Wednesday, March 1, 2017

April the Giraffe

I can hear all of the groans now:

"Is she really blogging about this?" 

     Why yes, yes I am. Are you, also, one of the millions, on the edge of their seat, awaiting the birth of this precious baby giraffe?...Or are you about ready to shout "Get a life!" at all of her stalkers? Whichever category you fall under, I completely understand both sides. 

     What began with curiosity about a week ago has led to incredible fascination, for me. Although, at times, I've realized how many countless hours of my life have been wasted, staring at this giraffe as she roams her pen, feeds on hay, lettuce, and carrots, rests, and visits with her partner, Oliver, watching and waiting for her to give birth has been truly captivating and, for me, has brought many emotions to surface...impatience being one. I remember being so incredibly impatient, at times, throughout my own pregnancies. There were times it felt like the birth of this long-awaited child would never come. I didn't make it to my due date with my daughter, but with my boys, their due dates came and went and the sweet, caring harassment from friends and family members set in: 

"How are you feeling?"
"No baby yet?"
"Is he ever going to come?"
"Start walking."
"Have sex." 

     Good grief almighty, thank you all very much, but ladies and gentlemen, that decision was never up to me and it certainly isn't up to April the Giraffe either. My babies called those shots from the very beginning, just as April's baby will decide when s/he is ready to be born. Believe me, I'm tapping my fingers and toes with impatience as well, but remember that wonderful and amazing things come to those who wait ❤

     I'm truly in such awe of this gorgeous, majestic creature. 10 months, to me, was an incredibly long time to be pregnant. Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months. Let that sink in for a minute. This baby is estimated to be 150lbs and 6ft tall...holy huge baby! Can you imagine carrying something that size around for 15 months...or 10 months for that matter? To me, she just appears so graceful and at peace and I most certainly didn't appear that way days or even hours before giving birth myself. Nope, I'm pretty sure I was waddling around, full of complaints: I can't sleep, my back hurts, I'm so hungry, I'm so full, and the list goes on and on. 

     I've always been so fascinated by the birth process, since the second my daughter was born. I actually took my interest in birth to DONA (Doulas of North America), a few years ago, where I trained to become a doula. I've had the privilege and blessing of attending numerous births and it never ceases to amaze me. Some people are completely grossed out by the process but I'm the complete opposite; I'm truly blown away by the breathtaking and miraculous beauty that surrounds such a remarkable experience. I love to see new life brought into the world and the moment that child's mother lays eyes upon her baby for the first time. You will never see anything more raw, private, and extraordinary in your entire life. It's a natural high for me; I'm on cloud 9 for days after witnessing the birth of a precious, new baby. 

     I witnessed this moment yesterday, between April and Oliver. It brought tears to my eyes. As the world is eagerly awaiting the arrival of their calf, they're just perfectly content with life the way it is, knowing and trusting that their new addition will make an appearance when s/he is darn well ready. I feel truly blessed that the keepers from Animal Adventure Park have allowed us this glimpse into such a special moment in this animal's life. I know she most certainly didn't voice her approval of the live feed and, personally, if I were April, knowing millions were watching and preparing for some of the most painful and intimate hours of my life, I'd be one pissed off lady. I know I've taken part in some of the humorous memes circulating FB about this promised event but please know that beneath all of that humor, I truly check in on April with a caring heart. I wish her and her calf a happy, healthy, and safe delivery. 

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