Athena Anne was born just about three months ago to Blake's sister Chemynne and her husband Michael. we found out she was pregnant just about the same time we put an offer in on this house in Portland--at that time we lived 6 blocks away from each other and i don't think anyone (including her!) thought that they'd decide to have a child. but they were so excited and joyful about it, so we were as well...but also very sad that we would not be there to be more of a support. chemynne is a very talented and busy business-owner, running a graphic design studio with a sustainable focus. on top of that she also throws monthly drum and bass shows, bringing some very big d'n'b names to humble but bursting bend, oregon. while there were questions how a baby would fit into this mix, her confidence that it would work out was very contagious.
i was invited to be at the birth, an honor that i graciously accepted. what was extra refreshing was that she was already (without any coaxing from me--lol) preparing for a homebirth with midwives--an experience i am much more prepared for and familiar with in terms of my own community. a laboring mother surrounded by women and her partner at home is a birth i can stand behind with no fear and i knew C would handle it beautifully. which she did of course, and her michael where a spectacular team during the whole process.
i have not posted about the birth yet as it was very very intense. it was not the simple, uncomplicated birth i had so wished for her--or for me for that matter. i was 9 weeks pregnant with this baby when she went into labor and have my own complicated "unsuccessful homebirths" under my belt. in many ways i hoping to experience through her what i was hoping to experience for myself--silly, huh? but in the end, after 24 hours at home, she ended up in the same hospital i did, a few rooms down from where i birthed my own babies. but there was one room she visited that i did not--the operating room. turns out the baby's head was resting on a tangerine sized fibroid right near the opening of her cervix, preventing full dilation. while i think the majority of c-section are preventable, this one was a no brainer--it was the only way. i think the outcome emotionally affected me more than it did her--she feels that she really go to experience both sides of the coin, which i can appreciate.
athena is adorable. like, beyond cute (but she'd have to be right to keep up with this fine looking bunch, right?:) mama and papa are working it out just like they suspected--either that or they are just too in love with her to care. don't blame them there, the deep love of your newborn is powerful and transformative, mountains moved if necessary.
i have not seen her since a week after the birth. baby's cheeks have filled out with breast milk, mother and father have seemingly settled into their roles, mastering the art comforting their fussy babe, and generally in new parent-bliss (sleepless as it is.) but c and m took athena on her first road trip, to SF for thanksgiving to meet Athena's namesake, Michaels 98-year-old grandmother. they met up with George and G (Grand-P and Cookie) then they came all the way up I-5 to see us! not only was it exciting to see them but they had never seen our super dope house. all in all it was an awesome 22 hours visit. but i miss them terribly--see why??: