Thursday, October 13, 2011
What a welcome this Baby has had! Into the arms of family and friends, into the chaos of a house overflowing with kids (are there really only four?) into the bliss of newborn-worship, his first week of life has been so full: of love, milk (milk everywhere), eager anticipation from three little boys who are watching his first fluttering little open eyes, his yawns, smiles, hiccups, and facial expressions (variously interpreted). Yes, this boy is well loved.
I haven't quite emerged from the post-partum fog where there's no night or day and pumpkin pie is an excellent breakfast choice.
My beautiful mother is staying with us and indulging this kind of post-partum ennui by doing all my dishes and laundry and taking the boys to the zoo. (Matthias has transfered all his affection to her, and who could blame him?)
The birth itself was beautiful—a little slower than the others, more peaceful and prayerful having just finished reading Writings from the Philokalia and learning about "prayer of the heart." Most of labour was spent alone with Will, my labour superstar, either resting in his arms or walking around the hallway. I had a little vigil light burning in front of the San Damiano crucifix which was a wonderful focus in all that birthing.
Raphael was born in the bathtub—which, for all you people interested in home birth, is a quick, easy cleanup! He came fast and safely. My youngest sister was also present at the birth. She is an expert administrator of lemon water and I highly recommend her as a doula.
Maybe sometime I'll post the uncut, extended birth story.
Right now I'm too busy staring at Raphael, eating his toes and rubbing that amazingly silky little head.
—By the way, we're pronouncing it "RAY-fi-el", the British way, to go with our last name. This has caused a lot of confusion amongst good Catholics who wonder why we'd go with a heathen name like Rayfield? But there it is. At least it's not Romuald.