Please write a book.
Your post makes me cry. In less than one month of time I will be a mother for one year. I know I love my kid, but I am so sorry and shameful that I cannot feel it all the time, because I have been so depressed after the birth. I have always thought it is the birthgiving that makes my depression worse, and that thought distance me from my boy emotionally. What you wrote gives me faith in myself. I know my boy makes my life alive. I just need to believe that not only is he a miracle for me, I being his mother should also be one for him. I will be stronger, fierce, and better. Thank you, Stephanie.
Thank goodness your friend finally had her baby, and everyone's in great health. Your knitting vibes helped, I'm sure. what a beautiful baby. Congratulations, Jen!
Beautiful! The baby, the knits, the story. All of it. Gorgeous.
Beautiful post, beautiful baby, beautiful knits. What a lovely trio of thoughts to take to bed with me.
I don't know for sure if today was the day of your birth, beautiful Ms Marlowe, but welcome to a great birthday if it was (yup mine too), and either way welcome to a great birth month.
You have some truly wonderful people around you.
How beautiful. My 7th grandson was just born this morning and in June I assisted at the birth of my 6th grandson. You are so right about the incredible and true strength of a mother. Thank you for all the patterns Steph and dear little Marlow. I finished one of the sweaters last night and am finishing bootie # 1 tonight. Thanks for being my inspiration!
Congratulations to the new mother and adorable, healthy new baby! Mother and baby are gorgeous, and so are the baby knits!
She's here!!! Welcome Marlowe, congrats to Mom & Dad.... A good beginning to life & all those wonderful woolies.
Congratulations Jen. I just got caught up on back posts of baby knits as I was busy popping out my own little girl. When I saw the pictures of Jen's baby all I could think was that is a big baby, mine was 4lbs 10oz so everything else looks big.
I think our night nurse really wanted to see us become a family, when labor started she joked that I had to give birth before 7 when she got off. Aurora popped out at 6:56 and she could not have been more excited.
The extra baking time seems to have resulted in perfection. Jen, y'a done good. Enjoy that little angel. Sending you love and bunny thumps of approval(from my rabbit, who also happens to be named Marlowe)
Congratulations! My friend who had 5 children once told me not to forget the experience of birth, and the inner strength that comes out during the experience. I didn't really grasp it with my first child, but did this time around with my second. Your writing moved me to tears :)
Beautifully said! The strength of all those involved...
A beautiful post. I always appreciate others who share my view of childbirth. Thank you.
This post brought tears to my eyes. Blessings!
Congratulations Jen and Welcome Marlowe!
As for your beautiful sentiments, it confirms for me the sense of loss I felt when my baby refused to turn (despite the attempt at a version) and I was left with no choice but to leave my midwives for modern medicine and a scheduled c-section.
I wish I could have experienced that moment...and I still hope to with my next child.
Thanks for sharing such beautiful thoughts with all of us.
Congratulations to all. I totally agree with everything you have written. Wonderful stuff. Welcome to the world Marlowe, what a beautiful name.
Beautiful post Steph, it just captured the feeling of bringing a life into the world perfectly, when you finally meet the little person that you have been dreaming of for months.
Not to quibble with some of the posts, but as someone who had a friend lose a baby at term, ANY birth that results in a new life is a good birth. I loved my midwife with my second birth (my first the traditional route) but I was also extremely blessed to have a trouble free birth. It is always a miracle, regardless of the method.
Welcome, Baby Marlowe.
Thankyou Stephanie. Bless all of you >:D<
Welcome with joy to baby Marlowe, congratulations to Jen and family, and thank you to Steph for allowing us to share in the joy.
My husband is a paramedic who rejoices in his opportunities to assist a mother to bring life into the world. It is such a wonderful change from the trauma he normally has to deal with.
Wishing blessings on all of you!
Your such a beautiful person! Thanks for sharing! Congrats to the new little life and all her loved ones. May the Lord bless her exceedly!
As a woman who has moved two great forces through my own body without intervention, and as an in-training doula, I completely agree. Nothing greater.
A great birthday! My "baby" boy was born 35 years ago on September 14. What a blessing!
Such women give birth!! Delivery is not what happens - please use women centred language to talk about women's endeavours!!
So touching, so true. Welcome Marlowe! And all the best there is to Jen and her family. Big, big love <3
Happy belated birthday, Marlowe! Thank you, Jen, for letting us share your joy. Stephanie, I wish you had been there at my first birth (even though you don't know me.) I think your strength and positive energy would have empowered to 'own' the type of birth that resulted. Thank you for sharing such an intimate moment. I think it helped me to find another level of peace.
...I understand why I'm not a writer! Wow. Thank you Jen, for allowing us to see the result of all of that waiting. Thank you Steph, for being the kind of friend to Jen to be able to share this wonderful event with grace and joy.
Congratulations to Jen and Marlowe! What a beautiful baby. It looks like it was worth the wait.
And thank you, Stephanie, for those words. That empowerment and joy is everything I'd hope for the women in my family when they have children.
I had a very medically intervened with birth which was supposed to be at home with a midwife. However, after 3 weeks of bed rest for high blood pressure and 4 days of on and off again labour I was so exhausted that I couldn't cope and chose to have an epidural. To make that decision I was wracked with guilt because in my mind at the time it meant that I had failed. My midwife, said to me "right now it is about the baby". In that moment it hit me that it didn't matter a smidge how I got from point A, here in this hospital to point B holding a baby in my arms who was alive and healthy. We all fight in our own way and "own the living daylights out of our bodies" giving birth, no matter how we birth our babies.
I have a friend who wrestled with gestational diabetes with all three of her children and it was no picnic monitoring everything she ate and poking her fingers several times a day to check her blood sugars. She wanted to have births free from interventions (don't we all) but it was not possible with her condition. Even though she was doing everything right, her body was betraying her all over the map. I am sad for her that she sometimes, even for moments feels disappointed in herself. She had challenging pregnancies and births and she fought her own inner demons, it's scary to have complications. We are women and we are prone to feeling like somehow this is our fault. She lived with the possibility for 9 months knowing that statistically in these situations babies can die. She did everything within her power to maintain her health and well being against all odds (meaning this is fairly simple for your first child but harder for the 2nd and 3rd). It is wrong that she ever feel an ounce of disappointment in herself. She put the extreme in pregnancy, I mean how hard is it really to cruise through pregnancy with just a little heartburn and have a low key painful labour. She should never have to feel sadness about the way her children came into this world because they are living, breathing wonders who delight and terrorize. She should never feel disappointed in herself because though she didn't have the perfect idyllic home birth she dreamed of, she was strong and brave. She is a heroine in my books, and she is the best mother I know.
I don't usually comment in blogs, but I felt compelled to offer this to the women who are feeling even a twinge of not being a real woman because they had a c-section or/ and an epidural. Childbirth is about holding that sweet smelling baby in your arms not whether you came in a limo or on a bicycle.
I love this blog dearly and never comment because it always feels that someone has said what I would have said, this time though I think some women may need to hear it more than once. I also think I write to remind myself.
beautiful baby, beautiful photos and most of all beautiful blog entry.
I appreciate how those who had high-intervention births could be offended by Stephanie's words about natural low-intervention births being the smoothest and easiest road for health, bonding, and so on.
When medical intervention is needed, care for the mother and baby's physical and emotional needs are paramount. A mother should always feel that her needs have been respected, and her choices are considered.
A new baby, however it comes, is a miracle, and I'm certain nothing Stephanie wrote was intended to take that away from anyone. It certainly is wonderful when a baby comes in the most ideal way, but that in no way invalidates the experience or parent-child bond of any other relationship.
Beautiful! Brings tears to my eyes.
What a beautiful baby and I love her name. Congrats Jen.
That brought tears to my eyes and a kick to my questioning of my own abilities. I did this 3 times with the last one in the front seat of a blazer truck. Thank you for reminding me how amazing I am.
Normally I am disappointed when I don't see a new post/photo on your site, but I just love coming here day by day and seeing that gorgeous baby.
There are soooo many comments ahead of me that you will probably never see this but I had to comment anyway. Thank God that in this world of "Scheduled" non emergency births it is reassuring to find one other person in this world that believes a baby will arrive when it is ready and fully cooked. Everyone seems to have set a date with their OB-GYN for their birthing---I still believe that barring terrible complications we should let the baby and the Mother's body decide when the baby will enter the world. I wish the USA would use and appreciate a Doula or Midwife more often. I would have loved to be a Midwife but in my youth it was unheard of--even my births with no "drugs " or epidurals were somewhat frowned upon by my Dr. and my friends thought I was looney tunes. I also didn't want my whole family and close friends in the room--I had work to do and no time to socialize.
Just read the tweet. It's your blog. Blog about whatever the hell you please. I can't believe people don't get that, a) It's your blog. You get to decide, and, b) Nobody's forcing them to read it.
Dear People Who Think They Can Tell Stephanie What To Blog About: IT'S STEPHANIE'S BLOG! If you don't like it, read something else.
This seems ridiculously obvious to me, but...?
I can't stop chuckling about the "Marxist" tweet. Having just had a midwife attended homebirth 3 months ago, I had no idea I was being so political. And considering I live in Texas, which is about as far from socialist as you can get while living in a democracy, I find it especially amusing.
Congrats to Jen.
Wait, wait, wait...! In response to your recent tweet, you've ACTUALLY been asked not to write about those things? Those people are nuts!
I would not ever tell you what to blog or not blog, but I would be heartbroken if you stopped blogging about babies - the world needs more of that kind of love, not less.
Stephanie, we love reading you because you are so totally you. Don't ever change.
I echo Julie's comments... I, for one, am going through withdrawal, looking for a post every day. The saving grace is that I am greeted with a most beautiful baby picture!!! :)
(and to those who would tell you what not to post about, ignore them, they clearly need a hobby)
I read her tweet about things she's been asked not to blog about. I find that hilarious. The point of a blog is to get to say what you want to say when you want to say it.
Everyone doesn't have to agree with what she said. But about women being empowered by the birth experience "When the power and trust is transferred to the mother, when she delivers her child, rather than "is delivered" when she chooses, rather than "is allowed", NO MATTER WHAT SORT OF TECHNICAL BIRTH SHE HAS, she is stronger, fiercer, and better." (emphasis mine)
To me, she is advocating choices for women no matter what birth experience they have! I find it funny that any of the women that feel excluded by this blog post would go so far as to suggest that she no longer write about this subject, which in Stephanie's case is a HUGE part of her life.
She is the Yarn Harlot, but she's not JUST the Yarn Harlot. This is her blog, and no one should try to silence her.
Now, Stephanie, if you would be so kind as to write a controversial blog about your bicycle, I'd be most interested. :)
Awww, what a sweet new babe. I love this post. And the new babe's name of course :) Congrats Jen and Marlowe. Enjoy!
Congratulations to Jen and Marlowe, and Daddy! What a journey you've just embarked on.
I've been coming back to this post, and the comments, almost every day since it went up trying to analyze the sadness and concern it all makes me feel. I know Stephanie did not mean to exclude people like me (1 emergency C-section, 1 VBAC, 1 relatively planned C-section) in her celebration of the birth she had witnessed. And yet, I, and others, felt as though our struggles and "mountain moving" were not recognized, or somehow had less validity.
Some people have suggested that it is not fair to Jen that we have this conversation here, which was also my feeling at first--why colour her powerful experience with my sadness? But what I hope Jen (and all the women who wrote about their All Natural births) can take away from this is how Fortunate and Blessed they were to have that experience. Healthy moms and babes can be healthy right up to the moment when they're not.
What makes me nervous or concerned, is perpetuating the idea that if a woman is determined enough and has enough will, or the right plan, or the right people, she can have the birth she wants. Of course, those things are important and necessary, but they don't determine outcome. I wish someone had told me that during my first pregnancy. If someone did tell me, I wish I had listened. Maybe it would have saved me from the Crushing Disappointment I felt that I wasn't able to birth my baby myself. To all those eagerly awaiting their newborns, the goal is your beautiful, healthy baby. Stronger women than me, or you, or Jen have been brought to their knees by childbirth and have had to let go of the dream of All Natural in order to realize the dream of Healthy Baby. What a tragedy that a choice like that is often accompanied by feelings of failure, and that a beautiful post celebrating birth, life and Motherhood can bring up all those feelings of failure again.
Things you shouldn't blog about? Really?
My opinion - if someone doesn't like your (personal!) blog they can go away and not come back. It is not their place to dictate to you what you can and can't blog about. Like with TV - you don't like what is on TV, vote with your feet and turn it off.
Anything you want to talk about is fine with me, the only drawback is that you regularly cause tea out to come out my nose. I have learned not to drink tea while reading the Yarn Harlot. Thanks for the joy.
Thanks Steph for sharing with all of us. What a beautiful baby and a beautiful post. Both are pure joy.
Oh man.... I've got a campus full of teenagers (and you know how cynical they can be) and I'm sitting here blubbering.
You are a fantastic writer, on top of all that awe-inspiring knitting talent.
Congratulations to mom and baby...they are so lucky to have you in their lives.
Stephanie, I am a doula and I was so touched by your words. You captured what is in my heart about this work.
What a beautiful post and an even more beautiful baby girl. Thank you so much for posting Stephanie. It's been a pleasure following Jen's journey.
Thanks for bringing tears to my eyes with your story. It's been a long time since I remembered those final birth moments (18 years ago) and now that he (my only one) just left for college, it is a sweet remembrance! Lily.
I do love the blog and the baby and even what you said about giving birth but it made me so sad all the same. I wanted to give birth naturally, I really tried, but I had to have an emergency C-section and was woken up with the news that I had two daughters (I have twins) and for a very long time I was very sad that I missed it all and doubted my abilities as a mom. The connection, the killing for the babies and all. Now most of the comments agree on that one and what does this make me? Sad again. My girls are now four and I still cannot believe that I screwed up their birth. Lucky Jen.
I have been a doctor since 1984 and nothing, nothing, compares to greeting a new baby pushed out by her mumma.
What a wonderful, beautiful, baby. Congratulations Jen!
I so agree about being empowered during deliver. My first was intervention-loaded and stress-filled. It took 27 hours and was awful! But at the end of it all I had the most glorious, wonderful miracle in the world that I bonded with immediately in a way I will never bond with anybody ever again.
Strangely, my second was just the opposite.. 7 hours, perfect, empowering, and the most amazing thing I have ever done as a human being. And it took 3 months for me to feel the bond with that beautiful little girl. I love her to with every fibre of my being, but after more than 6 years she and I just don't have the bond I have with her brother.. how backwards it that?
I can't disagree, at all.
But then again... I can. Because for the birth of my baby, despite all of our good intentions, I had a mega-intervention birth, and at the end of it all? A healthy, beautiful baby boy, who at the age of 12 months loves his mama (and says "mamamamamamamama..." all the time :) ), and his dada (and he also says "dadadadadadada..."), and who, most importantly, is alive. He was finally born at 9 lbs, 2.5 ounces, a week after my due date. Before I was induced, he appeared to have no inclination that he was ever going to be interested in making his entree into the world. I guess I'm that good a hostess... But, there was also increasing potential for health problems to me; and so we opted to go with inducing, and ultimately a c-section. Turns out his head was in the 96th percentile -- far larger than a 10cm dilation would have been able to manage.
My point is, in order to really, truly understand, you have to hear the whole story. The crux of it is, I never, ever would have wished for the intervention-laden birth that we had; but having been through *my* experience, I know that I would move mountains for my baby as much as anyone else. Trust me. We are no less bonded for having been through our experience.
I'm happy for your friend, and all of those who have been able to have the home-births that they (and I would have, in different circumstances) wanted. I'm also happy for any woman who has been through any birth. Believe this: we all do what we have to do, and make the best choices for us and our babies as we know them to be given our situations.
Blessings to all...
Oh, this post just...oh. Welcome Marlowe and hurray for babies!
Late to the party as usual... congrats to Jen and Marlowe! And awwwwww.
And I had two c-sections, neither one planned. I did not get to "own the living daylights out of my own body," and, in fact, with my son, the epidural started to wear off while they were sewing, they boosted it, and I was pretty out of it for an hour or so afterward. With my daughter, same thing happened (apparently I am not easily sedated), they offered to boost it, I said no, I could manage, and I did, and got to meet her sooner and fully compos. So that was a little body ownership if you like. But a woman isn't any less a woman or a mom because she didn't get to push, and a baby isn't any less valuable because of how she arrived.
(Not once did it occur to me while reading the post and all the comments that you shouldn't have blogged it. I respectfully disagree, I think, with some of it.)
Oh, Steph, the beauty in your words and those of all of the commenters is almost as precious as Marlowe and Jen. Will you print out and bind up all of them as a wee giftie from you and from us? congratulations to all and welcome, baby woman Marlowe!
Yup, that sohlud defo do the trick!
There are women who cannot give birth, much alone get pregnant and there are those who can at the blink of an eye. No matter which way you chose to deliver: homebirth or hospital, natural or epidural, a woman has to do what SHE deems is best for her and her baby. All of my children were delivered in a hospital. My three boys were vaginal births and my four girls were c-sections. If I hadn't had three of those c-sections I could have had a dead or brain damaged child and a hemorraged uterus. Let me see. Could I have possibly made the right decision for me and my children? Hmmmmmm. Yes. I am happy that your friend finally had Marlowe. But let me be clear that just because she chose to have a homebirth doesn't make her or anyone who chooses that route a better mother than anyone else. After the trips I've had I would kill for all of my children because they are mine. Shame on you Stephanie. Choose your words a little bit better.