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Dear Micah,

You’ve just begun to smile at me, and it’s a private smile, as though you and I share the sweetest secrets. And perhaps we do. We share the secret of birth. The secret of midnight nursing. The secret of dawn coffee dates when you stare at me with your big, wise eyes while I sip my first cup of the day. Hasz_bath_144.jpg

We share a story that made me stronger and more passionate about motherhood and womanhood. More certain that God makes broken things beautiful. More certain that you have been and will always be my Little Lion baby. You will be fierce, yet gentle. A defender of the weak. I’ve felt this about you since you first took root inside of me. Now you are four weeks old, and I feel this still.

You are a miracle. And my heart and soul and body have found a new peace since you came. Hasz_bath_150.jpg

When I wrote your birth story, I put behind me the moments of trauma that lingered and chose to share a story that I pray continues to brings healing to the readers, as the processing of that night brought healing to me. But our story isn’t done. Because truly your birth instilled in me an even greater desire to see women empowered by their labor experience. Empowered for a new strength. Accepting of a new vulnerability. Believing in a stronger hope.

So I will continue to speak out. Serve families. Bring beauty when and where and how I can.

And live honestly. With a heart wide open. As I pray that you and your sister do.

~~~

Snow fell and dawn was just a hazy shadow in the night sky when your sister Abby woke up this morning. Padding around in her polka-dot pajamas, she peered out the window. “May Abby wake up yet, Mama? Is it light out?”

“It’s still pretty dark outside, Abby, but you may wake up.”

“Mama, light and dark are opposites,” she assured me, certain of this new knowledge she had recently acquired. “Yes, they are, Sweet Girl. You are right.”

But, as she chattered away, I was struck by the mystery out our frosty windows. Dawn defies the strictness of opposites. Light and dark mingle. Night gently fades, and the morning steals slowly in. And dawn is beautiful. Perhaps even whimsical. Sometimes brilliant in its sunrises. But often unnoticed. It’s a fresh start. A herald of hope and healing.  

As have been these past four weeks with you.

~~~

For nigh on a month, your arrival in our family has been a mixture of light and dark – a study in opposites. Your first days were tumultuous, but your first weeks some of the sweetest that I have ever experienced. Hours so intense have never been followed by healing so powerful. And I think it is that gift that I desire to share. The power to re-live, release, remember, and re-find. Hasz_bath_136.jpg

And so this blog post shares some images that I initially debated whether or not they were appropriate for me to personally and publicly share (even though I was dressed in the tub). Some of the photos from our postpartum bath session will remain my private treasures, but some pictured here convey so perfectly the essence of this past month. These weeks of DAWN. These days of snuggles and cuddles and nursing and figuring out what it means to be a family of four. To mother two precious treasures. To honor my postpartum body. To return to the same birth center and the same tub in which I spent hours laboring in order to bring you into this world. To sit in that sacred space and cry. And relax. And remember. And walk out of the dark into the light.

You have filled my heart with greater joy. Hasz_bath_122.jpg

~~~

Gentle intake. Softly out. Resting.

Eyelashes drenched with purifying rain.

I’ve fought with hell.

I’ve lain prostrate, broken on the shore.

Wind-whipped hair. Chapped hands –

I’ve been through a hurricane.

~Excerpt from my poem “Hurricane” written in 2010~

~~~

Hasz_bath_141.jpg

IMG_9448.JPG View More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/hasz-family-collection{Photo Credit Rachael Hope of Haven: Life & Photo}

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