Now that Dashiell is 1, I have been reflecting on how lucky I was to have such an excellent birth experience. I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me make August 5, 2010 the most memorable day of my life.

Thank you to Jeff for being the most sensitive and thoughtful co-birther imaginable. Thank you to all the gals in my birthing class, taught by Catherine Shaefer and held at the relaxing Zenana Spa. You were all “with” me on the big day and your collective strength helped me though the challenging hours when D was still posterior.

Thank you to Janelle Niemann Ross, a highly experienced, gentle woman whose demeanor and patience made all the difference. Her colleague Patty Karchner also lent a hand–thank you for being there Patty! The hospital was a pleasant surprise–everyone respected our birth plan (as little intervention as possible) and I welcomed the big picture window that let in jubilant sunshine as we labored and sat in the pool. Nurse Alicia coached me at the end with great sprit, and wonderful Mr. Marmion helped the day have a happy ending. Thank you!

An extra special thank you goes out to Gracie Koester, my exceptional doula. Gracie, you will always be so special to us. I was so glad to have you in my corner. You kept my eye on the prize and always had my best interests at hand, even in hour 23. Thank you. I love you!

Dashiell has mastered the sign for “thank you,” which is done by gesturing as if you were blowing a kiss to someone. At first he did the sign as you would expect, to indicate “thank you,” but now he’s doing it when other people say “thank-you,” or when he wants to say “you’re welcome,” like when he gives you some of his food, or one of his toys! Click here to see the video in a new window.