I can see that day so clearly.
I’m walking along a dirt road with my young daughter Maria. It’s a sunny day in early June.
The sky is deep blue. A gentle breeze keeps the air temperature comfortable.
I’m a glorious 38 weeks pregnant.
We’re on a mission.
Maria is selling strawberries for her school fundraiser. Her new friend Tara lives at the
end of this road. We’ve decided this would be a good place to start. We’re skipping along,
singing our favorite songs, happy and free.
As the house comes into view, a large, ferocious German Shepard charges down the
hill toward us, barking loudly. Instinctively, I take hold of Maria’s hand and we run
into the nearest building, a barn, with the dog on our heels.
We dash into the first empty stall and bolt the door.
The dog bangs on the door with his paws trying to get in.
Maria and I move to the back of the stall and sit down. The dog continues to bark
and growl and bang on the door.
“What if he gets in?” Maria asks.
“I don’t think he can fit under the door or jump over it. Let’s stay very quiet and maybe he’ll forget we’re here.”
The dog continues to growl and bang ferociously. He then sits down outside the door.
We’re trapped in a horse stall.
A wave of fear moves through me. No one knows we’re here. We don’t have any way of contacting anyone. My belly tightens. I’m aware that a sudden fright so close to
birth can bring on labor. My heart is racing.
I look at my daughter. I look at my surroundings. NO. This isn’t in my birth plan.
I’ve got to pull it together fast.
Breathe, Breathe, I remind myself. I begin to slow my breathing, taking long breaths in and out. My belly relaxes. My daughter relaxes.
A rusty colored hen trots through our stall, clucking merrily. I smile. We begin to notice other sounds in the barn, the baaing of the sheep, the bleating of the goats, the grunting of the pigs,
the whinnying of the horses. Beautiful animals are welcoming us!
In a few moments, we’ve moved from fear to peace.
Maria and I continue to sit quietly, listening to all the beautiful sounds. The dog is still parked outside our stall door. We’re ok. Maria dozes off, her head in my lap. I doze on and off.
When we awaken, the light is dim and there’s a chill in the air. We’re both ready to go home,
I quietly bend forward and look under the door. No dog! He’s gone! We tiptoe to the stall door.
I look over and down the aisle. No dog! I open the door and listen. No dog!
Maria and I creep to the barn door. No dog to be seen! I point to a large bush in the yard
and holding Maria’s hand we run to the bush and hide behind it. No dog!
“Ok, to the gate,” I whisper. We run and keep on running past the gate and down the road until the house is no longer in sight.
“We’re safe! I say. Let’s walk home!”
“But we didn’t sell any strawberries,” Maria says.
“No, we didn’t, not today. Let’s go selling again tomorrow,” I suggest.
Aaron was born at home two weeks later on the Summer Solstice,
surrounded by loving family, loving friends, loving midwives.
This was the birth I envisioned!
A few days later, we were awakened in the wee hours of the morning by the gentle sound
of mewing. Maria’s cat, Coppelia had given birth to five kittens under our bed! A touch of barn living came with us.
And when Tara’s family heard of our adventure, they bought a whole flat of strawberries!
Happy Summer Solstice!
I wonder what magical moments the longest day will offer this year?
Love and Blessings,