Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's re-creation of the new day

(lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon)

Daisy's birth didn't happen as quickly as I expected it to. I figured that each baby would come faster than the last, so when I woke up around 3 a.m. Friday morning feeling some contractions, I thought we'd probably have a baby by that evening. I got up and walked around the house and the yard, enjoying the quiet. There was a nearly-full moon.

When it got late enough, I called my mom, and she came to pick up the boys. My midwife, Cathy, came over and checked me. "Everything looks good," she said. "Just relax and enjoy the day."

It was the most beautiful day. Sam stayed home from work, and all the boys were gone. We hadn't had a quiet day like that in ages. It didn't feel like August outside---the air was a little bit cool, and the sun was warm, almost like it was Fall already. I felt great---good enough to walk around and be active, but not SO good that I didn't think things were progressing along. We went on a long bike ride. We went on a walk. We went to the store for fresh bread and made turkey sandwiches and a berry smoothie for lunch.
In the afternoon, I started to worry a little bit, because things weren't getting any more difficult. Cathy came over again. "Everything still looks good," she said. "Keep enjoying yourselves. It's date night---have fun! Why don't you go out to dinner together?" (Cathy is a very restful person to be around.)

We rode our bikes over to the lake again and borrowed a rowboat. Sam rowed us around on the lake while I rested and told him which direction I wanted to go. (I felt like one of those Victorian ladies being rowed around by her handsome swain. Like Amy in Little Women. I just needed one of those lacy parasols.) There was a very gentle rain shower, and we watched the raindrops fall into the lake and fill the surface with tiny ripples. It got a tiny bit chilly. Then the sun came out again. The sunflowers were blooming, big golden fields of them. It was so quiet! It felt like we were in some quiet countryside, far away from everything.

When the sun started to set, we went out to a restaurant for dinner. I was ravenous. I ate everything on my plate. Afterwards we came home and watched some episodes of "Lark Rise to Candleford" on Youtube. (It's one of those English period pieces they show on Masterpiece Theatre. Beautiful English countryside, and broad country accents. Lovely.) Then I was getting sleepy, so we went to bed.

I woke up around 1 a.m. Finally the surges were getting strong enough to require real concentration. (Hooray!) I called Cathy and she came over. Sam turned on some quiet music and a few lamps. Everything was so peaceful, with the boys gone, and the moon shining down outside.

Finally, just as the sky was beginning to lighten above the mountains, our baby was born.* "A girl!" Sam and I were smiling at each other in amazement. "We have a baby girl!" I couldn't believe it. She was so tiny and so perfect!

*Yes, Daisy was born at home, and we couldn't have been happier with it. If you are truly interested, and before you tell us we're crazy, read
Finally we could get out the stack of tiny pink things in the cedar chest (things that had been waiting patiently---just in case---ever since I was expecting Abraham).

I held our new little baby girl, wrapped in the tiny pink rosebud blanket my Mom had made. She gazed back at me for awhile with her little black beady eyes. She was so serious and interested in my face. She even kept watching me as she nursed.

Then she got sleepy, so as the sun came up, Sam and I wrapped her tight, and watched her sleep, and talked about what name we should give her. We were so exhilarated and so excited and so happy.

All my boys were born in the middle of the night, and their births felt just a little bit unreal, with the dark windows and that dreamlike feeling you get, being awake when the rest of the world is asleep. I loved that quiet, secret cocoon of nighttime, whispering to the new little boys in my arms.

But it seemed so right to end this long labor at dawn, with the morning light coming in, as we fell asleep beside our new little Daisy Aurora.

Daisies in the backyard. They are new this year. Next year, they'll be bigger (as will our little Daisy girl).

Cathy and Daisy
Sweet Daisy


  1. congratulations! She is lovely! A luck girl too with 3 big brothers. Good luck with 4!

  2. Sounds so peaceful . . . what a nice day for you! *Sigh* If only I were that brave. : ) She's beautiful, and you look great. Congrats again!

  3. Oh, I am so happy for you!! Sophie wants me to tell you that we'd like to come over with a gift for Daisy. Let us know when you're ready--we'll wait. I love her name and can't wait to meet her!! Give the boys our love!

  4. I love that document. I have very mixed feelings about home birth. I also read that Baby Catchers book and found it fascinating. It made me wish I was a midwife myself--not sure why because it would be crazy. But anyway, I enjoyed your paper and I think you're brilliant. And I still wish I lived next door to you.

  5. What a beautiful post. I loved it and cried a bit. How beautiful your birth experiences seem.
    I love her. She's so beautiful. And I love her name.
    Good work birthing dang four kids.

  6. I fully support people having babies at home. And, if I ever come to the point where I find myself "with child," I hope you'll let me come over and have a long talk with you about it.

  7. Beautiful post! I love your memory of this very sweet birth. It will always be one of my very favorites. I love the picture from your porch of the moon, still full, on its way to bed. Much love to you all,

  8. Mar-

    Perfect. As perfect a story, a day, a moment of reading, or writing as I have ever experienced in all of my life. And she will have this forever.

    Make sure you have hard copy of it, please. Now. Before there's any more thunder.

    You caught fireflies in a bottle. You caught the breath of first Autumn. You caught that place between waking and sleeping - in total peace.

    You know where it says, "Be still, and know that I am God"? For the first time in a long time, I know what it means.

  9. Okay, I admit it: I'm blog-stalking just a little bit here. I keep checking back and gazing at your sweet Daisy. My favorite picture is the one where she is intently looking at (studying?) something. I love her already--just as much as I love her mom!

    wv: bedsx. I laughed.

  10. Ahhh! Perfect name for your little girl! Congratulations my dear friend. Wasn't that what they all called Meg in Little Women? Love it. I love Aurora too. Man, you make me want to have my baby tomorrow. If only January in Canada could be as gorgeous as Utah in August. I can't wait to see her!

  11. Daisy! What a beautiful baby. I love the name. So perfect! You are going to love having a girl. Boys are fabulous but there is just something about a little girl...


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