June 29, 2009

For Lynda

Did I ever tell you that she was the first person to show me how to use a sling?

I stopped her at a natural parenting meeting the night I went into labor with Gray. I took my very first sling with me and asked her how to use it. I had already planned another hospital birth, but I knew if I had another baby, it would be a homebirth and Lynda would be my midwife.

The moment I found out I was pregnant with Ivy, I called her immediately. She was the first person I told. Later on I'd change my mind and decide to go with my OB and have the baby in the hospital. But then (as she secretly predicted) I changed my mind back and wanted to have my homebirth. To this day I still think it's one of the best decisions we ever made.

I was so nervous, calling her and asking if she'd take me back. And she said I knew you'd be calling me again. Then I had to break up with my OB.


I listened to everything she told me.
During one of my last visits with her, before Ivy was born, she shared her story. Her Story. About how she lived in Texas as a young girl and in highschool had a friend who became pregnant and was sent away. She went to visit her and met the "granny midwives" that would soon teach her everything... and there she attended her first births and caught her first baby.

Ivy was number 1,631.


She was an old-school hippie midwife, which is exactly what I wanted. I felt like no matter what happened, she'd know what to do.
She would show the boys all her tools and let them listen through her stethoscope. She showed me how Ivy kept her hand by her face in the womb. And I would hear her laughing about it in my head "she's already a drama queen!" after Ivy was born and she'd sleep with one hand posing on her face.

I am having a hard time understanding how just 9 and a half months ago she was right here in my home, here in my bedroom, guiding me through Ivy's amazing birth. She was alive. She was fine. She appeared to be fine. And just like that, she's gone.

Lynda passed away Monday night.

I see her every time I look at Ivy. It's so hard to truly describe how I felt about Lynda. It's like when you go through a dramatic event in your life and you will always remember who you were with at that moment. You will forever be bonded from sharing that experience. Or something like that.

She was so special, and more than the average special person. She gave so much. She asked for so little in return.

I am so honored and thankful that I had the opportunity to know Lynda. I hope that if you didn't have that chance, that you can feel her touch and hear her laughter and know her now through my words, and through my Ivy or one of the other many lives she put her heart into.

I regret not hearing more of her stories. I only have a small video clip from Ivy's birth, but it's just enough to hear Lynda's voice and see Ivy in her hands...

Everything is just covered in sad. It is such a tremendous loss. She can never be forgotten.

[There was already a fund set up for her, and I know her family could use every little bit, even one dollar. And I understand if you can't because I don't have anything extra to give as things are tighter than tight, but if you feel so moved, you can donate via PayPal, payable to info@indianabirthchoices.com .]


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69 comments:

  1. oh my goodness, there are simply no words. this is heartbreaking! i am sure the number of families that she blessed is endless.

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  2. I'm so sorry. What a loss. May her legacy endure through the babies and families that she guided.

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  3. I'm sorry for your loss. Having had a home-birth and a midwife, I completely understand the amazing bond you feel. May the Lord give you and her family comfort during this time!

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  4. I'm so sorry, Stephanie! Your post was beautiful... {{HUGS}}

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  5. I am so sorry for your loss, Stephanie. Lynda sounds like an amazing woman. I lost my dear friend and next-door neighbor "Rosie" this past fall to breast cancer. Last week would have been her 49th birthday. As time passes, the tears dry up even if the ache doesn't leave.

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  6. Steph -
    Lynda sounded so very special. I am so sorry for your loss, she will be greatly miss - as most amazing people are.

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  7. I am so sorry to hear about Lynda. I know she will be missed.

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  8. Oh, Steph. I'm sorry. She sounds like a wonderful person to have counted as a friend.

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  9. Praying for her family and for the extended family of mommies and babies she built through the years~

    Blessings~

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  10. What a beautiful tribute to your friend.

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  11. I am so sorry for your and everyone else's loss. Just from how you speak of her i know she must have been a blessing to know. I will be praying for her family and friends.

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  12. I am so sorry. Your post was lovely and a true tribute to her. I pray you are comforted and her family as well.

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  13. So sorry about your loss! But you have written a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Very sorry for your loss, Stephanie. This was a very nice tribute.

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  15. So sorry to hear about this.

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  16. This is a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss, she sounds like a wonderful and important woman.

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  17. gretchen from lifenutJuly 01, 2009 6:25 AM

    What a beautiful tribute to what sounds like a remarkable woman. I am so sorry to hear this news.

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  18. A beautiful post written for what sounds like a beautiful women. Her departure for here can never remove the memories that you will have or the bond you created. She was there with you during such a wonderful time for you and I'm glad that you had that time together. I'm praying for peace for you and Lynda's family during this sad time. ((HUGS))

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  19. I am so very sorry for her family and all those who loved and adored her.

    It makes me happy to know that you followed your heart with Ivy's homebirth and had that time with Lynda.


    xoxo

    CE

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  20. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know exactly the bond you speak of, though, as I share that with my midwife. She has helped me birth my two babies, and will help me birth this new little life forming in my womb. I can't imagine doing it without her.

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  21. I'm so sorry, Stephanie. What a sad, awful thing to happen.

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  22. I am SO sorry to hear this. Prayers for her family as well as yours! (((HUGS)))

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  23. This is a wonderful tribute. I had no idea she was the first to show you how to use a sling! It just all seems so perfectly in place that she ended up as your homebirth midwife, and that you have those special memories of her, every time you look at Ivy.
    I think I've probably told you this before, but my hair dresser used to work as a doula at many of the births Lynda attended. If you ever wanted to hear more stories, I know she'd love to share them.

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  24. Our prayers are with you and her family.

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  25. I'm so sorry for the loss of Lynda. She sounds like a very special person, that touched many lives, and helped bring in many lives. I can feel your connection to her, and I completely understand your connection to her.

    Nell

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  26. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I hope her family is, like you, able to find some small peace in the memories they shared with her.

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  27. I'm so sorry for your loss!

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  28. i'm so sorry for your loss and the loss the birthing community is experiencing as well. lynda sounds like such an amazing woman. i understand the bond that you wrote about. i feel the same way about my midwife. you are in my thoughts, steph.

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  29. Sorry for your loss! Many hugs and prayers!

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  30. Such a beautiful tribute you have written for Lynda. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mom was telling me about her one night in her post. She sounds like a very special lady. She is free of pain now and with God and all the angel babies up there. She's probably taken a real shine to James and Jake. You are in my prayers.

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  31. Steph,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I'm praying that you and her family may find peace during this difficult time.

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  32. Its amazing how things can change in such a short period of time. I think about last year, where I was and where I am now, and I'm amazed. Not all of the things have been for the best either.
    So sorry for your loss but grateful that she was such an amazing part of your life.

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  33. She sounds like a beautiful person. Her family is in our thoughts and prayers.

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  34. I'm so sorry. We need more people like her in the world.

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  35. I'm so sorry to read this, Stephanie. Midwives are such heroes. I'm sorry the world has lost such an amazing champion for women and babies.

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  36. I'm so sorry for your loss. And glad for you that you will always see her in your daughter.

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  37. So very sad - but what a moving tribute. She left quite the amazing legacy.

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  38. I am so sorry to read this. I know you thought so highly of her, so she must have been a wonderful person. I pray that she is with the Lord in her whole new body now!

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  39. tears in my eyes...at work...so sorry for your loss, I can read how special she was to you...

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  40. I'm so, so sorry, Steph. This post is an amazing tribute to Lynda.

    LOVE.

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  41. I am so very sorry to hear of Lynda's passing. Her legacy will always be the babies she brought into this world. Maybe the stories you gather in Lynda's honor (I notice that Erin's hairdresser was a doula who knew Lynda) will be a great gift to this world...

    Such a sad time...

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  42. Beautiful post for a beautiful woman. I'm so sorry - peace and comfort to her family and yours.

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  43. I'm so, so, sorry, Steph. My prayers are with you and Lynda's family.

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  44. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Prayers to you, her family and all those lives that she touched!

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  45. I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful experience you had with her! We were very close to our midwife (who even got to be with us during my c-section)so I understand that relationship. How tragic.

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  46. I'm so saddened...for you, her friends, and her family. Y'all are in my prayers. She sounds like she lived a truly remarkable life.

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  47. I feel the exact same way about my midwife, Peg.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and with her family.

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  48. Oh my, I am so truly saddened by this Stephanie, i can't even begin to describe it.

    She was so good to my family and was seemned just fine almost a year ago when she too was in my home talking my ear off and delivering my child. I will never, ever forget her wisdom, strength and voice.

    This was a beautiful post and it's funny that you said your daughter posed with one arm against her head, as mine to this day still does that, as she did in the womb.

    Kristy

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  49. Stephanie,
    I can't stop crying...pretty hard to type with watery eyes.

    I am very sorry for your loss.

    For so many people, Lynda was part of their family. She sounds like a very amazing, down to earth, woman.

    When you mention "hippie" I get a picture in my head of how she looked. :-)

    I'm heading over to pay pal to give what I can.

    Please know you, your family and especially Lynda are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  50. Oh gosh, honey. I can only imagine how monumental this is for you, especially learning she taught you how to wear your first sling! Oh my! My heart breaks for you and all who knew her! But you've GOT to know that she will live on 1600+ children she helped bring into this world and 3200+ parents who's lives she helped complete by assisting in the delivery of their children. *huge hugs*

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  51. I'm so sorry to hear about Lynda. She sounds like an amazing woman who has impacted thousands of lives.

    I had an old school hippie midwife for my first birth, and I know what you mean. There was something so capable about her. So unflappable.

    You've done great credit to Lynda's memory here. My thoughts are with you, and with Lynda's family.

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  52. I'm sorry for your loss Stephanie. Ivy's life will surely be a beautiful testimony to Lynda's gifts.

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  53. I'm sorry, Steph. Such a heavy loss.

    Peace to you and yours...and hers,
    Heather

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  54. What a beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry for you loss and you (and her) will be in my prayers.

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  55. I absolutely have a bond with my midwives (the one in Cali and the one here), it's unspoken and so deep.

    I'm so very sorry, I know how much she was loved by all.

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  56. what a lovely tribute to what sounds like a remarkable woman!

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  57. I'm so sorry, Steph. I'm glad you got to experience your homebirth with such an amazing midwife. God bless her for all she did to help so many women bring their babies into the world in a loving, peaceful way.

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  58. Such a sweet post.
    And so sorry to hear about your loss.
    What a blessing that she was your midwife for Ivy

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  59. I can't imagine what I will do when I ƒind out that one oƒ the amazing women who made it possible to have the births I had dreamed oƒ is gone. My homebirths were some oƒ the best experiences oƒ my liƒe. My last midwiƒe sounds a lot like Lynda. I am so sorry that you lost someone who helped you in such a momentous way. My thoughts are with you.

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  60. What a beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry she is gone. Her impact was undoubtedly huge.

    I was recently hearing raves about a homebirth midwife in Indy, and when I asked her name? Lynda. Her name is Lynda. Even spelled the same way. I took it as a sign. I am definitely having a homebirth next time, whenever that may be.

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  61. Reminds me of my midwife, sweet and gentle. I'm so sorry. I will see what I can do to help.

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  62. This post really touched me, and that's all I know to say. ((hug))

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  63. I'm so sorry. To lose someone who had such an impact in your life and who was a guiding presence through such an important event is heartbreaking.

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  64. I'm so sorry that Lynda passed away. I know (from reading here) how much she meant to you.

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  65. Steph,
    Your tribute to Lynda was absolutely amazing. I can feel how wonderful she is from your words. I really can. I'm so sorry she is no longer of this earth, welcoming babies with her kind spirit, but I'm certain that she is in heaven welcoming babies with the same love and kindness.

    So many hugs to your and Lynda's family.

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  66. What can I say, except that Lynda changed my way of thinking about home births and had such an impact on me. I will never forget her. She will live on thru Ivy. This was a beautiful tribute to her Steph and I know how much you loved her. As I was flying home yesterday, I looked out above the clouds and saw a cloud formation that looked like an angel hovering over the sky with wings spread out. It made me think of Lynda and that just could have been her.

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  67. I am in tears..I truly feel your loss Steph. But know your words are so beautiful. I bet it's an honor to feel that bond.

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