Annie and Ray Kuntz, Wesley, Olivia, Nathan & Toby

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“I think motherhood in and of itself is made up of both of life and of little deaths. When you become a mother the first time, the single-carefree part of yourself where you could think of yourself first dies.  Now every little decision you make, where you go and when, what you wear, who you spend time with, is influenced by that child.  When your children grow, each step of the way, a little something new is born, and a little of the old dies.  When I weaned my daughter, Olivia, on her third birthday, there died our sweet nursing relationship that we both cherished.  But there was born a new independence and stepping further into herself without the same attachment to her mother.  When my oldest son lost his first two teeth, I noticed those were the first baby teeth that appeared after feverish, crying nights.  And now they sit in a little green treasure box and my boy has two bit teeth in his smile.  My two-year-old son says the most adorable and hilarious things as he learns to speak more clearly.  Long gone are the “gagas” and “dadada” sounds that he first produced.  My two-month-old son has already lost the shakiness of a newborn’s cry, and those certain sighs and sounds that a newborn makes.  None of my children will ever be newborns again.  The relentless march of time leaves those younger versions of themselves behind.  Except in my memory.

 There is a painting of a woman giving birth at my work with the following words written on it: “I am a woman giving birth to myself.”  And that is what birth is that we often look over.  It is the birth of the child, but also the creation of this new mother.  I wish that our culture celebrated that fact a little bit more. 

I don’t think you become a mother just once with your first child. I think you become a mother over and over again, each child that is born, each major life shift for your children. It’s ever-changing, never stagnant. And once you are a mother, you can never not be a mother again.”

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*Words cannot describe how much I appreciate this midwife and friend. Annie has been one of my preceptors since I began school here and has quickly become a great teacher and confidant. I am so proud of her and what I have gotten to know of her journey. It is my sincerest wish that she is blessed in all her endeavors as a woman, mother, partner and midwife. I love you Annie!

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