I write to you today while our son, Colin Atlas Landstine, sleeps next to me. His existence, and middle name, have everything to do with the trip we shared with you via this Blog.
Let’s catch up a bit!
We last shared we were going to be home soon. We made it home just in time for Thanksgiving and began preparing for our trip to Iceland for New Years. We utilized Iceland Air’s seven day stop over to continue on to Europe, specifically Paris for two nights and then Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid.
After our second homecoming, we began preparing to settle down again to be “ready” for our little boy’s arrival. I began the process to reenter federal service as a mechanic, just as I was prior to resigning for the trip, and Megan began preparing her mind and body for labor. We were so fortunate to have friends willing to let us park our RV Odessa on their farm while we made our transition. We chose an apartment central to everything we needed. Moving from an RV to an apartment is super easy:
Throughout the change, Megan was glowing with the energy of our love incarnate, our baby boy. We enlisted the help of Salmonberry Birth Center and their midwives. Their facilities are so nice and their experience and education helped me overcome my worries of a non-hospital birth. We began birth classes with our Doula, Angie Hotz, which became essential for me. I gained so much more confidence in the Natural birthing process and in women in general. Meanwhile, Megan radiated:
You’ve got to see the rest and read the story at our birth photographer’s blog: https://ashleygrimesphotography.com/landstine-maternity-photography/
Life returned to “normal” again fairly quickly. We sold our RV to a family friend, which was a terrific way to say goodbye to our beloved home. Megan was working as a bartender, as she was before we left for the Coddiwomple, into the third trimester! I was reinstated within the shipyard and approved for paternity leave; I am incredibly fortunate for those two statements to be said in one sentence and to have occurred so close together. Imagine beginning a new job and asking to go on leave for a month, just three months after being hired- you’d be laughed at! We acquired everything we thought we might need for a newborn and we waited patiently for our due date of June 13th.
Then, May 15th, just before midnight, Megan woke me up with two pieces of news: #Brewerthedawg needed to go outside (he was having some terrible…indigestion) and that her water may have broke. We packed what we had for a bag and our toothbrushes and went down the hill to Harrison Medical center after our midwives advised us to go to the hospital. This was not the plan, which was frustrating at first, but then I (we) remembered our lesson from the Coddiwomple: A wrong turn may be the right way. Early stage labor began around 2am May 16th, and for those of you that know Megan well, you know she is a powerful woman. Those early labor pains could well have been “real” labor. At dawn, I began to see the signs, so I called in our Doula and notified our midwife. The team at the hospital were doing their best to satisfy Megan’s vision for birth, and were providing good care within those desires, but we needed our team. Just after Angie, our Doula, arrived things progressed quickly, and Megan went to that place with big feelings. Please enjoy the “PG-13” version of our birth photos below, there is no blood but there are some mammaries.
Much love and Credit to: http://www.ashelygrimesphotography.com
For all the people that told me it would be indescribable, you were right. For all the people that said it would be the best day of my life, you were right. For all those that said you cannot be “ready” for it, you were right. Before the last push, time itself stood still. The dozen people that appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the room were part of the freeze too. It was just Megan and I in this incredibly intimate bubble of time; I will never, ever forget that moment. Colin Atlas was born May 16th at 0839, one month early, and had all the characteristics of a full term baby. 6lbs 14oz, 19 inch, healthy baby boy.
Men, you are not an idle cog in the system. I cannot emphasize enough as a male and a father, EDUCATE yourself as an integral piece of the puzzle. You are more than “the father.” You are connected to your partner in ways no machine or nurse can be. Your voice cuts through the chaos and speaks to her in this confusing, terrifying, dramatic time. You must have the fortitude and the confidence to see past the drama and lead your family through this, the first of many more challenges. Be calm, be devoted, be engaged.
Now our focus is on living well and raising a good human. We’re not certain what that means, or how to achieve those goals, but we’re learning its better this way. Goals mean there is an end. Our Coddiwomple has not ended, just changed.
Whats next for The Landstines? We’re moving!