Monday, May 9, 2011

Ana Uku

Our beautiful daughter was born on May 6th. Her name is Ana Uku. Both are Taíno words; the language of the native people of Puerto Rico. Ana means flower and Uku means earth, land, soil, terrain. As Tami said, she is our flower from the land. I think of the words Ana and Uku. They are beautiful words and my daughter deserves a connection to them. The ideas and mental images of the words are impressive in my mind. I think of her and images of flowers and earth and I feel good and I like the essence of my thoughts. How Ana Uku decides to interpret her name will be up to her, of course. I do hope she takes into mind the idea of nourishing land; a basis for sustenance and a frame to life. I do hope she takes into mind the idea of a flower whose functional beauty is purposeful but goes beyond that requirement to make the world better and more alive with it's poetry and beauty in being. These are good concepts to consider when developing values and relationships to places in her time and life; when defining her existence through being and adding meaning to her name through her own existence.

And so now there is Ana, my Ana Uku, out of the womb and sharing this great world. She is beautiful, loved, and calm. Yes, she seems to have the calmness and demeanor of her brother so far and there will be no mistaking that they are related by looks either. And they are adorable. We couldn't be luckier to have such adorable children to care for and love.

Our two children were born 16 months and one week apart on the same floor of the same building, within an inch of each others height and within an ounce of each others weight. But there were certainly differences in the experiences. Tami recalls that for Enzo she labored three days before going into Labor and Delivery (5th floor at the hospital) where she then spent 19 hours (I had written 15 hours in my blog but that may be a typo) helping her son find his way out. Exhausting, yes. Ana took 4 hours in Labor and Delivery and Tami labored for a total of about 24 hours. Huge difference! I won't say easy for an experience so demanding, but certainly less time was involved in a challenging part of baby making this second time around. And here is something super interesting..... Ana was delivered while her mother was standing! Yes! Standing! Tami was rocking and swaying and squatting, feet planted on the ground, while resting her hands on the bed to help Ana finish her preparations to join us on the outside. At one point the midwife checked on her and Tami said it's time, she is coming now, I feel her. The midwife checked and said yes, get into bed you are about to have a baby. And Tami said no, she is coming now. And that she was. So, the second midwife slipped down, asked our doula (Stephanie was our doula for both of our babies' births) to place a pillow on the floor under Tami, just in case, and Tami delivered our beautiful Ana right there, without issue, while standing. It was AWESOME and somehow perfect and now I can't imagine any other way for Ana to have been born. The midwives just passed Ana through Tami's legs, helped Tami into bed and placed our baby on her chest where Ana found herself quite happy. The midwife who received Ana as she was born thought it was cool because she so rarely gets to be part of deliveries with a standing mother. After a while I cut the cord, as I had with Enzo, and we spent time getting to know each other and Tami and I took turns holding our baby skin to skin.

As I said, Ana is similarly tempered to Enzo which is to say; calm and easily made comfortable with being held. They are both very beautiful. I can not help but be so impressed with Tami for bringing our babies through 9 months of pregnancy and then delivering them. It's an amazing and impressive accomplishment to have a child. We are quite lucky to have these two. Everything since has been perfect with Ana Uku. She is lying on my chest now, one of the best experiences to me, sleeping peacefully and smelling of newborn-happy-baby goodness. I love her and kissing her is a large dose of happiness.

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