I had internet connection trouble on Friday. Then I had a whirlwind day yesterday getting ready for the Sabbath Day, so I am finally able to post this today! Friday Feb. 19th was the 18th birthday of my son Dallin! He is such an amazing guy! I distinctly remember so many details about his birth. First, I remember that he was such a cute, chubby baby, 9 lbs. and 4 oz, and so peaceful. Next, I remember the birthing tub, that was actually a horse-feeding trough that my midwife bought from IFA. My husband likes to remember that part. (Of course it was never used for horses and was clean.) I remember the sunny, bright, clear weather of the day, even though it was wintertime, and that I went on a walk with my midwife to speed up labor after my water broke naturally. When I got back, she wrapped my abdomen with a sheet tightly to continue to speed up the labor. I was 9 days overdue and very much wanting to finally give birth!
One of my earliest pictures of me holding Dallin. He could hold his head up almost from day one!
The walk and the sheet-binding worked! Within an hour after that the contractions picked up to be every ten minutes or so. I remember having transition while I was in the birthing pool. I felt such pain and had the thought, “How can I keep this up?” My sister poked her head in the room right at that moment and I felt bad that she caught me in such pain. I wanted her to have a great impression about home birth and that was my worst moment! I didn’t realize that I was so close to birth! Then I got out of the pool to use the bathroom, and a whopping contraction sent me to my bed, just a few footsteps away, so that I could deal with it. I decided to start pushing, and I remember that the midwife accidentally hit my heel with a warm perineal cloth that had been warming up in the crockpot and that hurt! She applied the warm perineal cloths, I pushed for two or three pushes and then out he came! He was so beautiful and wonderful and full of light! His eyes were wide open and he looked and looked around the room.
I remember how my husband was on his way to a flight out of Salt Lake the day that I gave birth. We had thought the baby would be born by then, so my husband had taken over a week off work, but still no baby, and it was finally time for dh to get back to business. My water broke that morning so we postponed the flight. With the inducements we used (the walk, the sheet-binding, and some herbs) Dallin was born around 4:30 that afternoon. So my husband was able to be there for the birth! It was a Thursday and I remember just feeling so amazed that something so gloriously, almost surreal, supernatural, could happen at my ordinary little house. I was amazed that I could go from pain to complete relief, euphoria, and gratitude in such a short amount of time. I also felt wonder that I could make such a beautiful baby! I remember feeling so relieved that he was healthy and chubby. I snuggled with him in our family bed that night, and was so happy that I could do that, instead of having to put him in a hospital crib. I also loved that I didn’t have to have any hospital staff interrupting my sleep at 5 AM to take a blood sample.
This is my sister Emily with baby Dallin, before she was married. Now she is married and his six kids of her own!
Dallin is my third child. (His older siblings are just as wonderful! I will have to write about their births and their wonderfulness another time.) His birth was my second natural birth and my first home birth. I started out the pregnancy thinking that I was going to birth in the hospital, but the further I went along the more I felt called to do a home birth. Not only did I birth an amazing son that day, but I birthed a much more empowered self. That first home birth of mine transformed me tremendously! I felt like I could do anything. That feeling I gained, not only of self-empowerment, but trust in God, and His ability to lead me to what God wants me to do, continues to serve me to this day. Little did I know that 11 years later I would be led to do a hospital birth. That’s another story for another day!
Dallin with his big sister, who is 2 years older.
Dallin has taught me so much. He has taught me to reach out to the friendless and lonely. Many a time he would go visit the less-active members of his priest quorum to befriend them and invite them to church and priesthood quorum activities. This was without any adult leader or parent telling him to do so. He has taught me to have more fun. He has a knack for memorizing lines from movies and can do great impersonations. He also has taught me to have more initiative and to tackle hard, messy projects. When I had my youth conference last summer, the kitchen we used for the event was all clean, except it had one gross, disgusting pot on the counter that was soaking. It looked like somebody had burnt lasagna in it! I didn’t touch it but he just walked up to it, noticed it was dirty, and cleaned it out. That’s just one example of the great young man he is! Another time we were at a gas station and this young woman walked up to us and asked for some money, telling a sad story. I was pretty sure she was faking it but before I could say anything Dallin reached into his wallet and gave her his last $10. He has the purest heart of gold!
My three oldest kids.
This is his first birthday with him away from home, and I miss him terribly! When we moved to Arizona, he elected to stay in Utah with friends so he could continue his homeschool activities: mock trial, speech and debate, teaching an acting class, and performing on a ballroom dance team. He is continuing with other stuff as well that he could do here or in Utah: his online classes and his prep for the SAT/ACT. When you raise your kids to think for themselves and be leaders, don’t be surprised when they decide to do exactly that!
Dallin was my first baby on whom I practiced AP (attachment parenting) totally from birth: the family bed, breastfeeding, babywearing, the whole nine yards! I breastfed the others from birth but didn’t do the other stuff right from birth. Attachment parenting has definitely paid off for me. Don’t you love my Dr. Sears NoJo baby sling?
Here’s Dallin for his four-year old birthday! He was such a charismatic, smiley guy! He still is!
Here’s Dallin at one of the Freedom Bowl competitions that he won.
Dallin at Christmas with his older brother, showing off one of his presents.
Happy birthday Dallin and welcome to adulthood! He gets to be the head master knight this year for the Mastering Knighthood Summit. We are so excited! If you want to catch more of his awesomeness, his web site is over here, where he offers mentoring service. He also has a blog over here. Go Dallin!
Here is an interview he did with Luminous Mind, where you can hear what he has been doing as a self-directed scholar.